At the end of 1983, Reba McEntire
completed her contract with Mercury Records and moved to MCA, launching the new affiliation in the late winter of 1984 with the Top Five country single "Just a Little Love," followed by an album of the same name in April. McEntire
had signed to Mercury in 1975, and the label had built her up slowly to the point that, in early 1983, she scored back-to-back number one singles with "Can't Even Get the Blues" and "You're the First Time I've Thought About Leaving." Her decision to move on might be vindicated later, but Just a Little Love
was not an auspicious beginning with the new company. McEntire
seemed, at least on the evidence of the single, to be moving in more of a contemporary country direction, an impression confirmed by the follow-up single, "He Broke Your Memory Last Night," which reached the Top 20. On the LP, she displayed her versatility, ranging stylistically from the tropical feel of "I'm Gettin' over You" and the pop/rock sound of "Every Second Someone Breaks a Heart" to the Western swing of "Congratulations" and the Bakersfield arrangement for "Silver Eagle." She was a distinctive enough vocalist, with her Oklahoma accent, good intonation, and the restrained throb in her throat, to achieve a good performance no matter what the context, but she still came off like a developing artist rather than an established one in the sense that she seemed to be dabbling instead of defining the material. Just a Little Love
was not a disappointment as compared with her Mercury output, but neither was it the big step that might be expected from a new association.