Imaginary Lover – Atlanta Rhythm Section | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#7); 1978

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Traces, Spooky, Stormy. These and other hits by the Classics IV were the work of Bobby Buie and J.R. Cobb in more ways than one. With Buie as producer, Cobb and Dean Daughtry formed the core of the Classics IV.

Eventually, Buie grew tired of making records for others. So when Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck helped usher in the “rock guitar era,” Bobby saw big possibilities for the Southern players he worked with in his studio.

Pooling the talents of his former Classics IV buddies plus others who had played with them in Roy Orbison’s Candymen band, and adding a couple of newer musicians, Buie formed a group he dubbed the Atlanta Rhythm Section.

The final key arrived in 1973 in the form of vocalist Ronnie Hammond. By 1977, despite several fine albums, ARS’ label was disappointed in sales overall and gave them just 45 days to produce a winner. The band responded with Champagne Jam, which included Imaginary Lover.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Buie

Lyrics Written by:

  • Perry Carlton “Buddy” Buie
  • Robert Nix
  • Dean Daughtry