Upon the release of Leave the Light On in May of 1989, newcomer Lorrie Morgan became one of country music's most recognizable and powerful voices. The album peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Top Country Album charts, produced four Top 10 hits, and has since been certified platinum.
Thirty years after its release, The Boot has ranked every song on Leave the Light On, from "Trainwreck of Emotion" to "If I Didn't Love You." The tracks are listed in descending order, but to be honest, they're all equally worthy of a re-listen all these years later.
In "If I Didn't Love You," one of many heartbreak-focused songs on Leave the Light On, Morgan takes on the most devastating type of breakup: having to leave a person you're still totally in love with, but who is also totally wrong for you.
"It's Too Late (to Love Me Now)"
First recorded by Dolly Parton in 1978, "It's Too Late (to Love Me Now)" finds Morgan tired of waiting around for a man who doesn't treat her right.
Morgan's take on this Beatles classic is infectiously fun. She gives the hit a totally country revamp, including twangy guitars and fiddle. Weirdly, this version of "Eight Days a Week" wasn't included on the album until it was released on compact disc a few years after its initial debut.
Written by Susie McCoy, "Far Side of the Bed" explores the complicated feelings of a loveless marriage, and it doesn't really pull any punches. The song also includes what may be one of the finest country lyrics of all time: "'I love you' doesn't mean much from the far side of the bed."
There's no denying that "I'll Take the Memories," a song about splitting up possessions after a divorce, is a really sad tune. "As we're saying our goodbyes, I want to tell you / You can take the things you want and leave the things you don't," Morgan sings. "But as for me, I'll take the memories."
The third single from Leave the Light On, "Out of Your Shoes" is Morgan's second-highest-charting hit from the album. It's sort of a predecessor to Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," in that it's spoken directly to the "other woman."
Alongside the heartbreak tunes on Leave the Light On, there's also "He Talks to Me," a sweet anthem to a tender, hard-working man who actually listens. "Now you can talk about the finer things / Big cars and diamond rings that light up your life," Morgan sings. "But let me tell you that the finest thing is the joy he brings." Awwww, how sweet!
"Gonna Leave the Light On"
The song that inspired Morgan's debut album's title, "Gonna Leave the Light On," is a total tearjerker, about a woman who's still pining for the love she's lost.
With "Dear Me," Morgan proves that she's not just a belter of bold ballads. On this quiet, emotional tune, she kicks herself a little bit for letting a good man slip away: "Dear me, how could I turn away when he needed me?" she sings. "Now all that's left to say is / Dear me, what have I done?" Ouch!
Morgan's signature sass is on prominent display in "Trainwreck of Emotion," the lead song on Leave the Light On. It's a little bit dramatic, endlessly catchy and perfectly relatable for anyone who's ever dealt with an awful heartbreak.
This punchy, fiery song about a relationship that's on the rocks gives the song's antagonist "five minutes" to get it together and start treating Morgan right. It scored the artist her very first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, in 1990.