First Hit #1: May 12, 1984
Empty space isn’t something people normally think of when they think of pop music. Normally, pop music doesn’t have much empty space at all, since it’s generally pretty difficult to get a hit that isn’t completely filled up. Hello, by contrast, is a song about empty space. It is never silent, but it makes a great deal of effort to emphasize the space between words and verses. It’s a song that is as much about the spaces between the words as the words themselves.
That is, of course, part of the point, given that it’s about a shy man who doesn’t have the confidence to really talk to the woman he loves. Given the theme, it needs that space to sell the song, since it’s all about hesitation and uncertainty. In the process, Richie has made a song that is a study on how to use empty space in pop music.