Written by Bob DiPiero, Mark D. Sanders, and Steve Seskin
#1 (2 weeks)
July 20 – July 27, 1996
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
July 12, 1996
A mid-nineties band enjoys its only No. 1 hit.
The Road to No. 1
Ricochet was an Oklahoma-based band that formed in 1993. After touring the southern United States for two years, they landed a recording contract with Columbia Records. Their debut single, “What Do I Know,” went top ten. It was followed by their sole No. 1 hit.
The No. 1
Let’s get this nonsense out of the way first. The big rumor around this song in 1996 was that co-writer Bob DiPiero wrote it about his then-wife, Pam Tillis. There was indeed a song inspired by their relationship on the charts at the time, and it was much more substantive: “It’s Lonely Out There.”
The Ricochet hit is a novelty song written about a woman that only exists in the world of the song itself. It’s catchy and makes for reasonably entertaining radio filler.
It was enough to get their self-titled album to gold status, and to earn them a few industry award nominations, as well as them taking home the ACM Award for Top New Vocal Duo or Group.
But the album only going gold off the back of this massive radio hit, coupled with their soon fading chart fortunes, was an indication of how thin this nineties country formula was getting. The market was saturated, to the point that it was difficult at the time to distinguish Ricochet from Lonestar. Both bands launched with top ten ballads and then went No. 1 with an uptempo novelty song backed by their first music video.
Lonestar was able to pivot away from this dying style. Ricochet wasn’t. So we’ll be seeing only one of these bands again.
The Road From No. 1
Ricochet produced two additional hits: the top ten “Love is Stronger Than Pride” and the top twenty “Ease My Troubled Mind.” The band followed their debut album with Blink of an Eye in 1997, which produced the top twenty hit “He Left a Lot to Be Desired” and the top forty title track. Ricochet recorded a third album, What a Ride, that produced three low-charting singles, so it was never released. Their final Columbia album, 2000’s What You Leave Behind, failed to produce a top forty hit, and they exited the label. They’ve remained active as a band, though the list of past members now numbers twenty.
“Daddy’s Money” gets a C-.
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