The 10 Best Restless Heart Songs, Ranked

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Restless Heart songs about matters of the heart, from new love to crushing loss, shot up both the country and pop charts during the group's original 1984-1994 run.

The classic lineup of John Dittrich, Paul Gregg, Dave Innis, Greg Jennings and Larry Stewart joined another self-contained country band with a knack for harmony-driven heart songs, Alabama, in paving the way for every group that followed.

A roundup of Restless Heart's '80s singles would be a stacked greatest hits compilation unto itself, though their finest hour as a pop-accessible band was yet to come.

This Top 10 list focuses on the band's first decade as a mainstream act, but don't overlook that 1998 comeback or an ongoing third wind which began in 2002 and brought us the cleverly-titled 2004 album Still Restless.

10. "Tell Me What You Dream"

Restless Heart embraced its crossover appeal with this song, a No. 1 adult contemporary hit that barely missed the Top 40 (it peaked at 43) of Billboard's all-genre Hot 100. The co-write by The Eagles' Timothy B. Schmit was a collaboration with saxophonist Warren Hill.

9. "(Back to the) Heartbreak Kid"

Future Blackhawk member Van Stephenson and record industry exec Tim DuBois co-wrote this tale of rushing back to the wrong ex-lover's arms. It appeared on Kathy Mattea's self-titled 1984 debut album before it became a harmony showpiece on Restless Heart's self-titled 1986 debut album for RCA Nashville.

8. "That Rock Won't Roll"

Another story about a heartbreaker began Restless Heart's run of four straight No. 1 singles off the 1986 album Wheels.

7. "Big Dreams in a Small Town"

The perfect title for a mainstream country song in the 21st century also suited 1989. Stephenson, DuBois and another future Blackhawk member, Dave Robbins, co-wrote this near-perfect mix of slick-sounding '80s country and stadium-packing Heartland rock.

6. "Let the Heartache Ride"

If you're looking for multi-part harmonies on the same level as Alabama, look no further than than Restless Heart's jubilant debut single. It, too, was co-written by the songwriter trio of Stephenson, DuBois and Robbins.

5. "Dancy's Dream"

This Top 5 hit from the album Fast Movin' Train contains elements found in a lot of roots music favorites: tight harmonies, a mandolin solo and a story about Baptist guilt.

4. "Hummingbird"

Fast-paced homages to honky-tonk and bluegrass flavor a B-side that sounded more like a would-be Ricky Skaggs hit than something by the band behind its A-side, pop nugget "Why Does It Have to Be (Wrong or Right)." Skaggs agreed that it was in his wheelhouse and recorded it for his 1990 album Kentucky Thunder.

3. "I'll Still Be Loving You"

Country music's lone crossover Hot 100 hit in between Dan Seals' "Bop" (1985) and Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart" (1992) suited the same DJ playlists for prom night as Cheap Trick's "The Flame."

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2. "The Bluest Eyes in Texas"

Lead singer Larry Stewart's shining moment as a song interpreter came with this, a Texas-themed breakup song by regular Restless Heart collaborators Stephenson, DuBois and Robbins.

1. "When She Cries"

Restless Heart's pop-accessible high mark came in 1992, with drummer John Dittrich taking over lead singer duties from former member Larry Stewart. The single from Big Iron Horses reached No. 2 on the country charts, No. 11 on the adult contemporary chart and No. 4 on the Mainstream Top 40.

Sonny LeMaire of Restless Heart's country band peers, Exile, co-wrote the crossover smash with Marc Beeson.

Honorable Mention: "A Tender Lie," "Mending Fences," "Long Lost Friend," "Say What's in Your Heart," "I Want Everyone to Cry," "TIl I Loved You," "We Got the Love" and "You Can Depend on Me"


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The 10 Best Restless Heart Songs, Ranked