Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Travis Tritt, “More Than You’ll Ever Know”

“More Than You’ll Ever Know

Travis Tritt

Written by Travis Tritt

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

November 1, 1996

Travis Tritt’s final No. 1 single of the decade is one of his best.

The Road to No. 1

After releasing two singles from Greatest Hits: From the Beginning, including a top ten cover of Steve Earle’s “Sometimes She Forgets,” Tritt previewed his fifth studio album for Warner Bros. with his final No. 1 hit of the decade.

The No. 1

When I wrote about Travis Tritt’s “Tell Me I Was Dreaming,” I criticized the emotionally manipulative music video that brute forced the record up the charts.

On “More Than You’ll Ever Know,” Tritt delivers one of the best ballads of his career, and the video beautifully enhances the message of the song. It’s my favorite clip of his career.

As for the song, Tritt shows his sensitive side and it is remarkably touching.  It’s the kind of song that any man who has trouble expressing his feelings can play for his partner.  Hallmark wishes its greeting cards could be this good.

The Restless Kind is arguably Tritt’s most underrated album of the nineties, and this single represents its treasures well.  It’s very much worth revisiting.

The Road From No. 1

Radio wasn’t as supportive of the rest of this project as it was of the lead single, but the next four singles from The Restless Kind are all winners: the top ten “Where Corn Don’t Grow,” the top thirty “She’s Going Home With Me,” the top twenty duet with Lari White, “Helping Me Get Over You,” and the top thirty “Still in Love With You.”

After radio gave a cool reception to his next album, No More Looking Over My Shoulder, Tritt took the album title to heart and exited the Warner Bros. roster.  He resurfaced at Sony in the new decade with one of the biggest albums of his career, making a return to the No. 1 slot with “Best of Intentions” in 2000.  So while we won’t see Tritt again this decade, we’ll see him when this feature stretches beyond the nineties.

“More Than You’ll Ever Know” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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3 Comments

  1. Agree about “The Restless Kind” album being underrated. Many hidden gems like “The Restless Kind”, “Did You Fall Far Enough”, “Sack Full of Stones”, “Where Corn Don’t Grow”. “Helping Me Get Over You” along with this single are A songs from what i remember of the album

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  2. I think of “The Restless Kind” as Tritt’s best album.

    This single is another excellent example of what confidence and a strong sense of self can produce musically. It stands head-and-shoulders above what the younger generation was doing with their ballads. Tritt’s raucous, outlaw, southern rock tendencies were wonderfully counter-balanced by these tender moments. Each aspect of his persona set the other up wonderfully well. It also made trying to predict his next single from any given album exciting and fresh.

  3. I’ll also echo everyone else’s thoughts on The Restless Kind being one of Tritt’s best albums of the 90’s, and a case could be made for it being his best album overall, as well. The change in producer to Don Was was such a welcome change, and it actually resulted in one of his most rootsy sounding albums yet. Plus, it made Tritt’s music fresh again. I love the back to basics approach to the record, the excellent musicianship throughout, and the top notch song selection. It’s a shame it only produced a lone number one hit. However, it’s still amazing that such a high quality album with an organic feel was getting a good amount of mainstream radio attention and produced five singles total, with the fifth (“Still In Love With You”) getting airplay as late as the Winter in early 1998.

    As for “More Than You’ll Ever Know,” it is simply beautiful from start to finish, and it may be one of the prettiest songs that Travis has ever done. His tender performance fits the song’s theme like a glove, and once again, him being the tough, macho guy with a soft side really works in his favor. He is believable playing the part of a guy who has trouble showing his true feelings, but you also really believe him when he says “I love you more than you’ll ever know.” The song’s arrangement is simply gorgeous, as well, and I absolutely love its stripped down acoustic approach, which recalls more of the early 90’s style country. Even the harmonica solo is so pretty, and I’ve always pictured myself traveling on a countryside road on a beautiful day or going through a peaceful small town as that part of that song is playing. And of course, I also love the dobro part, as well as the ultra cool guitar part with those incredibly low notes that closes the instrumental break.

    I have great memories of hearing this song in the car with my dad during the early Fall of 1996 just when I was starting my first year in the youth bowling league on Saturdays. I remember it going through my head (particularly the low note guitar solo) while playing a game on one of those Saturdays, and on another Saturday, it was playing in the car while Dad and I were driving around the mall’s parking lot looking for a spot before we went to the movies.

    It didn’t seem to get too much recurrent airplay for us during the rest of the 90’s, but for some reason, 93.3 WFLS in Fredericksburg, VA started playing it as a recurrent again around 2003. My dad and I were spending a lot of time around Fredericksburg during that time, and one day just when we had arrived there, this song came on as a pleasant and refreshing surprise. Back then, Fredericksburg still had a lot of its sleepy/small town charm left, and we had taken the more calm, scenic route on Route 1 to get there. I was thinking the song fit the aesthetics of our surroundings perfectly at that moment. Also, one of the reasons why I loved going to Fredericksburg during that time was because it reminded me of the time I spent there during my early childhood in the early 90’s. And because the song sonically reminded me more of the rootsier early 90’s country sound, it was just perfect. :) We also heard this song come on during another Saturday afternoon in Fredericksburg, just before we went to the Hardees that I loved going to ever since I was a little kid when we briefly lived there in 1992. I had the song going through my head while sitting in the restaurant, specifically the part where he sings “I dam up emotions some men just let flow.” Amazingly, that Hardees looked exactly the same in 2003 as it did in 1992 (even had the same ceiling fans that fascinated me as a little kid), and that became our regular place to have lunch over there. :)

    It’s hard to believe “Where Corn Don’t Grow” wasn’t also a number one, since that song was seemingly on the radio all the time throughout late 1996 and early 1997, even more so than its predecessor. That’s another song that immediately takes me back to my first year in the youth bowling league. Seriously, I swear it ALWAYS came on in the car after my game was over and we were on the way to the mall. Back then, I always thought it sounded like he was saying “On Corn Dog Road” instead of “Where Corn Don’t Grow,” LOL! That’s also the first Travis Tritt video I saw on GAC when I started watching that channel a lot in early 1997. The closed caption was on, so I knew by then it wasn’t really “Corn Dog Road” he was singing about, lol. It was actually around that time, that I found myself maturing a bit and understanding the songs a lot more lyrically than I ever had before. Even my step dad liked that one when it was new, and I remember him singing along to it while in the car with him one day. :) I didn’t even realize it was a Waylon cover until I revisited his 1990 Eagle album a few years later, which my step dad bought when I was little.

    “She’s Going Home With Me” also got a good amount of airplay in our area in 1997, despite it not being one of the biggest hits off the album. Dad really liked that one. I even remember seeing its video one day when passing through Montgomery Wards while it was playing in their TV section.

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