Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Trisha Yearwood, “Thinkin’ About You”

“Thinkin’ About You”

Trisha Yearwood

Written by Bob Regan and Tom Shapiro

Billboard

#1 (2 weeks)

April 1 – April 8, 1995

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

March 24, 1995

A stunning vocal performance elevates a simple love song into a nineties classic.

The Road to No. 1

Trisha Yearwood earned consecutive No. 1 singles for the first time in her career, following “XXX’s and OOO’s” with another No. 1 hit.

The No. 1

“Thinkin’ About You” is a simple, solidly written love song that would’ve been good by any artist.  Trisha Yearwood, with the help of Garth Fundis and Lee Roy Parnell, made it a classic.

Yearwood gives her most nuanced and deliberate vocal performance to date, creating a simmering slow burn that leans into the lyric’s description of a love that keeps pushing to the front of her mind while she’s trying to get things done.  As her vocals get stronger throughout the song’s progression, a minor distraction becomes a major obsession that can’t find release until she picks up the phone:  “I know it’s crazy calling you this late, when the only thing I wanted to say is I’ve been thinkin’ about you.”

Fundis keeps the arrangement mellow throughout, with Lee Roy Parnell’s slide guitar cutting through the arrangement, just like that persistent thought Yearwood is singing about.  It’s a masterfully crafted record, with every element contributing to the intensity of feeling that the song is about.

For those of us paying close attention back in 1995, this was when it became clear that Yearwood was going to deliver on the early promise shown by “She’s in Love With the Boy,” “The Song Remembers When,” and Hearts in Armor, and that she would take her inevitable place among the all-time greats.

The Road From No. 1

Thinkin’ About You produced one more top ten single – “I Wanna Go Too Far” – as well as two very strong ballads that radio failed to embrace: “You Can Sleep While I Drive,” a Melissa Etheridge cover that went top thirty, and “On a Bus to St. Cloud,” a Gretchen Peters masterpiece that missed the top forty.  Thankfully, radio embraced Yearwood’s boldest lead single yet.  That preview of her fifth studio album will top the charts in 1996.

“Thinkin’ About You” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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15 Comments

  1. Always been on of my favorite Trisha songs! Her vocals are top notch and you feel everything she sings! Love the production too!

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  2. I was stunned that “On a Bus to St. Cloud” failed to become a big hit. I am not normally a fan of Gretchen Peters’ material, but that song was indeed a masterpiece, perhaps my favorite Trisha Yearwood performance (although truth be told, I like almost everything she ever recorded)

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    • I’m still not quite sure what happened there. I think they even promoted it twice, and it still didn’t take off. Radio was hot and cold with her, though. They didn’t really play any ballads between “The Song Remembers When” and “How Do I Live.”

      Hearts in Armor gets a lot of justifiable love. Thinkin’ About You was in the same league and doesn’t get talked about as much. Even the UK-only tracks were stellar.

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    • Agree completely. It’s such a major crime that “On A Bus To St. Cloud” wasn’t a hit, and it’s one of my all time favorite performances in her career, as well. Everything about the song is perfect, really, and I still get chills when hearing it. It was even given a radio edit, and was released at the perfect time during the fall/winter, so idk? :/

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  3. One of my favorite Trisha songs from one of my favorite Trisha albums! You pretty much covered everything I love about it. I especially enjoy Garth Fundis’ mellow production, Lee Roy’s slide guitar, and of course Trisha’s excellent performance. Lee Roy’s guitar solo at the end was such a perfect way to end the record, and it definitely signifies the distraction having become an obsession, and she’s enjoying every minute of it! I’ve always loved the sound of the mellow electric guitar in the intro, as well, when everything is still mostly calm. This is definitely one of the best songs about anyone going through the day and not being able to get that special someone off their mind, and a slow burn is probably one of the best ways to describe it. This being the opening song to the Thinkin’ About You album also set the tone perfectly for the overall mellow feel of the album, as well, imo.

    I’ve always really loved the dreamy feel of the video, as well, which features Trisha’s then husband, the Mavericks’ Robert Reynolds. The way it is shot, edited, and even the lighting and settings (especially, the candle lit rooms) is an absolute perfect fit for the song, imo. I also love the shots of Trisha sitting at the dining room table with a cup of coffee and a smile with, obviously, her significant other on her mind. For me, the video is just as much of a delight to see as the song is for me to hear, and it’s definitely one of my favorite ones she’s ever made!

    I actually do recall hearing it at least a few times on the radio as I was getting back into country in 1995, but sadly, it never got much recurrent airplay for us after that. It wasn’t until I got the Thinkin About You album during my junior year in high school in the early 00’s that I fully got to appreciate this song, and well…every other song on the album. I consider it to be another one of the her best albums of the 90’s, and Kevin, I agree with you all the way that it doesn’t get enough love. I can honestly still play it today and not want to skip a single song, and it’s overall, a perfect example on why Trisha is one of my all time favorite artists, and why Garth Fundis is one of my all time favorite producers.

    “I Wanna Go Too Far” is the single from the album that actually brings back the most fond memories for me from the mid 90’s, and is another one of my all time favorite songs from her. It even ended up on a couple of tapes I recorded from that time period, and I would always play it over and over. :)

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    • I’m only speculating on this, but it just may be that Trisha doesn’t get the recurrent airplay on country radio for much of anything of hers apart from the Usual Suspect, “She’s In Love With The Boy”, because the powers-that-be at country radio would rather pigeonhole her as a one trick pony, rather than the vital artist she clearly is.

      But the worst thing is that far too radio station programmers either seem to buy that line hook, line, and sinker, or just ignore the rest of her output altogether because they’re worried more about their own job security than actual truth. As the famed novelist Upton Sinclair once said: “It’s difficult for a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.

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        • I haven’t seen the data in a long time, but I know “XXXs and OOOs” was her only “power gold” recurrent besides “She’s in Love With the Boy” for ages.

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          • “She’s In Love With The Boy” and “XXX’s and OOO’s” were definitely the two most played recurrents from Trisha in our area up to the early 00’s, hence why I ended up getting tired of them. Occasionally, you could still hear “How Do I Live” and “Walkaway Joe,” though, which I NEVER got tired of, on the other hand. What drove me crazy was that even Sirius, which was supposed to have more variety, also overplayed “..Boy” and “XXX’s” and ignored most of her other hits, as well. In many ways, it was not all that much different from listening to FM radio, except for there being no commercials.

            Unfortunately, I do think Erik is on to something here, and this “one or two recurrent only rule” is something I’ve noticed with the other 90’s women, as well. I think Pam Tillis got the worst of it with “Memphis” pretty much being her only hit to still be remembered by radio (even Sirius, at least in the mid 00’s). Or maybe Suzy Bogguss did, since I don’t recall hearing ANY of her songs as recurrents in the 2000’s and later. :(

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        • I remember up till 2005 or so that “She’s In Love with the Boy” “XXXs and OOOs” “How Do I Live” and “Perfect Love” were all played regularly in Pittsburgh. I do recall when the final three singles from this album were released that I never heard them except for “I Wanna Go Too Far” as the first two singles were still in such heavy airplay through 1996. “XXXs and OOOs” really carried on though.

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  4. I Wanna Go Too Far is also one of my all time favorite songs from Trisha and of the 99s period. I had forgotten about it a few years after it’s release but in late 2005 while listening to a local station they played it while I was driving down the road. I was instantly taken back to a happier time from my childhood. To this day the song gives me such a happy feeling. Should have been number 1 for sure!

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    • “I Wanna Go Too Far” does the exact same thing for me, too! It always reminds me of great times from my childhood, and it just makes me so happy and brightens my mood. Doesn’t hurt that I can quite relate to the overall sentiment of it sometimes, as well. It’s also another great track featuring Lee Roy’s slide guitar.

      Some of my fondest memories of hearing that one is actually on an airplane in late 1995 and in early 1996 when my parents and I flew to and from California to see my mom’s relatives for the holidays. I would always hear it on the country playlist they had on the plane’s music selection. :)

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  5. With this performance, Yearwood is becoming that generational voice within country music, a singer’s singer. She sounds confident and mature. It’s appropriate that Lee Roy Parnell’s guitar work is featured on this single because I attributed similar attributes to his musical output many posts back. Her significance and contributions also begin to transcend her radio success. She is rising above it all here.

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