Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Trisha Yearwood, “Believe Me Baby (I Lied)”

“Believe Me Baby (I Lied)

Trisha Yearwood

Written by Larry Gotleib, Angelo Petraglia, and Kim Richey

Billboard

#1 (2 weeks)

October 12 – October 19, 1996

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

October 4, 1996

A stunningly creative chart-topper from Trisha Yearwood.

The Road to No. 1

After back-to-back No.  singles from Thinkin’ About You, the album produced the top thirty hit “You Can Sleep While I Drive” and the top ten “I Wanna Go Too Far.”  After “On a Bus to St. Cloud” received minor airplay at both country and AC radio, Yearwood previewed her fifth studio album, Everybody Knows, with her sixth No. 1 single.

The No. 1

Kim Richey originally intended to record this song herself, but when her second album went in a different creative direction, she offered it up to Trisha Yearwood.

I don’t even need to paint the picture for you about how fresh and original this record sounded in 1996 because it still sounds just as fresh and original today.  It seamlessly incorporates elements of sixties pop and nineties country, as Yearwood continues to build the legacy that would brand her one of the all-time great country vocalists.

Richey herself lends her trademark harmonies to the track, which further elevates an already excellent performance from Yearwood.  Garth Fundis’ production is masterful, demonstrating his ability to make each Yearwood album sound distinctively different from its predecessor without ever compromising her signature sound or her impeccably good taste in material.

Everything that Yearwood gets right on this No. 1 record demonstrates what so many other (male) radio artists were getting wrong at the same time: Yes, you can have a massive radio hit that stands out among the rest.  You don’t need to sand off all of the edges or operate out of timid fear when picking a single to send to country stations.

While the men were drowning in mediocrity, the women were soaring above it all, and few were able to fly as high as Yearwood in 1996.

The Road From No. 1

Everybody Knows followed its lead single with its title track, a gem co-written by Matraca Berg that went top five.  After “I Need You” went top forty, Yearwood prepared her first hits collection, which would end up a massive seller and produced three No.  hits.  We’ll start covering them in the summer of 1997.

“Believe Me Baby (I Lied)” gets an A.

 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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Next: Paul Brandt, “I Do”

10 Comments

  1. This song and Everybody knows solidified my love for Trisha!. They are still in the top 5 of my favorite songs of hers!. I love how both songs still sound fresh and undated today! A solid A for sure! Also loved the version her and Kelly Clarkson did for kellyoke at the start of the pandemic!

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  2. This is not a complaint at all but this absolutely sounds like a Kim Richey song. Trisha must have followed the demo pretty closely because she sounds similar to Kim. While not in Trisha’s league vocally (who was) I always thought Kim Richey and Matraca Berg should have had bigger careers on the charts. Kim Richey’s first two albums are great from start to finish. This song is Country pop done right!

    • I definitely agree with you on Matraca and Kim deserving more radio success than they got.

      Believe it or not, both “The Things You Left Undone” and “I Got It Bad” from Matraca’s debut album were each still getting TONS of recurrent airplay in our area in early 1991. For proof, I have each of those songs on at least three different tapes that I recorded off the radio back then when I had only just turned six (I now regret not sharing the content of some of those tapes when we were doing early 1991 songs on this feature). I still love both of those songs today, and they have aged incredibly well for early 90’s records, imo. “The Things You Left Undone” still sounds so fresh, especially, and perhaps maybe it was ahead of its time.

      As for Kim Richey, I especially love her first two Mercury albums! I first saw the video for “Just My Luck” on GAC in the mid 00’s during a new Alt Country program they had, and I fell in love with it. That’s actually what got me interested in Kim as a recording artist, and I decided to check out her first album one day when I saw it at a used music/book store. I actually just gave her second album, Bittersweet, a spin pretty recently. I just really love her style of contemporary country!

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  3. I saw Kim Richey on tour with Trisha a few times. It was so great when she would join Trisha for this track. In 2000 I got to her live with both Kim Richey and Mary Chapin Carpenter sing this as well as “Where Are You Now”. Beyond fantastic.

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  4. That so many female artists were having success with unique and creative contemporary country cuts from talents like Kim Richey and Matraca Berg is just one more reason for me to love and miss the 90’s so much!

    This song never fails to make me smile from beginning to end! I absolutely love the 60’s pop/rock meets 90’s country style of this song, chiming guitars and all. And never has a song about asking for forgiveness and owning up to one’s mistakes sounded so charming as it does here, especially with Trisha’s performance. I even love the ooh’s and that enthusiastic “Hey!” she does before it launches into that badass hard rocking guitar solo. Not to mention, this is another one of those songs that will never leave your head even long after listening to it. It’s simply one of the coolest records that Trisha’s ever cut in her career, and as others have already mentioned, it still sounds incredibly fresh today. This is what I wish contemporary country could still be like today, so much!

    This is one of the first songs in this feature so far that takes me back to the Fall of 1996 when I had first started the youth bowling league on Saturdays, which my dad always took me to, and later we’d catch a movie and/or walk at the mall. I remember hearing this song on more than one of those Saturdays while we were in the car. I still particularly remember hearing and enjoying it one afternoon while we were driving around the parking lot of one of our local strip malls, and then it was followed by Brooks & Dunn’s “Whiskey Under The Bridge.” It was another one of those moments I remember in late 1996 in which so many good songs were coming on back to back.

    I also saw this song’s music video for the first time at the bowling alley while my parents and I were just bowling for fun one day. They still had GAC on all the time, and I remember watching it on the monitor of one of the vacant lanes next to us and really enjoying it and thinking it was pretty neat. I especially always loved how Trisha looked in it. It’s still one of my personal favorite videos she’s ever done, and it’s just as cool and stylish as the song! I love everything about it, from the colors, the lighting, the backdrops, and the style and fashion choices featured on Trisha and the actors/models. Plus, Trisha is just totally cute and adorable here. I just love how fun and creative country videos were getting around this time in the 90’s! :) It’s just too bad there isn’t yet a better quality version of this video available on YouTube yet.

    I also love “Everybody Knows,” which is another with a really neat video. It’s one of the first videos of hers I remember seeing when I started watching GAC more religiously in early 1997. I especially always loved the part in the bridge where she exclaims: “No I don’t need a shrink. Don’t even want a drink. Give me some chocolate and a magazine!” :D Yet another winner from Matraca.

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    • This also points out–or at least it does to me–that Trisha is not just a singles artist, or a “hit-maker”, as the country industry so often wants its acts, especially the womenfolk, to be. She’s also very much an Album artist as well; and in that respect, with the writers whose material she utilizes and assembles, she has more in common with 1960’s/1970’s FM rock in general, and of course her spiritual role model Linda Ronstadt in particular, than to the strictures of Music Row (IMHO).

  5. A confluence of creative greatness, from songwriting to production to performance, that gets wonderfully deep into a groove.
    This song stood out for all the right reasons on the charts back in 1996. It still shines as brightly today. It blows up sonically without being bombastic. This song smolders with confident coolness. Wow! Wow! Wow! Maybe her greatest single.

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