Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Reba McEntire, “And Still”

“And Still

Reba McEntire

Written by Liz Hengber and Tommy Lee James

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

July 21, 1995

Reba McEntire enjoys her third consecutive No. 1 hit.

The Road to No. 1

After going No. 1 with “Till You Love Me” and “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” Reba McEntire finally won the Entertainer of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music, along with her seventh trophy for Top Female Vocalist.  In the wake of these victories, MCA went five singles deep from a Reba McEntire album for the first (and last) time.

The No. 1

The fifth single also happens to be the best single from her triple platinum album, Read My Mind.

It’s a power ballad that keeps its instrumentation firmly rooted in country, which plays to McEntire’s strengths as a vocalist.  Since she doesn’t have to go loud to be heard over a busy backing track, she’s able to give a nuanced performance that conveys the wide range of emotions of its protagonist.

The way her voice breaks during the bridge as she sings, “I gave my best smile but I was dying inside,” is so beautifully sad.  She does this kind of heartache song better than anyone else.

The Road From No. 1

McEntire followed Read My Mind with Starting Over, a collection of cover songs that sold platinum and produced one top ten hit: a cover of Lee Greenwood’s “Ring On Her Finger, Time On Her Hands.”  McEntire would return to No. 1 – and to multi-platinum sales – with her next studio album, What if it’s You.  We will cover its lead single later in 1996.

“And Still” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Vince Gill, “You Better Think Twice” |

Next: Alan Jackson, “I Don’t Even Know Your Name”

7 Comments

  1. The bridge is the icing on the cake of this song. So much pain felt through that voice! I’ve seen Reba live multiple times and this song is always a stand out! The heartache is so palpable live that you get goosebumps! An A for me!

    1
  2. Not going to lie, in the discussion of “Till You Love Me”, I fully assumed that this was going to rate much more poorly than “Heart …”. I always thought that “Heart …” sounded more country, but that this was a much better song. So I’m happy to see the rating, even if I would have easily given it an A personally.

    1
  3. …note to me: got to put “read my mind” into the car’s cd-charger tomorrow. thanks for reminding me, folks. and i had somehow in my mind that she sounded best in the 80’s.

    1
  4. I certainly agree that Reba sounds best when the production is complimentary. Her vocals have room to rise and swell, and the emotions gently wash over the listener, as opposed to the histrionic hurricane that can happen when she competes with a too-busy production style.

    1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.