“That Ol’ Wind“
Written by Garth Brooks and Leigh Reynolds
Radio & Records
#1 (3 weeks)
December 20, 1996 – January 3, 1997
Garth Brooks closes out 1996 with another implausible story song.
The Road to No. 1
After topping the charts with “The Beaches of Cheyenne,” Garth Brooks went top twenty with “The Change” and top five with “It’s Midnight Cinderella.” The sixth and final single from Fresh Horses returned him to the top.
The No. 1
This plotline isn’t any more plausible than “The Beaches of Cheyenne,” but by performing it with understatement, Brooks makes it easier to suspend disbelief.
If I followed everything correctly, a woman hooks up with a rising star but doesn’t go with him to chase his dream. He becomes a very big deal, returns to town, and they hook up again. This time, he sticks around. She’s got a kid that’s his. He’s got some money stashed away. Those are both still secrets as the song closes.
Brooks performs this so well that the details of the storyline are rendered irrelevant. He emotes perfectly, so the feelings are completely believable.
Fresh Horses was an odd project overall, with a lot of big swings and misses. But its best single is the one that could’ve fit sonically on any of his first three albums.
The Road From No. 1
Brooks surfaces next in a chart-topping duet with his future wife. We’ll cover it later in 1997.
“That Ol’ Wind” gets a B+.
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