Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Clint Black, “Walkin’ Away”

“Walkin’ Away”

Clint Black

Written by Clint Black, Dick Gay, and Hayden Nicholas


#1 (2 weeks)

May 19 – May 26, 1990

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

May 4 – May 11, 1990

Killin’ Time keep killin’ it on the charts.

The Road to No. 1

“Walkin’ Away” was preceded by three No. 1 singles, including 1990’s “Nobody’s Home,” making Clint Black the first artist to score two No. 1 singles in the nineties.

The No. 1

Clint Black really was scarily good right out of the gate.

“Walkin’ Away” has the clever wordplay that Black made his signature, but it’s amazing in retrospect how much better that skill applied to heartbreak songs than it did to his odes to a perfect marriage.

“One right can still make two wrong.”

“My finest hour spent there with you in the dark was just before I saw the light.”

Black had a way of communicating old sentiments in a brand new way, and he did it better than anyone else did in his early years.

It’s a great record, too. The fiddle work is fantastic, as his his Haggardhttps://www.countryuniverse.net/2021/06/13/every-1-country-single-of-the-nineties-ricky-van-shelton-ive-cried-my-last-tear-for-you/ delivery.

Killin’ Time really is flawless from start to finish.

The Road From No. 1

Clint Black became the first artist to have four No. 1 singles from a debut country album, and while the fifth single didn’t make it to the top on Billboard, it did on Radio & Records, so we’ll be seeing him again this year.

“Walkin’ Away” gets an A. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Dan Seals, “Love On Arrival” | Next: Ricky Van Shelton, “I’ve Cried My Last Tear For You”


  1. If you wanted to sell a country music concentrate from the early 90’s it would be Black’s “Killin’ Time.” Every song was excellent and refreshing. You could also be doing much worse than having your vocals on your debut album constantly confused for Haggard.

    “Walkin’ Away” is a perfect example of how consistent his craft was out of the gates, so good that any attempt at objective criticism quickly yields to adoration and respect.

  2. As already stated, Killin’ Time is simply an excellent record from start to finish, but this has always been one of my favorite singles off of it. I love everything about it from the fiddle, the opening guitar, the beautiful melody, Clint’s Haggard like performance, and the clever and relatable lyrics.

    I actually remember hearing this one back when it was new when I was only five, and maybe a few times as a recurrent in 1991 (It’s the only single from this album that somehow didn’t make it onto any of my tapes). But after that, my stations seemed to forget that this song existed, which was a shame since it was so good. That memorable melody and fiddle always stuck with me, though. I wouldn’t get to hear it again until nearly ten years later when I got the Killin’ Time album. Talk about really taking me back!

  3. As the other commenters have noted, KILLIN’ TIME was a very strong album from start to finish. I’d give this song an A-

  4. I don’t usually comment on the posts that review songs/albums that are universally excellent, just because I’m not sure I can add much. But, I just listened to “Killin Time” for the first time in a while, and my god….this truly is worth every ounce of praise it got.

    Other than the lyrics, the instrumentation, and the huge Haggard influence, there are three things I noticed about it.

    1. There’s one straight-forward, happy love song “Straight From the Factory”, and it’s done in a similar style to Bob Wills/Merle Haggard. Try that nowadays, and an artist would get thrown out of a window by a record label rep.

    2. Each song, despite many have similar themes, just feels so original and fresh. There’s a lot of break-up songs here, but they feel like uniquely different character situations. In a “A Better Man”, the guy is reflective and thankful for the experience of the relationship…in “Killin Time”,he’s bitter and depressed”…and in Walking Away, he’s hurt but thankful that he knows she doesn’t love him and he can continue on his search for real love. A lesser artist could make these themes repetitive, but the songwriting is so strong that creates multi-dimensional, unique people, and each song feels different and fresh as a result.

    3. It’s 30 minutes long. The guy packed this much quality into a 30 minute record, when you have albums with 16 tracks now, and bonus tracks on top of that. (If that doesn’t me feel I need to be more succinct in the length of my comments, I don’t know what will.)

    So yeah…great song, great album.

  5. “My finest hour spend here with you in the dark was just before I saw the light” remains one of my favorite lyrics ever.

    And yeah, Bob, I have come to see that if you (generally speaking, not you in particular) limit yourself to greatest-hits collections, you’re going to miss out on a LOT of great songs.

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