Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Travis Tritt, “Drift Off to Dream”

“Drift Off to Dream”

Travis Tritt

Written by Stewart Harris and Travis Tritt

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

April 19, 1991

Travis Tritt charts a final No. 1 single from his debut album.

The Road to No. 1

Country Club had produced consecutive No. 1 singles in “Help Me Hold On” and “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” before “Put Some Drive in Your Country” peaked outside the top ten on both charts.  Undeterred, Warner Bros. went for a fifth single from Tritt’s major label debut.

The No. 1

And it’s his strongest single to date.

Even if it had been presented as a typical love song, it would be a winner.  Sweet without being sappy, “Drift Off to Dream” sets out relationship goals that are just about being together, whethere while dancing to the radio or holding hands on the porch, with a late all-nighter ending with her drifting off to dream in his arms.

But it’s the framing of the song as a fantasy that elevates it to classic status, with the counterpoint to the girl drifting off to dream being that Tritt is dreaming himself, sitting at the bar and longing for a woman that he’s yet to meet.

It’s a promise to be faithful and true to the woman of his dreams, coupled with the determination to wait until she comes into his life.  He will not be going home with a random partner at the bar.  He’ll drink his sorrows and go home to drift off to dream, his arms empty for now.

The Road From No. 1

Travis Tritt is about to explode into superstardom with his next album, and all four of its singles will be covered in this feature.

“Drift Off to Dream” gets an A. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Alabama, “Down Home” | Next: Dolly Parton with Ricky Van Shelton, ‘Rockin’ Years”

4 Comments

  1. This song appealed to my romantic sense of teen-age commitment and loyalty, a fantasy love song.

    And doesn’t Tritt sound intoxicating singing it, lightly buzzed on the possibility of it all? So hopeful and patient. The production is dreamlike and magical.

    I adore this song. It went straight to my heart.

    It was his ability to absolutely nail these tender and vulnerable ballads that set him apart. He could have been so easily pigeon-holed as a southern rocker bad-boy, an outlaw. Think Brantley Gilbert. Thankfully Tritt has infinitely more talent and tenderness, as well as respect for the genre’s history and traditions.

    Tritt and Joe Diffie compete for consideration as the best pure vocalist of their generation.

  2. I’ve always loved this song. I agree with Peter that Tritt has one of the great voices of the nineties and it’s pretty cool how he can go hard on his rockers and then settle down to sink his teeth into some of the best ballads of that decade.

  3. Man, do I miss hearing these kind of love songs in mainstream country. It’s genuine, sincere, and straight from the heart, and it seems like they rarely make them like this anymore. And the fact that it’s actually about a love that the narrator still hasn’t found yet makes it even more appealing. It also has such a beautiful melody, and I love the dobro playing in the uncut album version.

    I’m really glad Travis was able to successfully balance his output between his signature rockers and gorgeous, well written ballads like this. That’s unfortunately something that a lot of the macho bros from the past decade who seem to look up to Tritt have never learned to do, as Peter pointed out.

    And yes, this song is on another one of my favorite early 1991 tapes (You just know I had to get that in there!). It still blows my mind that at the time Tritt was getting airplay alongside Crystal Gayle, Glen Campbell, Charly McClain, etc., along with fellow Georgian newcomer Doug Stone.

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