Written by Alan Jackson
#1 (1 week)
March 9, 1996
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
February 23, 1996
Alan Jackson wants an A for effort.
The Road to No. 1
Jackson topped both charts with “Tall, Tall Trees,” the first single from The Greatest Hits Collection. He repeated the feat with the hits compilation’s second release.
The No. 1
As a series of wedding vows, “I’ll Try” is clear-eyed and realistic, if not terribly encouraging for the relationship’s long-term success.
The conceit behind “I’ll Try” is grounded in truth. Fact is, many marriages in America end in divorce, especially in southern and western states. “I’ll try to love only you, I’ll try my best to be true” are wedding vows more aligned with this reality than “I’m gonna love you forever and ever, amen.”
He sings it with the passion of someone who really wants to make things work but has messed up before and is nervous about making a promise that he cannot keep.
By 1996, Jackson was keeping himself to a higher standard than his contemporaries from the late eighties/early nineties wave of new traditionalists. “I’ll Try” isn’t even one of his best singles from this time period, and it still compares favorably to anything on the radio at the time, especially the efforts of the traditional-leaning artists who were running out of ideas.
The Road From No. 1
The Here in the Real World album earns a belated fifth No. 1 single thanks to his next release, which we will cover soon.
“I’ll Try” gets a B+.
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