John Michael Montgomery
Written by Gary Baker and Frank J. Myers
#1 (4 weeks)
February 5 – February 26, 1994
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
January 28 – February 4, 1994
A wedding song for the ages gives John Michael Montgomery his biggest hit.
The Road to No. 1
“I Swear” previewed John Michael Montgomery’s sophomore set, Kickin’ it Up. It became the most impactful single of his career.
The No. 1
The world needs wedding songs, okay?
I can only imagine how many couples hear this song and think back to the first dance of their wedding, and that’s not even counting those who know the even bigger All-4-One version.
As John Michael Montgomery declaration of everlasting love songs go, this is the highwater mark. Yes, he revisited this well too many times, but there was something special about this specific exercise.
It’s produced tastefully and he sings with a more distinctive style that reflects the confidence of a more established artist.
It may have been overplayed at the time of its release, but after all these years, it still holds up well.
The Road From No. 1
Atlantic played it safe and sent another romantic ballad to radio next. “Rope the Moon” went top five. It would be followed by two more No. 1 singles from the album.
“I Swear” gets a B+.
Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties
Previous: Clay Walker, “Live Until I Die” |George Strait, “I’d Like to Have That One Back”
How appropriate that this John Michael Montgomery single chased Clay Walker from the top of the charts. Both artists failed to instil any curiosity in me the way so many of the earlier stars of the 90’s had. At their best, both Walker and Montgomery were merely adequate placeholders on radio. They were not annoying or irritating enough that I would change the station, but neither where they promising enough that I wanted to hear more from them. I was less than enchanted with their music. I stopped buying the albums of this generation of star with the predictability I had once rushed out to buy, say, Joe Diffie’s or Tracy Lawrence’s debuts. I guess I started keeping a naughty and nice list with the new artists about now.
Thank God for weddings, however, because without them I don’t know where I would slot this one.
John Michael Montgomery is like wheat bread to me. I tolerate it, even occasionally enjoy it, but it never intrigues me. With that said, this is his one of, if not his best song. Is it sappy? Of course, but it makes the perfect wedding song. I also enjoy the high notes he hits on “cause as time turns the page my love won’t age at all”. There’s a certain sincerity I’ve felt in those notes that made this his best love song.