“I Just Wanted You to Know”
Written by Gary Harrison and Tim Mensy
#1 (1 week)
March 5, 1994
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
February 18, 1994
Another winner from Chesnutt’s golden era.
The Road to No. 1
Almost Goodbye produced No. 1 hits with “It Sure is Monday” and the title track, and this single completed the album’s trifecta.
The No. 1
“I Just Wanted You to Know” starts with a nervy electric guitar that suddenly opens up into a pure traditional sound, with heavy emphasis on the fiddle.
It’s a smart way to open a record that continuously upends the listener’s expectations. It starts off as almost a sweet nod to nostalgia for an old relationship, but as the song progresses, the damage that the narrator has done is revealed, despite him not giving a single indication of what he did while he hear only his side of the phone call.
By the bridge, it’s obvious she already did know everything he “just wanted” her to know, and that he’s reopening an old wound and she’s not happy about it: “Please don’t cry. I’ll say goodbye, and I won’t call you anymore….but I just wanted you to know…”
It’s a masterful piece of songwriting further elevated by Chesnutt’s performance.
The Road From No. 1
A cover of “Woman, Sensuous Woman” was sent to radio next and it became his first MCA single to miss the top ten. Still, Almost Goodbye became his third platinum album, and the label used his success as a springboard for reviving the Decca imprint, becoming its flagship artist. His fourth album, released on Decca, was What a Way to Live. Its lead two singles, “She Dreams” and “Going Through the Big D” – went top five. He’d return to the top with the third single from that album, which we will cover when we get to 1995.
“I Just Wanted You to Know” gets an A.
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