“Rumor Has It“
Written by M. Jason Greene and Clay Walker
#1 (2 weeks)
April 12 – April 19, 1997
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
April 4, 1997
Clay Walker’s final No. 1 single of the nineties.
The Road to No. 1
After scoring two No. 1 hits from Hypnotize the Moon, the final two singles went top five (“Only On Days That End in ‘Y'”) and top twenty (“Bury the Shovel.”) The lead single from Walker’s fourth studio album, Rumor Has It, remains his most recent No. 1 single.
The No. 1
At the time, “Rumor Has It” felt like Walker treading water. It doesn’t break any new ground for him musically, and he’d covered the idea of a guy falling in love on several previous No. 1 singles.
All of these years later, what sounded rote back then sounds quietly competent now. The song is immaculately produced, Walker gives a strong vocal performance, and the uptempo arrangement sidesteps the sappy ballad syndrome that had infected country radio during this part of the decade.
It’s not nearly as good as the best single from Rumor Has It (“Then What”), but it’s a few steps above the other two releases from the album.
The Road From No. 1
Walker went top twenty with “One, Two, I Love You,” and then top five with “Watch This” and “Then What.” His lead-off single from his first hits collection underperformed, but he rebounded to the top five with second release from Greatest Hits, “You’re Beginning to Get to Me.” Walker continued to be a presence on country radio throughout the 2000s, going top ten with “A Few Questions” and “I Can’t Sleep,” and top five with “The Chain of Love,” “Fall,” and “She Won’t Be Lonely Long.”
Walker recently released a new album and is currently touring with fellow nineties MVP Tracy Lawrence, with a set list chock full of the No. 1 hits covered by both artists throughout this feature.
“Rumor Has It” gets a B.
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