Written by Clint Black
#1 (3 weeks)
January 20 – February 3, 1990
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
January 5 – January 12, 1990
Clint Black’s third consecutive No. 1 single spent multiple weeks at #1 on both charts.
The Road to No. 1
1989 was one of the most significant years for new acts in country music history, and Clint Black was at the head of the class. By the time “Nobody’s Home” was sent to radio, Black was already the first country artist since Freddy Fender to have his first two singles go to No. 1. His debut album, Killin’ Time, was already gold, and would be certified platinum the same month that “Nobody’s Home” became his third consecutive No. 1 hit. Black was being heralded as his generation’s Merle Haggard, a lofty claim that his debut album lent credibility to.
The No. 1
“Nobody’s Home” certainly didn’t coast on the success of its excellent predecessors, “A Better Man” and “Killin’ Time,” despite both being bona fide classics. “Nobody’s Home” keeps up the breakup theme of those two records, but where “Better Man” emphasized personal growth and “Killin’ Time” contemplated death, “Home” presents a breakup as something of a zombie purgatory.
Black is, by all outward appearances, the same man he’s always been. “I still comb my hair the same. Still like the same cologne. I still drive that pickup track that the same old bank still owns.” But inside, he’s wrecked: “The lights are on,” he drawls, “but nobody’s home.”
Down the road, Black’s personal happiness would lead to a similar optimism in his musical output. But on Killin’ Time, it’s all melancholic misery. Which always makes for the best country music, doesn’t it?
The Road from No. 1
There is going to be a lot of Clint Black in this series, with two more singles from Killin’ Time still on deck.
“Nobody’s Home” gets an A.
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