“All These Years”
Written by Mac McAnally
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
February 12, 1993
Adultery doesn’t get any better than this.
The Road to No. 1
Sawyer Brown followed their No. 1 hits “The Dirt Road and “Some Girls Do” with the title track from Cafe On the Corner, which is arguably the greatest single of their entire career. But if one were to argue it was something else, it’d probably be this.
The No. 1
Country music is known for its cheating songs. Sometimes they’re playful, sometimes they’re desperate, and sometimes they’re vengeful.
But to write a song about the very moment a husband discovers his wife with another man in their bed, and for it to lead to a deep and reflective conversation about their married life together? That’s a tour de force of songwriting.
The band is smart enough to keep the arrangement sparse, and Mark Miller’s warm vocal makes both the husband and wife sympathetic characters. If I were to start quoting the song, I’d end up quoting the entire thing. It’s that damn good.
These days, a song this complex, challenging, and grounded would go straight to Americana without passing go and without collecting $200.
That it went to No. 1 in 1993 just further documents what an extraordinary moment in country music history that this time period was.
The Road From No. 1
“Trouble On the Line” was the third and final single from Cafe On the Corner, and it went top five. The band was back on top with another No. 1 single later in 1993.
“All These Years” gets an A.
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