“She is His Only Need”
Written by Dave Loggins
#1 (1 week)
March 28, 1992
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
March 27, 1992
The better half of a Hall of Fame-bound duo launches her solo career with spectacular results.
The Road to No. 1
The Judds – Wynonna & Naomi – were a mother-daughter duo that took the country music world by storm in the eighties, becoming the most successful duo ever up until that point. The pair dominated at radio and retail, selling multiplatinum albums and scoring fourteen No. 1 hits on the Billboard chart alone.
They also dominated the award circuit, to the point that the CMA created the Vocal Event category and made the Vocal Duo category for regular performers only, following The Judds winning Vocal Group three years in a row. Their mantles were full of CMA, ACM, and Grammy Awards by the turn of the decade.
However, illness soon sidelined Naomi Judd, who announced her pending retirement, which went into effect after a grueling Farewell Tour. Wynonna dropped her surname, switched to MCA Records, and went into record her debut solo album. Expectations were high, and they were still completely shattered.
The No. 1
“She is His Only Need” is the first of four consecutive No. 1 singles from Wynonna, and it builds a careful bridge between the sound and theme of Judds records and Wynonna’s own distinctive approach to her solo work.
The story of a man who worked himself to the bone just to give his wife everything she wanted is squarely in the tradition of Judds hits like “Young Love (Strong Love)” and “Mama He’s Crazy.” But what Wynonna does with it is something new, introducing the soul and blues influences that would dominate her solo material.
No longer constricted by the need to harmonize, Wynonna gives a fierce vocal performance, relying on growls and wails where the two-part harmonies used to go. If this had been a Judds record, it would have the Hallmark Channel feel of an idealized small town love and marriage. But as a Wynonna vehicle, it becomes all about the yearning and the sacrifice, capturing how hard Billy is working and what is driving him to do so.
With every note, Wynonna makes clear how lucky Bonnie is to have Billy, and just how rare that kind of love and dedication is.
The Road From No. 1
Wynonna debuted at No. 1 on the country albums chart, and more impressively, at No. 4 on the all-genre chart, where The Judds had never earned a ranking higher than No. 51. The set has two more No. 1 singles on the way just this year, keeping the momentum going for what became the highest-selling studio album by a female country artist in history. Stay tuned.
“She is His Only Need” gets an A.
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