Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Vince Gill, “Take Your Memory With You”

“Take Your Memory With You”

Vince Gill

Written by Vince Gill

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

April 10, 1992

Vince Gill scores his elusive second No. 1 hit.

The Road to No. 1

After Gill broke through to stardom with “When I Call Your Name,” he enjoyed tremendous success at radio and retail, and won several industry awards in 1991 and 1992.   However, despite receiving heavy airplay for his singles, he didn’t return to the penthouse for well over a year.  When I Call Your Name produced one more hit with “Never Knew Lonely,” and then his follow-up album produced another three top ten hits: title track “Pocket Full of Gold,” “Look at Us,” and “Liza Jane.”

MCA pulled one more single from Pocket Full of Gold, and it kicked off a string of nine consecutive chart toppers for the future Hall of Famer.

The No. 1

“Take Your Memory With You” is a pleasant uptempo number that cordially requests that Gill’s soon to be departed lover leave nothing behind, including her memory, so he doesn’t have to suffer when she’s gone.

It doesn’t have the guitar-driven sounds of Gill’s biggest uptempo numbers.  It’s much more similar in arrangement and delivery to the Diamonds & Dirt hits that Rodney Crowell had released a couple of years earlier.

So it feels less like a Vince Gill record with capital V and a capital G.   But it’s still enjoyable, with an instrumental breakdown as pure country as anything on the radio at the time.

The Road From No. 1

Gill would follow “Memory” with the lead single from his third MCA album, I Still Believe in You.  We will see all five releases from that album, plus a bonus Reba duet in the middle.   He’s on the cusp of superstardom at this point in time.

“Take Your Memory With You” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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  1. I would never have made the Crowell connection on my own, but it is impossible to miss now that you point it out, Kevin.

    The sparkle and punch of the production gives it a real time-less feeling to my ears. All the instruments sound amazing. An unapologetically country sounding record. The restrained vocals are so beautiful and earthy. The operatic vocal bombast is coming and, will be breathtakingly beautiful in its own right. I just think this song is spectacularly comfortable and confident in its country-ness.

    Like Marty Stuart, I forget that Gill’s climb to superstardom was neither instant nor meteoric. It was a slow build.

  2. I was wondering when we’d finally be seeing Vince here again. This is one of my all time favorite songs of his! As a lover of good ol’ fashioned country shuffles, this is way up my alley. There’s some beautiful fiddle and steel playing is all over this record, the melody is so catchy, and as Peter puts it, there’s just something very comforting about the overall sound of it. It also happens to hit my sweet spot for songs that take place and sound great during the Fall/Winter months (“Someone to hold me when the cold wind blows”). For some reason, traditional country shuffles like this have always sounded even better to me during the cooler seasons. This is also one of those songs you could’ve sworn was originally a Ray Price cut from the 50’s or early 60’s, yet it’s a Vince Gill original, which is pretty neat. I really miss being able to hear stuff like this on country radio!

    I actually remember this being another one of my favorite songs around early 1992, as well. I particularly remember hearing it while I was in the car with my dad while we were all on our way to Cracker Barrel one day and telling him that I liked this song. It’s actually a song I still think of sometimes whenever we have gone back to Cracker Barrel. :) I also remember hearing it as a recurrent around early 1998 when my mom was driving me back home from school and enjoying it all over again since I hadn’t heard it in a while. Then my dad got me his Souvenirs album for my birthday that year, and this was always one of my favorite songs on that cd.

    Funny how you mention Diamonds and Dirt, because I actually remember Rodney Crowell’s “I Couldn’t Leave You If I Tried” being another song I always enjoyed hearing on the radio in the early 90’s, and “If Looks Could Kill,”, another great shuffle from him, made it on to one of my tapes around late 91′ as well. I really enjoy it when Vince also tackles this style too, and other songs of this kind from him that I like are “Say Hello” from the I Still Believe In You album, and “Don’t Come Cryin’ To Me” from The Key. I also consider Pocket Full of Gold to be one of his best albums, and it’s too bad that none of the other singles went number one, especially the gorgeous “Look At Us.” As much as I also enjoy some of his more contemporary sounding songs, it’s his more traditional flavored stuff I’ve always liked the most.

  3. Like everyone else in this thread mentioned…it’s so funny how songs that you remember more don’t go number one, while other ones do. This is a nice song, and I enjoy it/agree with the grade. But, “Look at Us” “Pocket Full of Gold”, and “Liza Jane” always stood out more to me. I am stunned “Look at Us” didn’t go number one on any chart. Still, that doesn’t diminish this song, which is a quality effort.

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