Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Clint Black, “Nothing’s News”

“Nothing’s News”

Clint Black

Written by Clint Black

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

August 31, 1990

Clint Black become the first artist to have three No. 1 singles in the new decade.

The Road to No. 1

Clint Black’s first four singles from Killin’ Time – “A Better Man,” “Killin’ Time,” “Nobody’s Home,” and “Walkin’ Away” – topped both singles charts in 1989-1990.  RCA sent a fifth and final single to radio from the set, which stopped at No. 3 in Billboard but became his fifth No.1 on the Radio & Records chart.

The No. 1

“Nothing’s News” is a moody, melancholic track that is easily the slowest-paced on Black’s debut album, making it a surprising choice for radio play.  RCA may have painted themselves into a corner with their practice at the time of including only nine tracks on the cassette and vinyl editions of their studio albums.  “I’ll Be Gone” would’ve been a fantastic choice for clean-up single, but it was only available on the compact disc edition of the album.

“Nothing’s News” is an excellent song that captures the loneliness of having your best days behind you, and being reduced to “talkin’ ’bout the good old times, bragging on how it used to be.”  Black lets loose vocally toward the end of track, an approach that would’ve served the entire record well.

As is, it’s a nice moment that doesn’t quite match up with the brilliance of its four predecessors, but still showcases Black’s singing and songwriting talents.

The Road From No. 1

Clint Black followed “Nothing’s News” with the title track of his second studio set, Put Yourself in My Shoes.  The harmonica-laden track started off quickly at radio, but fell well short of repeating the No.1 success of its predecessors.  He’d bounce back to the top with that album’s second single, which we’ll cover when we get to March of 1991.

“Nothing’s News” gets a B+.


Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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  1. “Nothin’ like a steel guitar cryin’ in the night”! I’ve always felt that lyric deep down in my soul! Love the steel playing on the song too!

  2. After the iconic classics of “A Better Man” and “Killin Time”, this is probably my favorite single off of Killin Time. I love songs that focus on people who are stuck in the past, and for whatever reason, never evolved from it or moved on. Consider it the “Al Bundy” syndrome, although Clint doesn’t refer to scoring four touchdowns in a single game. The line that always sticks out to me is…”I wonder how I came to be the know-it-all I am, and how the world ever got used to me”. I love that line. I kind of liken it to a cocky up-and-comer who thinks he’s going to take over the world…but the “world got used to him”, and in some ways beat him…and now he has nothing to do but relish in the past. Again, it’s just an impressive lyric for a debut album.

  3. A nice moment? Those don’t happen at Ernie’s Icehouse!

    Hands down my favourite Clint Black song. Impressive lyrics are the song entire! So moody and defeated. Did any other song of the era come close to tapping into that tired resignation that your best efforts weren’t good enough and your best days are past? Maybe Joe Diffie’s “Ships That Don’t Come In?”

    The crying steel guitar and Black’s frustrated, bitter vocals make this a full letter grade higher in mind.

    This is an A+ and Black at his best.

  4. I fully agree with the other commenters here. This is, hands down, one of my all time favorite Clint Black songs. This was also the single from Killin’ Time that was getting the most recurrent airplay in early ’91 when I was recording tapes, and it ended up on at least a couple of them. Like “Nobody’s Home,” I was pretty much addicted to this song when I was listening to it again in 2000, convincing me that I needed to get that album.

    Like trouble_with_the_truth, I absolutely love the steel in this song. The steel intro is simply gorgeous, and I always thought the sound that it makes after he sings the line “The whistle blows at 5 o’clock” was so cool, almost like it’s that quittin’ time whistle itself blowing. Even the sound it makes at the very end is really neat.

    Also, I just love the lyrics that perfectly capture that all too relatable feeling of having your best days behind you and longing for the past. And Clint, despite still being pretty young at the time, has that tired and defeated tone in his vocals that matches the song’s theme perfectly, except for near the end when he’s “talkin’ bout the good old times” one more time in his signature growl.

    And finally, this has always been one of my favorite “night time” songs, and I love the image it places in your mind when you hear it. You can just picture that lonely person sitting in a dimly lit, smoke filled bar “lifting longnecks” while this song is playing on the jukebox, and then later he/she is walking back home alone in the pale moonlight, continuing to reminisce about the good old days.

    Sorry if that was a bit long this time, but yeah, I really love this song. lol

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