Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Clint Black, “A Good Run of Bad Luck”

“A Good Run of Bad Luck”

Clint Black

Written by Clint Black and Hayden Nicholas

Billboard

#1 (1 week)

May 7, 1994

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

April 29, 1994

Clint Black runs a good metaphor into the ground.

The Road to No. 1

Clint Black followed the No. 1 hit “No Time to Kill” with another excellent single, “State of Mind,” which went top five.  His fourth single from No Time to Kill doubled as a single from the country star cameo-filled Maverick.

The No. 1

He’s just too clever for his own damn good here.

The conceit of using gambling references is fine, of course.  “The Gambler” is one of the greatest country singles of all time.  But the problem with “A Good Run of Bad Luck” is that the metaphor is the means to its own end.  There’s no emotional hook at all.

Black spends this entire single in a dull monotone, like a low energy take on “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up”), as he squeezes in every card game line he can think of.   The girl in question here only exists for the purpose of the gambling references.  Even Brooks & Dunn would blush at a female song character this underdeveloped.

Not one of his better efforts, successful as it was at the time.

The Road From No. 1

No Time To Kill produced a fifth top five single with “Half the Man,” and then Black previewed his fifth album, One Emotion, with the top five hit “Untanglin’ My Mind.”  The second single from that set will return him to the top in 1995.

“A Good Run of Bad Luck” gets a C.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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3 Comments

  1. This song sounds like it was written for a soundtrack. It’s a respectable effort as such, but it does come of as sounding more like an exercise in songwriting than an actual, well written song. Especially, given what Black established himself as being capable of with his earlier compositions.

    Black missing the mark, however, is still surprisingly enjoyable!

  2. Yeah, this is around the time I’d say that Black started slipping as far as song quality goes. This is not really one of my favorites from Clint, but it’s still fairly enjoyable when I’m in the right mood for it (it’s a windows down type of song to me). It also brings back good memories from when my parents and I saw the movie Maverick in 1994, and it reminds me of the small but funny cameo Black had in the movie. It’s actually still one of my favorite movies today.

    I’m bummed that “State Of Mind” wasn’t a number one, since that’s my favorite single off the No Time To Kill album, and it still holds up really well today. While that album is not one of my personal favorites of his, I consider the next album after this to be his true “jump the shark” moment (except for “Untanglin’ My Mind,” which I really love).

    As Peter mentioned though, Black at his weakest is still often enjoyable, especially when compared to what’s out now.

  3. “State of Mind” was the song that was on the charts when I was getting into country music. I was disappointed that it didn’t go number one. It’s so much better than this song, though I did like this song well enough.

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