“Could’ve Been Me”
Billy Ray Cyrus
Written by Reed Nielsen and Monty Powell
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
September 11, 1992
Billy Ray’s roots are showing on his second No. 1 hit.
The Road to No. 1
“Achy Breaky Heart” was the longest-running Billboard No. 1 hit in over a decade, but Cyrus never returned to the top of their country singles chart again. However, he had two more No. 1 hits on the Radio & Records survey.
The No. 1
One of the refreshing things about Billy Ray Cyrus when he arrived on the scene was that he didn’t hide his real roots: seventies and eighties arena rock. Plenty of his contemporaries had the same influences, but they still put on the hat and the boots, while Cyrus showed up in sleeveless vests and white sneakers.
“Could’ve Been Me” is nineties country via eighties Springsteen. Cyrus growls his way through a damn good song about missing the opportunity to be with the girl of your dreams because you held off on telling her, and someone else won her heart.
“You know dreams move on if you wait too long,” he rues, “it took me ’til now to see it could’ve been me.”
His best single without Lil Nas X? I’d say so.
The Road From No. 1
Three more singles from Some Gave All resulted in one more top ten hit, “She’s Not Cryin’ Anymore,” an early indication that radio was building an immunity to the Cyrus Virus. But his next Mercury album would produce a third and final No. 1 single. We’ll get to it in 1993.
“Could’ve Been Me” gets a B+.
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