Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Faith Hill, “Wild One”

“Wild One”

Faith Hill

Written by Pat Bunch, Jaime Kyle, and Will Rambeaux

Billboard

#1 (4 weeks)

January 1 – January 22, 1994

Faith Hill earns the first No. 1 of 1994.

The Road to No. 1

Faith Hill was raised in the small town of Star, Mississippi, singing in talent shows and gaining inspiration from an Elvis Presley concert at the age of nine.  Raised in a devout Christian home, she played Baptist churches and local rodeos in her teens. She moved to Nashville in the late eighties, auditioning as a backup singer for Reba McEntire and eventually becoming a Music Row secretary.

Her talent as a singer led to her doing demos, and being supported by songwriter Gary Burr, who hired her to sing backup at his Bluebird Cafe sessions.  She was discovered there and signed to Warner Bros. by Martha Sharp, and the label previewed her debut album with “Wild One.”

The No. 1

“Wild One” is a bright and fresh debut single, with Hill’s youthful exuberance being a perfect match for the material.

That material is sharply written, with some pointed contrasts woven in between how we encourage little girls to dream big (“When she was three years old on her Daddy’s knee, he said, ‘You can be anything you want to be'”) and how we actually react once they start showing independence, which makes “her parent’s dreams go up in smoke.”

Hill hasn’t begun using her lower register yet, so on this early hit, you can really hear the influence of McEntire and Dolly Parton on her singing style. But the edge that would surface in her later material is hinted at already.  Though “the battle lines are clearly drawn,” there’s no mistaking whose side she is on – she’s 100% Team Wild One.

The Road From No. 1

Take Me as I Am would keep the hits coming, with two more No. 1 singles on the way from her debut set.  We’ll get to them soon.

“Wild One” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Doug Supernaw, “I Don’t Call Him Daddy” |

Next: Doug Stone, “I Never Knew Love”

 

3 Comments

  1. Hill’s debut felt it belonged to the moment in ways many other other songs of this time hadn’t yet. It wasn’t particularly backward looking in sound or substance. It was claiming the now and, more importantly, the future for the youthful wild protagonist running free. This song confidently celebrated promise and opportunity.

    As such, it did feel fresh and exciting. The production is clean and new. This is an exceedingly important, if not essential song, in country music history.

  2. I rarely listen to the radio now, but I turned it on briefly a couple of weeks ago for about 30 minutes. This song came on, sandwiched between a Luke Combs song and a Morgan Wallen tune. I wasn’t exactly surprised, but it was a reminder of how big this song was and still is. I really enjoyed Faith Hill’s early work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.