Brooks & Dunn
Written by Daniel Moore and B.W. Stevenson
#1 (3 weeks)
May 18 – June 1, 1996
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
May 10 – May 17, 1996
A smashing cover showcases Ronnie Dunn’s vocal power.
The Road to No. 1
Brooks & Dunn closed out Waitin’ On Sundown with the top five hit “Whiskey Under the Bridge.” Then they previewed their fourth studio album with a cover of a 70’s AM radio staple.
The No. 1
There is nothing special or innovative about Brooks & Dunn’s cover of B.W. Stevenson’s “My Maria.” It has all the sonic originality of a Karaoke backing track.
But dear God, Ronnie Dunn sings the hell out of it. By the time he’s through, he leaves a genuine classic record sounding like a publishing house demo tape.
That’s the thing about covers. You either have to do something fresh with them or try to top the original without deviating too much from it. The latter approach is hard to pull off.
Ronnie Dunn is one of the few singers who can do it. By the time he’s done, it’s a Brooks & Dunn record that happens to have been recorded earlier by another artist.
The Road From No. 1
Borderline coincided with a strong run on the awards show circuit, fueled by “My Maria.” Brooks & Dunn won Entertainer of the Year at both the ACM and CMA Awards of 1996, and repeated at the ACM ceremony in 1997. The album will produce two more No. 1 singles during this time frame, starting with the follow up to “My Maria,” which we will cover later in 1996.
“My Maria” gets an A.
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