Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Clay Walker, “Who Needs You Baby”

“Who Needs You Baby

Clay Walker

Written by Randy Boudreaux, Clay Walker, and Kim Williams

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

November 17, 1995

Clay Walker launches his third album with his sixth No. 1 hit.

The Road to No. 1

After scoring two No. 1 hits from If I Could Make a Living – the title track and “This Woman and This Man” – Clay Walker went top twenty with the third and final single, “My Heart Will Never Know.”   He returned to the top with the lead-off single from Hypnotize the Moon.

The No. 1

George Strait’s influence on Clay Walker’s vocal style has never been more evident than it is on “Who Needs You Baby.”

He lives up to the master of phrasing throughout, cycling through contradictory emotions, often on the same line.  He knows when to sing and when to talk, absolutely nailing the sarcasm and self-delusion that co-exist as he asks, “Why are you smiling? Would I lie to you?”

Another fantastic record that I’d somehow diminished in my mind over time.

The Road From No. 1

The title track from Hypnotize the Moon will also top the chart.  We’ll get to it early in 1996.

“Who Needs You Baby” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: George Strait, “Check Yes or No” |

Next: Alan Jackson, “Tall, Tall Trees”

4 Comments

  1. I love this song, and it’s always been one of my favorite 90’s Clay Walker singles! I just love how fun this song is overall, especially Clay’s performance. I also love the spoken parts, and the way he delivers the line “Why are you smilin’? Would I lie to you?” always makes me grin. I also love it when he answers the title question at the end with a stutter and a laugh: “I..I..guess that’d be me!” lol. It’s also just insanely catchy, and the chorus has been known to get stuck in my head long after listening to it. And finally, I love the straight ahead country production here with lots of fiddle and steel mixed in your face. I still never understood how he usually got labeled as pop country/contemporary country when most of his hits in the 90’s, at least, were pretty country sounding.

    This is the first, so far in this feature, of the many late 1995 and early 1996 hits that bring back great memories of when I would be at home after school playing Doom on the home computer (which was another one of my biggest obsessions throughout the mid 90’s besides country music) while my step dad worked from home on his computer, and the tiny mouse shaped radio he bought would be sitting on his desk playing the country station. I specifically remember one day in early 1996 enjoying this song while playing one of my favorite Doom II levels/wads at the time. Even today, I’m still every now and then known play Doom and listen to some good mid 90’s country at the same time for nostalgia sake (And also because I still really enjoy the game). :)

    Hypnotize The Moon is definitely one of my favorite 90’s Clay Walker albums, as well. Like this song, many of the other cuts are high quality, straight ahead pure country. Besides the singles, some of my other favorites include, “I Won’t Have The Heart,” “Let Me Take That Heartache (Off Your Hands),” “Where Were You,” “Loving You Comes Naturally To Me,” and “A Cowboy’s Toughest Ride.”

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  2. My awakening to Clay Walker’s music continues. Upon revisiting his hits I am surprised by how traditionally country his music was. I blame the scribes at Country Music magazine for getting me caught up in the noise of his being nothing more than a George Strait clone. I certainly see the Strait influence on both Walker’s sound and image,but he is so much more than just that. He is an artist in his own right. Country music history is full of musical greats who proudly wore their own influences on their sleeves before settling into their own sound and identity.

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