Written by Paul Brandt
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
October 11, 1996
A Canadian superstar scores his only stateside No. 1 hit.
The Road to No. 1
Paul Brandt was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and though music was always his passion, he was practical and also pursued a nursing degree. When he scored a record deal in the mid-nineties, he was working as a pediatric nurse. His debut album, Calm Before the Storm, went platinum in Canada and gold in the United States on the strength of its first two hits: his debut single, “My Heart Has a History,” which went No. 1 in Canada and top five in America, and “I Do,” his only stateside No. 1 hit.
The No. 1
All of the bland ballads we’ve been covering this year would’ve sounded so much better if Paul Brandt was singing them. “I Do” isn’t even as strong lyrically as some of those No. 1 hits, but it works better than them because his delivery is sincere and his voice is distinctive.
“I Do” suffers in comparison to its predecessor and successor: “My Heart Has a History” and “I Meant to Do That” are two of the best singles by any artist during this time frame. But it gets the job done, and he gets to claim an American No. 1 hit, a distinction enjoyed by more Canadian women than by Canadian men.
The Road From No. 1
For whatever reason, country radio in America ignored Brandt after “I Do,” despite the excellent singles that followed, like “I Meant to Do That,” “A Little in Love,” and ” What’s Come Over You.” He is still a country music superstar north of the border, where he has won several major industry awards and had a long string of gold and platinum albums. More so than any other Canadian artist that had limited success in America, Paul Brandt’s catalog is worthy of a deep dive by selective country music fans.
“I Do” gets a B+,
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