“She Used to Be Mine”
Brooks & Dunn
Written by Ronnie Dunn
#1 (1 week)
November 13, 1993
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
November 5, 1993
A heartbroke ballad returns Brooks & Dunn to the top spot.
The Road to No. 1
Hard Workin’ Man had already produced a No. 1 hit with its second single, “We’ll Burn That Bridge.” While that hit only topped the Radio & Records survey, its follow-up became their first Billboard No. 1 hit since “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”
The No. 1
Brooks & Dunn’s sophomore effort didn’t feature as compelling upbeat material as their debut, but they did a lot better with their ballads.
“She Used to Be Mine” is a lonesome lament, with our protagonist beating himself up as he places the blame for his breakup completely on himself. Dunn gives his strongest vocal performance to date, really leaning into his honky tonk roots. This could’ve been a hit thirty years earlier – or even thirty years later, if country radio hadn’t lost the plot a few years ago.
He’s a sorrowful soul in the corner, trying to disguise his pain and shame as he sees with his own eyes how much more beautiful she is in the arms of someone who treats her right.
Some truly great fiddle work here too, including a mini-instrumental break right before the second verse. This is one of their finest and perhaps one of their most forgotten moments.
The Road From No. 1
“Rock My World (Little Country Girl)” was sent to radio next as the obvious attempt to recreate “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” dance mix and all. It went top five. Brooks & Dunn will be back at No. 1 in 1994 with the final single from this album, which is another winning ballad.
“She Used to Be Mine” gets an A.