Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Wynonna, “My Strongest Weakness”

“My Strongest Weakness”

Wynonna

Written by Naomi Judd and Mike Reid

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

February 19, 1993

Wynonna’s fourth consecutive No. 1 single is a devastating ballad.

The Road to No. 1

Wynonna’s first three solo singles topped both surveys.  The fourth went top five on Billboard and topped the Radio & Records list, giving her four total No. 1 singles from her debut album.

The No. 1

Co-written by Wynonna’s mother and former duet partner, “My Strongest Weakness” is an absolutely devastating ballad.

“Now he’s gone and life goes on, so if this pain will ever end,” she wails, then wonders, “Will I be afraid to risk it all and ever fall in love again?”

Wynonna sings the fire out of it, delivering one of her finest vocal performances. At her peak, nobody could touch her on a ballad like this.

It’s easy to understand how Wynonna sold five million copies, given the caliber of the material and the peerless vocal talent of the singer delivering it.

The Road From No. 1

Two top five hits followed “My Strongest Weakness”: “A Bad Goodbye,” which was a duet with Clint Black, and “Tell Me Why,” the title track of Wynonna’s second solo album.  She returned to No. 1 with the second single from that sophomore effort, and we’ll cover it later in 1993.

“My Strongest Weakness” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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Next: Sawyer Brown, “All These Years”

2 Comments

  1. Emotional uncertainty is devastating. This song aches and sobs with the hurt of both. The resignation that she is not getting over this loss is sad to the point of being crippling. The strength of her vocals provide the only hope she will love again, though there is enough vulnerability and weakness in the performance to leave the listener unsure of even that. Another raw and emotionally unsettling performance by a nineties female singer.

    Another classic performance in my opinion.

    In the moment, I took for granted how Wynonna’s emergence as a solo artists was a bolt of lightning through a sky already bright with so many other stars.

  2. This is another one of my most favorite solo singles from Wynonna! I agree that this is one of her finest ever vocal performances, and I love the simple production/arrangement and beautiful melody. Just the opening keyboards alone really gets the memories flooding back for me. Similar to Sawyer Brown’s “All These Years,” this is another song that I had no clue as a little kid just how sad and unsettling it was lyrically. Now that I understand the lyrics better and appreciate how Wynonna gives the right amount of emotion in her performance, it’s only made me love the song even more. Oh, and this is also another one of my favorite Mike Reid co-writes.

    Also similarly to “All These Years,” this song made it on to quite a few of my early 1993 tapes, as well. The first time I remember hearing and recording it was actually after my step dad and I had recorded one of my mom’s old Ventures records on to a tape and started filling the rest of it with country radio. That tape is another one of those colorful My First Sony tapes (with an all yellow wheel and a red wheel with a green tip, lol), and besides Wynonna, the radio parts also include “There Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With The Radio” by Aaron Tippin, “Take It Back” by Reba, “Put Yourself In My Shoes” by Clint Black, “If I Know Me” by George Strait, “Call Home,” by Mike Reid, and “Sowin’ Love” by Paul Overstreet. This song and that tape specifically reminds me of this one day in early ’93 while my step dad and I were hanging around this area my mom always liked to shop, and it also had this huge laundry mat that we were still going to at the time. We discovered that they had just opened a Dunkin’ Donuts right by the laundry mat, and sometime afterwards, we were just sitting in his Blazer enjoying some donuts (and coffee for my step dad) while that tape was playing in the tape deck, lol. After that, I remember that area also becoming one of our favorite spots to hang out, lol. Funny how a song can bring back such random memories like that!

    The more I look back on this late 1992/early 1993 period, the more amazed I am on how many great ballads came out at the same time. I truly miss the times when such great songs were expertly chosen to fit perfectly on the radio during the Fall and Winter seasons.

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