’90s No. 1s Revisited: “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)”
The twenty-sixth No. 1 song of the 1990s was “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” by Stevie B. This would be the last — and, in the long run, most successful — No. 1 song of the year. On Billboard’s most recent ranking of the top songs of all time, which as of this writing was in 2013, “Because I Love You” came in at No. 68, the best showing of any 1990 single. It was Stevie B’s eighth of 12 appearances on the Billboard Hot 100, and his only No. 1 hit, as well as his only Top 10. He last charted in 1995, when “Dream About You” peaked at No. 29.
In some ways an echo of James Ingram’s “I Don’t Have The Heart,” which hit No. 1 two months prior, and a precursor to Timmy T’s “One More Try,” which would hit No. 1 three months later, “Because I Love You” is a lovely piano ballad that would stand on its own without vocals or any other production elements. From a musical perspective, “Because I Love You” is just as beautiful as “I Don’t Have The Heart.” Lyrically, it’s not quite as sophisticated. And the production quality is a bit cheaper, and the vocal performance slightly weaker.
Let’s listen to “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)”:
The amateurish and muddled quality of the instrumentals on “Because I Love You” actually fit the story line well, because a man responding to a letter by writing a song would probably do so at home on his Casio, not in an LA studio with a team of professional producers. So there’s a romantic charm to the track. The vocal performance, however, seems to hit a few wrong notes. We suspect that Stevie is aware of this because he re-recorded the song for later hits anthologies.
“Because I Love You” was dope if you wanted something current to play at your wedding. But it was squarely in the Adult Contemporary sphere, which is dope to us but maybe not to others.
Does it hold up? The original recording seems particularly worn in retrospect, and even remastered or rerecorded versions sound old. The best venue for this song nowadays would be in the background at a piano bar, or at a wedding anniversary party.
Dopeness: 4 out of 5 Birkenstocks
’90s No. 1s Revisited is a regular feature on “Was It Dope?” where we walk through every No. 1 song of the 1990s on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in order, give it another listen, and answer two critical questions: Was it dope? And does it hold up?