Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Mark Chesnutt, “I’ll Think of Something”

“I’ll Think of Something”

Mark Chesnutt

Written by Jerry Foster and Bill Rice

Billboard

#1 (1 week)

August 29, 1992

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

August 14, 1992

Mark Chesnutt improves upon an early Hank Williams, Jr. hit.

The Road to No. 1

Mark Chesnutt followed his trio of No. 1 singles from Too Cold at Home with the top ten hit, “Broken Promise Land.”  Chesnutt then led off his Longnecks and Short Stories collection with the top five hit, “Old Flames Have New Names.”  The album’s only No. 1 single was sent to radio next.

The No. 1

Chesnutt comes completely into his vocalist talent with this record, which is one of his finest performances ever.

The Hank Williams Jr. original was already a solid record, held back only by Williams not having fully come into his talent as a vocalist; he would’ve nailed it if he recorded it a few years later.

Chesnutt does nail it, giving a nuanced vocal performance that weaves together stubborn resilience and desperate heartache, capturing the anguish of a man who is determined to get over a relationship and move on, but being held back by just how brokenhearted that he is.

It’s one of the best ballads of the nineties and further evidence of Chesnutt’s essential contributions to country music.

The Road From No. 1

Two more big top five hits from Longnecks & Short Stories followed:  “Bubba Shot the Jukebox” and “Ol’ Country.”  Chesnutt would return to the top in 1993, as his third MCA album produced another trio of No. 1 hits.

“I’ll Think of Something” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Clint Black, “We Tell Ourselves” |

Next: Tracy Lawrence, “Runnin’ Behind”

8 Comments

  1. I echo the previous comment. I absolutely love this song, and Chesnutt nails it…and I love that instrumental outro at the end, as it just adds to the desolate mood. Easily Mark’s best single, and I say that enjoying a lot of his material.

  2. I pretty much echo the pistolero and Mike. This is also one of my favorite Chesnutt songs of all time. He absolutely nailed the emotion the song calls for, and I like how defeated he sounds on the last few lines of the song, especially when he just barely utters out the last “But I’ll think of something” at the end. Like Mike, I also really like the electric guitar solo along with the strings at the end. Just an excellent record all around, and once again, it’s amazing that there was a time when a great ballad like this could actually be successful during the dead of Summer.

    This is one of the songs I remember liking whenever it came on the radio after we had moved into our new house in the late Summer of 1992, and I even got it on one of my tapes that I recorded in early ’93. For the longest time, I never even knew it was a remake of a Hank Jr. song until somewhere in the following decade. For me, Mark’s is definitely the definitive version though.

    I personally consider Longnecks and Short Stories to be one of Mark’s best albums, and it’s one of my favorite cd’s that I added to my collection around late 2002-early 2003ish when I was collecting a lot of early 90’s country albums and getting lost in that period all over again. Too bad it didn’t produce any more number ones. I especially also really love “Ol’ Country,” and it just might be the only other single of his I like even more than this one.

  3. Check Clint Black being at the top of his class from my previous post. Bocephus who? This performance marks the separation of Chesnutt from the pack of his hat act peers, and his development into one of the all-time great hard country vocalists in the genre’s history. His singing is visceral. His vocals are breathy. He is invoking the best of George Jones in making us feel what he is singing about rather then just telling a compelling story. The production is spot on, almost deranged. His performance is so raw, is uncomfortable to listen to. I genuinely worry about what he will think of given more time.

    I love this performance.

  4. I love Mark’s version too, although I like Hank Jr.’s version too, which I think would sound better with a different arrangement. I agree this is probably Mark Chesnutt’s best of many good singles

  5. I could name twenty or thirty artists I would have loved to see live back in the day. But to see Mark do THIS song would be the ultimate!

  6. This is one of my favourite Mark Chesnutt songs and I had no idea that there is a Hank Jr. version as well. This album is really solid throughout as well.

  7. Yes, this is a good song performed wonderfully b. I’ll admit that while I like some Hank Jr. songs, I’m not a fan of his voice. So, it’s no wonder that Chesnutt performed it better.

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