“Dust On the Bottle“
David Lee Murphy
Written by David Lee Murphy
#1 (2 weeks)
October 28 – November 4, 1995
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
October 20, 1995
A remarkably successful songwriter scores his first No. 1 hit as an artist.
The Road to No. 1
David Lee Murphy was born and raised in Illinois, and while he was discovered by Tony Brown soon after his mid-eighties arrival in Nashville, he wasn’t signed to a recording contract until a decade later. He appeared as a co-writer of various album cuts for other artists. His first single, “Just Once,” appeared on the 8 Seconds soundtrack, and it went top forty. It appeared alongside second single, “Fish Ain’t Bitin’,” on his debut album, Out With a Bang. That song missed the top forty, but Murphy broke through with the album’s third single, the top ten hit “Party Crowd.” His fourth single went all the way to the top.
The No. 1
It wasn’t terribly obvious at the time. “Dust On the Bottle” just seemed like a clever up-tempo hit that was a cut above a lot of its company on the radio dial.
But like the wine in the song, its impact has grown over time, to the point where it is now one of the decade’s defining hits.
So many of the songs of this era came up with a concept and then forced a song to be built around it. “Dust On the Bottle” works the opposite way, with the metaphor being the logical output of the song’s storyline.
Murphy’s performance is infectious and the arrangement is crisp and clean. Everything about this works.
It is easily one of the best records of 1995.
The Road From No. 1
“Dust On the Bottle” has been such a powerful legacy hit that sixteen years after Out With a Bang was certified gold through pure album sales, it was pushed to platinum through streaming of the album’s signature hit. The album’s title track followed it at radio, and it went top fifteen. His next studio album, Gettin’ Out the Good Stuff, produced the top five hits “Every Time I Get Around You” and “The Road You Leave Behind.”
Murphy’s third MCA album included the top thirty hit “All Lit Up in Love” and the top forty hit “Just Don’t Wait Around ‘Til She’s Leavin’.” Murphy then exited the label, resurfacing seven years later on Audium/Koch with Tryin’ to Get There, which featured the top five hit “Loco.”
Murphy spent the next decade as a professional songwriter, co-writing major hits for Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen, Blake Shelton, and Trace Adkins. He returned to recording in 2018 with the album No Zip Code. Murphy earned his second No. 1 hit with “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” featuring Kenny Chesney, and the pair picked up a CMA Award for Musical Event for the record. The song has been certified gold.
“Dust On the Bottle” gets an A.
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