LeAnn Rimes Takes “What I Cannot Change” to No. 1

You read that right. This week, the highly praised and Grammy-nominated LeAnn Rimes single “What I Cannot Change” finally reached #1 – on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart.

While the song’s admirers most certainly would have preferred it to be a #1 country single, at least the song’s being heard somewhere. Rimes is the first country artist in the chart’s history to score a #1 single. She breaks Reba McEntire’s 13-year hold on the highest charting country remix in the chart’s history.  McEntire scored a #2 hit with a cover of The Supremes classic “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”

Perhaps Johnny Cash will be the next country star to top the chart.

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19 Responses to LeAnn Rimes Takes “What I Cannot Change” to No. 1

  1. Wow that was weird I didn’t even know she was charting this song anywhere, at least it’s getting heard now if only country radio would play it…

  2. LindaNo Gravatar

    I scoffed when I read that LeAnn scored a #1 on the DANCE chart.

  3. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    This was a cruel, cruel post. All three of those videos make me hurt, although you actually picked one of the least horrible songs from Johnny Cash Remixed. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to even finish that album review simply because there are only so many ways to say “THIS REMIX SUCKS.”

  4. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    I’m pretty ambivalent about the Cash remix project. I don’t find many of the mixes that interesting, though I do dig the “Get Rhythm” mix that I posted. It’s like that was meant to be a dance song.

    Usually dance mixes of country songs are too clunky. For whatever reason, the source material is usually a ballad. The best dance mixes that I’ve heard by a country artist came from Shania Twain. There were remixes of “Don’t Be Stupid”, “From This Moment On” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much” that I like more than the original recordings. She always approached it from a Europop angle, which works much better for country songs than the “take the original vocal and put it over a generic house beat” approach.

    Then again, that approach has LeAnn Rimes at #1 this week, so what do I know?

  5. Occasional HopeNo Gravatar

    “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to even finish that album review simply because there are only so many ways to say “THIS REMIX SUCKS.””

    Treat it as an exercise in creative writing.

  6. JoeNo Gravatar

    there’s something backwards about the fact that such a career defining performance was completely ignored by mainstream country radio yet it hit No. 1 on the dance charts. of course, I truly doubt anyone who heard only the dance mix really appreciated the meaning of the song. But I guess you’re right, at least it was played somewhere. I’ll never listen to this version again though, it’s just weird.

  7. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Haha!! I’m sure Joe’s right that the meaning (and resonance) of the song is completely lost to those who brought this to the top of the dance charts, because it hardly seems to exist in this format. Interesting how a production really makes a song. This is one of those few times that I could credit Dann Huff for showing restraint on one of his productions (the country version, that is). I’d be frustrated if this wasn’t just so dang ridiculous.

  8. vpNo Gravatar

    “This was a cruel, cruel post. All three of those videos make me hurt,” (Dan)

    “This is one of those few times that I could credit Dann Huff for showing restraint on one of his productions (the country version, that is)” (Leeann)

    “there’s something backwards about the fact that such a career defining performance was completely ignored by mainstream country radio yet it hit No. 1 on the dance charts. of course, I truly doubt anyone who heard only the dance mix really appreciated the meaning of the song.” (Joe) Not sure about the career defining part though.

    I really do not have anything to say you all said it for me, except this could possible make me sick if I were to hear this while eating breakfast.

  9. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I think it was considered career defining because so many people felt that it was her best vocal performance/interpretation to date. It certainly contributed to me taking her more seriously.

  10. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    Leeann,

    Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of substance in dance music. I don’t like a lot of it, but the structure of the music does allow for the lyrics to be heard much of the time, even if they don’t kick in until 3 minutes after the song starts. Some of my favorite “deep songs” are from that genre.

  11. I thinks it’s a great thing for LeAnn, she knew her country fans and radio weren’t really trying to get her single heard, so she decided to see if the dance genre. I’ll give the dance charts credit for playing a song with a great meaning(even if it’s over thumping beats), it’s more than I can say for country radio.

  12. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I don’t know too much about dance music, to be honest, but I just felt the significance and vocal nuances were lost here with this one.

  13. What’s interesting about the Rimes remix is how it plays against current trends in dance music, which emphasize an icy detachment in most of its female vocalists– Goldfrapp and Rihanna are probably the best examples of this, but it also applies to songs by Annie, Rachel Stevens, and even Kelly Osbourne’s fantastic “One Word.” “What I Cannot Change” is easily the most emotionally lived in vocal turn of Rimes’ career to date, which makes it an unlikely candidate for a dance remix– though she’s had some success on the Club Play / Dance chart previously with “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” a couple of songs called “Tic Toc” and “We Can” that I’ve never heard, and a remix of “Nothin’ Better to Do.” I don’t think the actual structure or execution of this remix are particularly noteworthy, but it’s at least an interesting song choice, and hopefully it will lead a few people to check out Family, which is a solid album.

    Reba’s “You Keep Me Hanging On” has more to do with Kim Wilde’s 80s dance-pop version of the song than The Supremes’ classic single. I don’t think a more Motown-inspired rendition would have suited her any better, though.

    And I’m officially on-record about the Johnny Cash Remixed project; “Get Rhythm” is the only remix on the entire album that even halfway works. Stephen Deusner hated it even more than I did, but I still think the project is the very definition of what The AV Club annually dubs “inessential” listening.

  14. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    Jonathan,

    I remember when The Onion named SHeDaisy’s “The Whole SHeBang: All Mixed Up” project their most unnecessary album of the year (or something like that), and that’s how I feel about the Cash remix project. I don’t like or dislike it. I just don’t think it establishes a reason to exist. It’s done well enough or poorly enough to be interesting to me.

  15. Dance remixes always sound painfully artificial to me. A vocal track that one is intimately familiar with sounds “canned” when the track is changed and all the percussion is added. And the necessary repetition of the lyrics over and over again to fill the extended track don’t make things any better.

    I’m listening to the remix of “Get Rhythm” right now. This is the only track I’ve heard from Johnny Cash Remixed, and if this is one of the better tracks, then I have no desire to listen to the rest of the album because I think it’s horrible. Whoever came up with this idea ought to be tarred and feathered. I hope we’re not going to see a whole slew of “remix” CDs from legendary artists. This thing is painful to listen to.

  16. Erik NorthNo Gravatar

    I’m not particularly thrilled with dance re-mixes of any songs or albums; it almost feels like an attempt from some greedy remix producer to steal your money twice. I’ve heard a dance remix of Faith Hill’s “Breathe”–and as overplayed as the original may have been, I can stand it far more than the remixed version, which is an atrocity, in my opinion.

    Kevin: Re. dance music with deep lyrics–I agree with you on there being a certain amount of substance to it. Admittedly, however, I limit myself for the most part to 70s disco (sue me! [LOL]).

  17. all dance remixes of popular songs tend to sound this song and if you go to any dance club that’s not playing hip/hop then you’re likely to hear stuff like this played.

  18. Alan in VermontNo Gravatar

    If it weren’t for remixes, I’d never, EVER listen to Country Music. Ever.

  19. RodrigoNo Gravatar

    I love the original song!! the lyric is so deep! But I would like to listen the country version of this song, anybody knows where I can get it??

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