Cook took the demo to producer Garth Fundis, who in turn played it for Williams at the end of a working day in the studio. Fundis simply put it on the machine without building any fanfare. Don just silently sat there at the console and listened to the entire song with his eyes closed. After it finished, he turned to Garth and said, “Play it again.”
Musically, the artist and producer copied the Cook/Hogin demo almost note for note, but they substituted several phrases in the original version, including “I believe in rock and roll,” “Sometimes I don’t give a damn” and “The rising cost of getting high.” Williams also asked the writers for one more change: a bridge in the middle (a standard ingredient for most country songs). Cook and Hogin had no problem agreeing to that.
“I Believe In You” became Don’s biggest record ever, nestling in at #1 on Billboard’s country singles chart for two weeks beginning October 18, 1980. It even reached a respectable #24 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart, Williams’ only appearance on that chart as a solo artist. On December 2, 1980, the “I Believe In You” album was certified as Don’s second gold record and the following October, the Country Music Association named it “Album of the Year.”