“I Cross My Heart”
Written by Steve Dorff and Eric Kaz
#1 (2 weeks)
November 21 – November 28, 1992
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
December 5 – December 12, 1992
George Strait goes Hollywood with surprising results.
The Road to No. 1
Strait had been on top only a few weeks earlier with “So Much Like My Dad,” but its host album was selling slower than his previous efforts. However, his starring role in Pure Country would launch him to new sales heights, buoyed by the success of its lead single.
The No. 1
“I Cross My Heart” is such a signature George Strait song that it’s hard to believe that it’s origins were anything but pure country.
But it was written with Boyz II Men in mind, and was originally recorded by Bette Midler for her own movie soundtrack. But when she couldn’t get the song to work and dropped it from the film, it found its way to being the climactic love song of Strait’s Pure Country film.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has called George Strait the Frank Sinatra of traditional country music. But it’s an apt comparison, because for all that he has been imitated, Strait’s vocal style cannot be replicated.
And the man is a stylist, one of the finest to ever step up to a mic. He makes it look easy, but “I Cross My Heart” works because of his sophisticated phrasing and his deliberate emphasis of individual words and phrases to heighten the emotional impact of the lyrics.
It’s a wedding standard not only because of its thematic content, but because Strait makes this love feel like it’s for life with his performance. When he sings the bridge – “If along the way we find a day it starts to storm. You’ve got the promise of my love to keep you warm” – you know for sure that he’s all in.
The Road From No. 1
Pure Country has another No. 1 hit on the way, and we’ll see it in early 1993. Strait’s nineties renaissance has officially begun.
“I Cross My Heart” gets an A.
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