It’s still regarded as a many-splendored thing, but in today’s world, love is often a pretty complicated matter. That’s why LANco is taking the modern love song back to simpler times with the real and heartwarming “Greatest Love Story.”
The nostalgic single chronicles the story of two kids falling in love and weathering the seasons of change in their lives before coming back together again for good. It’s the kind of love story from days gone by, the one you learned about from your grandparents and their generation, when times where simpler and so was love. It’s the love story we all still want to believe in.
CMT.com spoke with lead singer Brandon Lancaster about why this particular song and the new video are so special to him.
“It’s a little deeper than being in a bar on a Friday night — and there’s nothing wrong with that. Who’s to say you can’t find love anywhere?” Lancaster said.
But it seems the rarity nowadays is the childhood love story. This is the one heard less often, the one that begs to be beautifully preserved in song. This story is specific, but the message is simply that finding true love rarely happens quickly.
“Love is a journey,” Lancaster said confidently. “It’s not this momentary thing. This song is taking you through a journey. That’s what love actually is, and if you’re going to have a love song, it’s cool to have one that isn’t as momentary and talks about people changing and having distance between each other and being confident and then not being confident.
“And as a songwriter, those are the things you should be able to talk about, because that is real life. In this specific song, it’s narrated through two people who find each other really young, but the most interesting thing is that they’re two people going through different phases of life. But they still end up finding love with each other. That’s why this video is special to me. It’s a real story.”
The new video is the perfect visualization of the story you can’t help but see in your mind as you listen to the song. It’s positively cinematic. Lancaster and his bandmates were very hands-on in developing the treatment with director Justin Key.
“We wanted it to have a timeless element to it and narrate the story well,” Lancaster said.
So they took it back to a time where this kind of story would be the norm.
“The video is set in the 1980s,” he said. “We thought, ‘Well, let’s take it back to a more nostalgic time period’. No matter how old you are, the ’70s and ’80s feel nostalgic to everyone. It’s that time where you believe you could find love in high school. It takes you away from Tinder and dating apps and how complex things have gotten in this generation. You can find love. It may just be across the street from you.”
Lancaster would know. A large part of the song is his story. (He’s engaged to his longtime best friend Tiffany.) Other parts belong to his friends and the rest his adolescent observations growing up near Nashville. He wrote it by himself, which is another break from Nashville’s norm. In a community where co-writing is the usual practice, it’s not every day that a single hits that only boasts one writer. For Lancaster, it was totally natural to go it alone this time.
“When you start playing music, you don’t say, ‘Oh, this will help me get a publishing deal,’” he said. “You just do it because you love doing it. You write because you have something to say. I don’t think there should be any pressure to co-write. I think the point of writing a song is you have something to say and you want to get it out there.
“Now, there are times when you may need help with that, and you say, ‘Hey, this is an idea I have, and I don’t know exactly how to say it or the language I want to use, and I need help with that.’ Which is where co-writes are brilliant and incredible. But then as a writer, if you have something you want to say and you know how to say it, then I think you should be confident in that.
“This was a story I was confident enough in to tell myself because it’s related to me,” he said. “I’m from Smyrna, Tennessee. Most of the guys go work at a factory. They all go work at the Nissan plant. The girls go to college. I had a bunch of friends that went through that thing, where they were with someone in high school, and they went and got a job on the factory line and the girls left. It was a coin toss as to whether the girls would come back or not. This was just a story I knew how to tell.”