On 5 January 1980, “You’re Only Lonely” by J. D. Souther was at #20, its highest position in the 80s. Its peak position was #7 in 1979.
I don’t have too much to say about “You’re Only Lonely” by J. D. Souther. It’s nice and harmless. There aren’t many lyrics — what lyrics there are are a message from a friend to another friend that he’ll be there when she (I assume she) is feeling alone. It doesn’t do much musically. It’s slow and sweet, and a little bit forlorn; it’s not complicated or showy, but then it doesn’t need to be.
So instead I’ll mention a phenomenon that occurs in every decade: the nostalgia cycle. In a nostalgia cycle, popular culture starts to dip back into the past for inspiration; sometimes the inspiration creates something spectacular and new, sometimes you just get stuff that sounds like it’s thirty years old. This song is in the latter category, and is part of a retro-50s cycle that took place through much of the early 80s. Can’t you hear Roy Orbison singing this? Or The Everly Brothers? So yeah, “You’re Only Lonely” is a competent if not particularly exciting throwback to the early slow songs of rock and roll.