Written by Paul Kennerley
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
May 25, 1990
Tanya Tucker’s second No. 1 single of 1990 previewed her first studio album of the decade.
The Road to No. 1
Since signing with Capitol, Tucker had become one of country’s most consistent hitmakers. Her Greatest Hits album for the label produced the No. 1 single, “My Arms Stay Open All Night,” which topped the Radio & Records chart earlier in the year. Tucker followed this project with Tennessee Woman, which set Tucker on course for her first “second” Greatest Hits album for the same label.
The No. 1
“Walking Shoes” follows the Tucker template of a heartbreak song from that time in her career. She’s been walked all over, and she’s walking out.
The central conceit doesn’t get stretched too thin, as each verse introduces a new item of clothing: her walking shoes, her traveling hat, and my personal favorite: her “It’s all over” coat.
As someone who was introuced to Tucker on her next studio album, I do miss the muscle in the production that would give an added oomph to her 1991-1993 material.
A stronger backing track might have coaxed a more energetic vocal performance from her. But it gets the job done as an uptempo radio track to set the stage for a new studio album.
The Road From No. 1
Tennessee Woman produced three more hits, starting with “Don’t Go Out,” a slamming duet with T. Graham Brown. Along with its follow-up, “It Won’t Be Me,” it reached the top ten. The gorgeous ballad, “Oh What it Did to Me,” closed out the album cycle, falling short of its predecessors. One might assume that Tucker would be one of those legends to get washed away by the new wave of nineties artists, but she stepped up her game, so we’ll see her again in 1991.
“Walking Shoes” gets a B.