Written by Ed Hill and Mark D. Sanders
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
August 21, 1992
Tracy Lawrence goes three-for-three.
The Road to No. 1
After two No. 1 ballads with “Sticks and Stones” and “Today’s Lonely Fool,” Atlantic sent Tracy Lawrence’s first upbeat single to radio, and it duplicated the success of its slower paced predecessors.
The No. 1
“Runnin’ Behind” doesn’t break new narrative ground for country music, but it reprises a familiar theme with an incredibly clever framework.
Capturing the breakneck pace of working your fingers to the bone but still never getting ahead of your bills and burdens, Lawrence sums up that experience perfectly: “I’m always runnin’, I’m always runnin’ behind.”
It’s a fitting metaphor for Lawrence himself, who never got the attention and laurels given to many of his contemporaries, despite putting out one consistent record after another for the better part of the decade.
The Road From No. 1
“Lord, the day my ship came in, I was waitin’ for a train,” Lawrence wailed on his fourth single, “Somebody Paints the Wall,” which went top ten. After that, he released his tremendously successful sophomore album, Alibis. We’ll see the title track first, once we get to 1993.
“Runnin’ Behind” gets a B+.
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