Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Clint Black, “One Emotion”

“One Emotion

Clint Black

Written by Clint Black and Hayden Nicholas

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

September 1, 1995

Clint Black earns another No. 1 single from his fifth RCA album.

The Road to No. 1

One Emotion produced three consecutive No. 1 hits: “Wherever You Go,” “Summer’s Comin’,” and the title track.

No. 1

Excruciating.

It’s like Clint Black was afflicted with temporary amnesia and forgot how to write a melody and a memorable lyric.

It hurts to listen to his singing on this track, which is especially baffling, as he was one of the finest singers of his era.

This is a tepid love song that runs out of ideas before it gets to the first chorus.  It’s hard to believe this is the same man who wrote and recorded “No Time to Kill,” let alone “Killin’ Time.”

Black would wisely get off of the “one studio album per year” treadmill after this project, and his work will return to a higher standard for the remainder of the decade.

The Road From No. 1

Interestingly, the two singles that missed No. 1 from One Emotion were the best releases from the album: lead single “Untanglin’ My Mind,” and the final single, “Life Gets Away.”  Black returns to the top in 1996 with a release from his first hits collection.

“One Emotion” gets a D.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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4 Comments

  1. Client’s mid 90s drop off was so unexpected. In retrospect, I think his insistence on writing lots of his own material ended up hurting his output. I know that for financial and artistic reasons many prefer it, but there are downsides that don’t get talked about as much. I blame the rockist authenticity means writing your own songs streaming thought for this perspective that ppl have but that’s a simplistic view probably

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    • It actually seems to have been more of a problem in the past decade or so, and it seems like it’s mandatory for nearly every artist in mainstream country today to write their own songs. Unfortunately, it’s resulted in a lot of not so great songs being recorded and released because not every good singer is also a good songwriter. There was a good reason why there used to be a large community of talented songwriters in Nashville. Heck some of the genre’s biggest stars ever (ex: George Strait, George Jones) mostly recorded songs from some of the best outside writers in town. Not everyone was a Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, or Alan Jackson.

      Unfortunately, I think this is also another reason why you rarely ever see people like Hugh Prestwood, Matraca Berg, Paul Overstreet, Gary Burr, Dean Dillon, Kim Richey, Kostas, etc., getting cuts on mainstream country records today, while you see the same small group of names over and over on just about every mainstream album today (Ashley Gorley, Rhett Akins, Luke Laird, Josh Kear, Shane McAnally, Hillary Lindsey, etc.). It’s just one more thing that’s contributed to the blandness and sameness in modern mainstream country, imo.

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  2. Even though I was listening to country radio full time by the time this one was out, there’s so little I remember about it, except for the signature steel guitar part. I’m actually quite surprised it was a number one. It’s sad how forgettable and bland his music had gotten around this time. Fortunately, by 1997, especially when we get to the Nothin’ But The Taillights album, I’ll be back on the Clint Black train.

    Like you, I do actually like “Life Gets Away” from this album, and I would’ve preferred that as a number one instead of any of the last three singles. “Untanglin’ My Mind” is still my favorite, though.

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  3. It is hard to fathom this level of laziness and lameness from arguably the brightest and most heralded star of the Class of ’89. Despite the disappointment with his recent output, I still bought this album hoping he would regain his form.

    As great as “Untanglin’ My Mind” is, I remember Haggard’s wife Teresa sharing in the liner note to Merle’s “1996” album that Black re-wrote the Haggard original version of this song and became a co-writer only after the fact.

    Apparently, nothing was cool about Clint at this low point of his career.

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