Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Tracy Lawrence, “Texas Tornado”

“Texas Tornado

Tracy Lawrence

Written by Bobby Braddock

Billboard

#1 (1 week)

June 24, 1995

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

June 16, 1995

Tracy Lawrence continues his chart-topping run.

The Road to No. 1

Like Alibis before it, I See it Now produced four No. 1 hits.  This one follows the album’s previous chart-toppers, “I See it Now” and “As Any Fool Can See.”

The No. 1

Bobby Braddock’s songwriting prowess is on full display here, and he has a strong singer here to deliver it.

Braddock wisely expands beyond the song’s central metaphor and keeps the focus on the on-and-off heartache.  How’s this for a second verse?

You’re lying with me in Atlanta, it’s such a beautiful lie
You play me like a piano, I always let you get by
I know I’ll go through hell girl, when you find someone else
But right now I’m in heaven, and I can’t help myself

I’d still call this a slight notch below Lawrence at his best, but it’s a strong ballad that keeps Lawrence’s remarkable streak of quality records going.

The Road From No. 1

One more No. 1 hit is on deck from I See it Now, and we’ll see it soon.

“Texas Tornado” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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5 Comments

  1. This is my personal favorite of the I See It Now singles, and it’s still one of my favorite Tracy Lawrence songs of all time. Just the opening piano and that lovely steel guitar by Sonny Garrish in the intro alone brings a huge wave of 1995 nostalgia over me and puts a smile on my face. I love how it’s a slightly different style of song for Tracy, yet it still fits him like a glove. For me, this one has one of the most beautiful melodies in a Tracy Lawrence song, and I especially always loved the chorus. My favorite part has always been when he sang “I’m like a tumbleweed in a wild West Texas wind,” with the beautiful strings in the background. The strings go perfectly with the image that line always puts in my head. And as usual, Tracy delivers a winning performance, and I love how his vocals here are a little more tender and smooth than usual. I especially like how he sings the second verse you highlighted. The steel solo is probably one of my most favorites in a Lawrence record, as well. It’s just so beautifully produced and well sung from beginning to end, imo. Finally, with my fascination with tornadoes and weather in general, I’m always up for a great tornado metaphor. :)

    This is also my favorite of the time travel videos that Tracy did. The farmhouse and its beautiful location was the absolute perfect setting for the song, and I just love the concept of him helping out the mother and son on the farm, even if it doesn’t completely fit the lyrics. It’s one of his sweetest and most heartwarming videos, imo. I love the shot of the mother hanging clothes with the wind blowing her hair as the steel guitar intro is playing. Also, the scene at 3:02 where Tracy gives the boy a View-Master toy as a gift always hits me with nostalgia, because I also had one of those when I was around the boy’s age. :) Finally, the beginning of the video always provides a good laugh for me. I always thought it was pretty funny to see him land at the farm still dressed as a pirate from the previous video, lol.

    Like the previous cuts by John Berry and Patty Loveless, this is yet another tune that brings back wonderful memories from the second time I fell in love with country in 1995. The first time I heard it was on yet another day when my dad and I were riding in his car. Even then, I recognized it as something a bit different for Tracy Lawrence, and the “I’m like a tumbleweed…” line stood out to me from the first chorus. I also remember my dad singing along to the chorus at the end, lol. For me, what was pretty cool about it at the time was that it reminded me of another afternoon when my dad was driving me home shortly before that. On our way to the house, Dad saw a big, dark, unusual looking cloud and told me that it looked like a tornado. It was just a big wispy cloud in the shape of a funnel, and it was an otherwise sunny day, so we had nothing to worry about, but it was definitely one of the coolest looking clouds we ever saw! I then imagined it being an actual huge tornado right there ahead of us, and I asked him what he would do if it was a real one. He replied, “I’d turn around right now and be heading for the hills!” lol. That day actually started my fascination with tornadoes and storms in general (which would be kicked into higher gear after seeing the movie Twister the following year). While I know very well now that it’s only a metaphor, this song still takes me back to that specific day and just the fun times my dad and I had back then. :)

  2. It is wonderfully theatrical and tender. The lyrics, the musicianship, and vocal performance all paint a vivid picture in the listener’s mind’s eye. It really is a special song for it’s graceful sticky-ness; it is the best of ear-worms.

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