“What Part of No”
Written by Wayne Perry and Gerald Smith
#1 (3 weeks)
February 27 – March 13, 1993
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
February 26, 1993
A polite but firm Lorrie Morgan sets some boundaries.
The Road to No. 1
Lorrie Morgan earned consecutive No. 1 singles for the only time in her career, following up “Watch Me” with her longest-running chart topper on the Billboard chart.
The No. 1
“What Part of No” is one of Morgan’s best uptempo singles, and it captures the reality of women being harassed by unwanted suitors in as diplomatic a way as country radio would likely allow back in the hat act era.
She’s still a bit too apologetic by modern standards, especially as she explains, “I don’t mean to be so mean, I don’t think I’m getting through,” as if it’s her fault that he has to be told, “What part of no don’t you understand?”
But in 1993, this was an aggressive kiss-off, and coming from that era’s heir apparent of Tammy Wynette, it packed an extra punch.
The Road From No. 1
“What Part of No” helped power Watch Me to platinum status, making Lorrie Morgan the first woman in country music history to have her first three albums go platinum. Radio played “I Guess You Had to Be There” and “Half Enough” less than its first two singles, then completely abandoned Morgan’s fourth album, War Paint, which produced three singles that all fell short of the top thirty.
In a sign of Morgan’s enduring appeal with audiences, War Paint still went gold. She’d return to the penthouse with the lead single from her Greatest Hits project, which we’ll cover in 1995.
“What Part of No” gets a B+.
Previous: Sawyer Brown, “All These Years” |