“Standing On the Edge of Goodbye”
Written by John Berry and Stewart Harris
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
May 19, 1995
John Berry tops the chart with the lead single from his second major label album.
The Road to No. 1
After reaching No. 1 with his breakthrough hit “Your Love Amazes Me,” John Berry went top five with final two singles from his platinum self-titled album: “What’s in it For Me” and “You and Only You.” Berry then previewed his next set for Patriot/Capitol, Standing On the Edge, with the title-providing track.
The No. 1
Good Lord, this song is fantastic.
It has such an intensity to it, which plays well to Berry’s strengths as a vocalist. Like “What Mattered Most” right before it, “Standing On the Edge of Goodbye” captures a relationship on the brink with specificity and powerful emotion.
It’s so well-written, too, with a chorus that has a melody as memorable as its sharply penned words. I love the way that the bridge to the final chorus puts the shoe on the other foot, as it is now our narrator who is feeling the same as his soon departing partner: “There’s just no way that I can let her go….’cause I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, sometimes I find it hard to breathe. I break down and cry, not knowing why, and now I can’t lie. She’s standing on the edge of goodbye.”
If there’s a narrative about the nineties that’s needed correcting, it’s been that the introduction of pop-flavored country is what doomed that golden era. This record, and “What Mattered Most” before it, are more intelligent, sophisticated, and grounded in emotional truth than so many of the fiddle and steel-laden singles from traditionalists that leaned heavy on novelty and line dance beats.
Pop-flavored country isn’t ruining the genre in 1995. It’s rejuvenating it.
The Road From No. 1
Berry followed this with another fantastic single, “I Think About it All the Time,” which went top five. His next two singles missed the top twenty, but he rebounded with “Change My Mind” in 1996, which led off his Faces album. The second release from that set became his final No. 1 hit to date. We’ll cover it when we get to 1997.
“Standing On the Edge of Goodbye” gets an A.
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