First recorded by Charlie Dore for her 1981 Listen! album, “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” was written by Dean Pitchford and Thomas R. Snow. According to lyricist Pitchford the song’s lyrical concept was borrowed from “She Loves You” by the Beatles: “the idea of somebody reporting to somebody else on hearing this girl’s in love with you, or this boy’s in love with you.”Pitchford and Snow had had that idea in mind for some time: then when Snow first played a new tune which had come to him for Pitchford the latter felt: “this [could] be the song where we write our modern day ‘She Loves You.'” Pitchford came up with the main hook line as “You should hear the way she talks about you” which Snow amended to “You should hear how she talks about you”.
Arif Mardin who produced Manchester’s recording described the track as “a real departure for Melissa because it has a new wave dance quality and she had been known for her ballads”, Manchester having reached the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 with the ballads “Midnight Blue” (#6) and “Don’t Cry Out Loud” (#10) and the previous Manchester/Mardin collaboration “Theme from Ice Castles” also being a ballad. Mardin continued: “But music is music. You can’t turn your back on new formats or styles.” A 1985 interview with Manchester would state that the singer “had to be dragged kicking and screaming into [the] studio to record…’You Should Hear How She Talks About You’.”
“You Should Hear How She Talks About You” reached #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in September 1982, to become Manchester’s highest charting record. On the Cash Box chart, it spent six weeks at #4. The success enabled the song to rank at #18 on the Hot 100’s year-end chart for 1982. The song would also prove to be Manchester’s last Top 40 hit (her 1983 single “Nice Girls” would peak at #42). Also, it peaked at #10 on the Adult Contemporary cart and #8 on the dance chart.
The track would earn Manchester the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the year 1982, besting nominated performances by superstars Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton-John as well as Juice Newton and Laura Branigan. Manchester had previously been nominated in that category for her 1979 Top 10 hit “Don’t Cry Out Loud”.
“You Should Hear How She Talks About You” was also a worldwide hit in Canada (#5), New Zealand (#20), and Australia (#4). In Australia, it ranked as the #25 single of 1982.
In a 2012 interview Manchester would say of “You Should Hear How She Talks About You”: “What was wonderful was that the song was written by two colleagues of mine, Tom Snow and Dean Pitchford. It’s a solid song; but it was not the norm for me because I’m basically a troubadour. But I cut my hair off, lost lots of weight, glammed up, and ran it up the flagpole – and it worked! It worked all the way to a Grammy, which was kind of surprising. It was a lot of fun. I stopped singing it for awhile, because I needed a little perspective on it. But now I sing it again, and it’s kinda fun.”
|Bass||Abraham Laboriel Sr|
|Background Vocals||Millie Whiteside|
|Background Vocals||Ula Hedwig|
|Background Vocals||Will Lee|