Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Tracy Lawrence, “If the Good Die Young”

“If the Good Die Young”

Tracy Lawrence

Written by Paul Nelson and Craig Wiseman


#1 (2 weeks)

April 16 – April 23, 1994

Tracy Lawrence scores a fourth No. 1 hit from his sophomore set.

The Road to No. 1

Alibis had already produced three No. 1 hits by the time “If the Good Die Young” went to radio, and Lawrence went four for four with the final single from his classic sophomore album.

The No. 1

By this point, Lawrence had already established himself as someone who could deliver an uptempo raver as well as a heartwrenching ballad.

“If the Good Die Young” doesn’t have the same level of wit as its predecessor, “My Second Home,” but that’s a tough bar to clear.   On its own, it’s a funny little number about a man who’s “going to live forever if the good die young,” even if his bad deeds are apparently limited to messing up his Sunday clothes as a child and partying a little too heartily as an adult.

It’s the least impressive of the four Alibis singles, but that says more about the quality of the three that came before it.  “If the Good Die Young” was still better than most of what was on the radio in 1994.

The Road From No. 1

A stopgap single from the Maverick soundtrack, “Renegades, Rebels, and Rogues,” went top ten, and is most significant for kicking off Lawrence’s string of time traveling music videos.  You’ll get to see a few of those soon, starting with the lead single from his third studio album.

“If the Good Die Young” gets a B+.


Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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1 Comment

  1. Lawrence could easily have leaned hard into this “outlaw-lite” persona, but he was able to balance it with all the other styles with which he was equally skilled and confident. Lawrence could do western swing, pop-country ballads, hard country weepers, and “up-tempo ravers” with equal aplomb.

    This is just yet another 90’s song that was fun without having to pander or pose. Lawrence just kept giving listeners more and more reasons to like him with each passing single.

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