Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Collin Raye, “Not That Different”

“Not That Different

Collin Raye

Written by Joie Scott and Karen Taylor-Good

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

February 16, 1996

One of Collin Raye’s strongest ballads tops the chart.

The Road to No. 1

Collin Raye’s fourth album, I Think About You, began its run with two No. 1 singles.  After “One Boy, One Girl” topped the Radio & Records chart, “Not That Different” repeated the feat.

The No. 1

This is a powerful ballad that appeals to our better angels through our shared humanity.

It’s presented as an appeal from a man in love with a woman who is not reciprocating, as her image of the perfect love doesn’t line up with the man standing in front of her.

Raye’s theatrical vocal performance is appropriately matched to the material, and he balances power notes with subtler line readings throughout, effectively telling the story through its three main beats: the departure, the search elsewhere for love, and the return home.

It has a happy ending that is well-earned, as the woman returns to the man on her own terms, realizing that what they have in common is more than enough to make giving their love a try.

The Road From No. 1 

Collin Raye wouldn’t have another No. 1 hit until 1998, but he remained a heavy presence on country radio in between this No. 1 hit and his next one. I Think About You produced four more singles: the top five title track, the top fifteen “Love Remains,” the top thirty “What if Jesus Comes Back Like That,” and the top five “On the Verge.”  Raye then released his first hits collection, which produced two top five hits: “What the Heart Wants” and “Little Red Rodeo.”  His next studio album returned him to the top.

“Not That Different” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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2 Comments

  1. Agree with your A for “Not That Different”. I’m still a big fan of Collin. Surprised that the Hugh Prestwood song you mentioned, “On the Verge”, didn’t make #1.

  2. I wish Raye could have stayed in this musical lane. He is at his best with material like this. Raye’s vocals elevate this song to a compelling listening experience.

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