Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Mark Chesnutt, “Your Love is a Miracle”

“Your Love is a Miracle”

Mark Chesnutt

Written by Bill Kenner and Mark Wright

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

September 6, 1991

Mark Chesnutt scores a third and final No. 1 hit from his MCA debut.

The Road to No. 1

Following “Brother Jukebox” and “Blame it On Texas,” MCA bet on “Your Love is a Miracle” to keep the streak going, and somewhat miraculously, they won.

The No. 1

I say that because this is a tepid effort all around.

Listening to Chesnutt’s performances on Too Cold at Home, it’s hard to shake the feeling that he wasn’t a priority for producer Wright, who didn’t do much to encourage the band backing Chesnutt to show some enthusiasm, or do much to coax strong vocals from the new artist at the mic.

He did, however, manage to place five songs of his on the album, including this one and the previous chart-topper, “Blame it On Texas.”

Chesnutt will soon prove himself to be one of the finest vocalists of his generation, so it’s a bummer to go back and hear him deliver a mediocre performance that he would’ve knocked out of the park on the next album.  He’s still shaking off his George Strait discipleship here, and he tries to deliver a romantic song the way Strait would instead of leaning in to his own strengths as a singer.

He’s still good enough to make the record a decent listen, but this is far from being essential Mark Chesnutt.

The Road From No. 1

After a fifth top ten single, “Broken Promise Land,” Chesnutt returned with the first single from his sophomore MCA set. “Old Flames Have New Names” didn’t top the chart, but like the rest of that album, Longnecks and Short Stories, it showcases that singer’s newfound confidence as well as his access to stronger material.  We’ll see the second single from that set, which is one of Chesnutt’s finest performances, in 1992.

“Your Love is a Miracle” gets a B-. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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5 Comments

  1. This is actually one of my all time favorites of Chesnutt’s early 90’s singles, and it’s one that brings back some fond childhood memories for me the most. I’ve always really loved the melody, the production (especially the guitar parts), and the overall simple but likeable lyrics about a man who “would never settle down” until he found his “miracle.” Also, I’ve always liked the slight change in lyrics in each chorus from “got here just in time” in chorus #1 to “stands the test of time” in the second, and then back to the original lyric for the final chorus. Overall, for me, this one a nice change in pace between his more serious ballads and some of the novelty cuts he’d do later in his career.

    I remember when I got back into recording tapes full time around the Fall of 1991, this was one of the songs I’d always get really excited about when it came on the radio, because it was one of my favorites back then. It even made it onto some of the tapes I recorded in 1992 and early 1993.

    I must say, I also think the music video to this is adorable! I love the fun carnival setting and all the little kids hanging on the Chesnutt as he walks around. And that “no way” look he gives at the end when he stares up at the last ride always makes me chuckle.

    With all that said, I still agree that the Longnecks and Short Stories era is when Mark would truly hit his stride. Also agree with y’all on “Broken Promise Land.” One of his most underrated singles, imho.

  2. As has already been noted, George Strait cast a massive shadow it was hard for many musicians to find their way out from under, even artists as gifted and talented as Chestnutt. For as much as Garth is lampooned for the copy-cat artists that followed him, Strait arguably spawned a larger brood of cowboy singers who were all hat and no cattle. A lot of limp, lame country can be attributed to Strait’s excellent,seemingly effortless, output. His acolytes sounded soft because Strait played hard country so smoothly and had a sound and sensibility no one has successfully replicated.

    All that being said, I agree with Jamie that this song has a real charm and ease, although I wouldn’t have believed this went to number one. I had it in my head Chestnut didn’t have the same chart success of his contemporaries out of the gates, but this feature is correcting my faulty memory.

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