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Retro Single Reviews: George Strait, 1990-1991

March 24, 2013 Kevin John Coyne 11

As the nineties began, George Strait was the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, a title noted on the belt buckle he wore on the cover of Livin’ it Up.

Around this time, Billboard switched to monitoring radio stations in real time, revealing just how often songs were really being played. So while all of his eighties #1 singles spent only a week at the top, all four of the #1 singles listed here spent multiple weeks in the penthouse, including two five-week runs at the top.

George Strait Love Without End Amen

“Love Without End, Amen”
1990
Peak: #1

Listen

One of Strait’s most enduring hits, “Love Without End, Amen” foreshadowed the understated religiousness of future hits like “I Saw God Today.” A classic three act story song, it makes its point subtly and endearingly.

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Retro Single Review: George Strait, "Overnight Success"

February 5, 2013 Ben Foster 2

George_Strait_-_Overnight_Success_single1989 | #1

Written by veteran songwriter Sanger D. “Whitey” Shafer (who had previously supplied Strait with hits such as “Does Forth Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” and “All My Ex’s Live In Texas”), “Overnight Success” was released in the fall of 1989 as fourth and final single from George Strait’s album¬†Beyond the Blue Neon. ¬†It peaked at a respectable #8, breaking a streak of eleven number-one hits, but continuing Strait’s run of Top Ten hits that stretched back seven years.

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Retro Single Reviews: Dolly Parton, 1975-1976

January 19, 2013 Kevin John Coyne 5

Today is Dolly Parton’s 67th birthday. What better time to revisit and relaunch our ongoing feature that reviews every single that she’s released in her illustrious career?

This post will look at her four singles from late 1975 through the end of 1976. Three were solo efforts, while the fourth was her final release of the decade that was a collaboration with Porter Wagoner.

Dolly Parton The Seeker and We Used To

“We Used To”
1975
Peak: #9

Written by Dolly Parton

It was clear by this point that Parton had designs on the pop market, but she hadn’t yet found the right way to make her style work in that format. So we get overlong pop ballads like this, which ramble on forever because Parton’s restraining her vocal trademarks that would make the record too identifiably country.

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Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing"

October 9, 2012 Ben Foster 21

2004 | #18

Of all Shania Twain’s gifts as a singer-songwriter, her ability to tackle heartbreak may have been the most under-heralded. That side of Twain was well showcased on several standout tracks from The Woman In Me, but of all the nineteen tracks on the Up! album, there was only one sad song in the bunch. But oh, what a beauty it was.

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