Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Clint Black, “Loving Blind”

“Loving Blind”

Clint Black

Written by Clint Black

Billboard

#1 (2 weeks)

March 23 – March 30, 1991

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

March 8, 1991

Clint Black pushes back on the sophomore slump with the first No. 1 single from his second studio album.

The Road to No. 1

After reaching No. 1 with all five singles from his debut album, Killin’ Time, Clint Black missed the top spot with “Put Yourself in My Shoes,” the lead single and title track from his sophomore set.  With the second single from this album, he returned to the penthouse.

The No. 1

There’s an old saying that you have your entire life to write your first album, and nine months to make your second.  It could be especially challenging for country artists back in the day, who were expected to release a new album every year, while also promoting and touring in support of their current release.

“Loving Blind” reflects the challenge of this situation.   The song itself isn’t nearly as strong as those on Black’s landmark debut album.  There isn’t much of a melody, and the lyric isn’t as clever or focused as Black’s best work.

But it also benefits from Black’s experience in the recording studio.  He has a better sense of when to use his vocal to create a greater intensity than the song has on paper, particularly toward the end of the second verse.   The arrangement is also fantastic, with the best steel guitar and fiddle to feature on a Clint Black single to date.

The Road From No. 1

After “Loving Blind,” RCA released “One More Payment,” Black’s lowest-charting single so far.  After it went top ten, a fourth single was sent to radio, which will be covered later this year.

“Loving Blind” gets a B-.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Alan Jackson, “I’d Love You All Over Again” | Next: Garth Brooks, “Two of a Kind, Workin’ On a Full House”

 

3 Comments

  1. Interesting to see that so many of these No. 1 singles were written by one person or, at most, two people. Today, it seems like three to five songwriters is the norm.

  2. I remember loving Black’s second album as much as his first. I was disappointed when the title track didn’t reach the top. Like a sports fan who is worried his team has lost its mojo after an unexpected loss, I thought Black’s chart dominance might be over as quickly as it began. Rodney Cowell’s flash of single success with “Diamonds and Dirt” was still recent enough to make me wonder.

    Thankfully, “Loving Blind” slayed all my worry-dragons. I love the sound of this song.

    It is fun to remember just how big a rising star Clint Black was!

  3. This is yet another one of my top favorites of Black’s early singles. I love his vocal performance on this song, especially when he puts his signature growl to good use on the second verse. As as already mentioned, this song has some of the best fiddle and steel playing I’ve heard on any country song. I truly miss the times when you could hear songs like this with the fiddle and steel right there in your face on mainstream country radio. The fiddle parts, to me, especially do a good job in reflecting the loneliness and hopelessness the song’s character feels.

    And also, along with “Nobody’s Home” and “Nothing’s News,” this was another one of the Clint Black songs that I couldn’t get enough of back in 2000 when I was revisiting it on one of my tapes from early ’91. That tape also includes another previous entry in this feature with Tanya’s “My Arms Stay Open All Night,” plus they actually went all the way back to the 60’s this time to play Bobby Bare’s “Detroit City.” Anyway, I loved this song so much too, that I actually wound up getting both Killin’ Time AND Put Yourself In My Shoes for that Christmas in 2000. I honestly love both albums and think that second effort is just as good as the first one.

    Oh yeah, and I had just turned six when this song was number one!

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