Written by Mac McAnally and Mark Miller
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
February 3, 1995
Sawyer Brown collects their biggest nineties hits alongside this new single.
The Road to No. 1
After “Thank God For You” went to No. 1, Outskirts of Town produced two additional top five hits: “The Boys and Me” and “Hard to Say.” The band then previewed their Greatest Hits 1990-1995 compilation with the lead single, “This Time.”
The No. 1
This is the least distinctive No. 1 single of Sawyer Brown’s career.
That doesn’t make it the weakest, of course. “Step That Step” still happened. But Miller’s buoyant personality feels oddly reserved, and the initially encouraging arrangement never blossoms into anything interesting.
I do love this line from the chorus: “Just one time I want to think it over before we speak our minds.” That’s a keeper.
“This Time” just doesn’t live up to the hits it’s surrounded by on the hits collection.
The Road From No. 1
The second single from Hits went top ten – “I Don’t Believe in Goodbye.” Sawyer Brown then launched their next album, This Thing Called Wantin’ and Havin’ it All with the title track, which just missed the top ten. After the second single, “‘Round Here,” went top twenty, the band returned to the top with their final No. 1 single of the decade. We’ll cover it when we get to 1996.
“This Time” gets a B-.
Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties
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Bo Diddley with back-to-back chart-toppers.
Make this the second song from this feature I didn’t immediately recognize by title alone. Unlike John Michael Montgomery’s most recent chart topper, however, I forgot how much I enjoyed this song. Its clean and confident sounding, Neither showy nor over-reaching. They sound fully comfortable in their own skin. I love how Miller leans into the opening lines. It’s interesting to note how long radio stayed with Sawyer Brown until they achieved this mature sound only to be fully abandoned by it come the end of the decade.
Perhaps not one of their most memorable 90’s songs, but I still find it pretty enjoyable, nonetheless. I especially really like the production. This kind of reminds me of the more relaxed and grounded upbeat numbers from the early 90’s before most all of them were being tailor made for the line dance craze with louder drums and screaming guitars. There’s some nice mandolin and steel playing featured throughout, and Mark Miller’s performance is solid enough. I also like the thudding sound of the drums heard during the verses. Btw, am I the only one who automatically thinks of the Dwight Yoakam album of the same name whenever I see or hear the song’s title?
Btw, I really love “I Don’t Believe In Goodbye,” and it’s actually another one of my favorites of their 90’s songs. I also generally love Mark Miller and Mac McAnally’s production style on these two Greatest Hits singles and on their next two albums, This Thing Called Wantin’ and Havin’ It All (1995) and Six Days On The Road (1997).