Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Tim McGraw with Faith Hill, “It’s Your Love”

“It’s Your Love

Tim McGraw with Faith Hill

Written by Stephony Smith

Billboard

#1 (6 weeks)

June 7 – July 12, 1997

Radio & Records

#1 (4 weeks)

June 6 – June 27, 1997

Country’s longest-running power couple release their first collaborative hit.

The Road to No. 1

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill had each charted five top ten hits from their most recent studio albums, All I Want and It Matters to Me.  Three of McGraw’s releases went to No. 1, while Hill topped the charts with her second album’s title track.  After the two fell in love on their prophetically titled Spontaneous Combustion Tour, Hill provided backing vocals on her new husband’s single.

The No. 1

It wasn’t a new idea.  Everyone from George Jones & Tammy Wynette to Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood recorded love songs after they got married.

But “It’s Your Love” was something really special, a declaration that this new love has been so transformative that it’s made him a new man: “Who I am now is who I wanted to be. And now that we’re together, I’m stronger than ever, I’m happy and free.”

I think this record is great.  I love Hill’s harmony vocal, which complements McGraw’s lead vocal while still remaining completely distinctive. She doesn’t blend into the background.  They’re on this journey together, and they’re preserving what’s unique about them individually while creating something new together.

Hill was always a great singer, and this is the first time that the smoldering smokiness that powered “Breathe” and “Cry” is heard on record.  But McGraw has stepped up his game as well, and “It’s Your Love” demonstrates his significant growth as a vocalist since his breakthrough two albums earlier. He put the work in and got better.

It’s a tough needle to thread, being sentimental without being sappy.  Hill hadn’t really attempted doing this kind of song on her first two albums, and McGraw’s attempt (“Not a Moment Too Soon”) fell flat.   But they pull it off so well here.  I won’t call this their best collaboration, but it’s still one of them.  They got it right the first time out.

The Road From No. 1

This was the first of five No. 1 singles from McGraw’s landmark Everywhere album, and Hill’s next three singles will also go to No. 1, with McGraw returning the harmony favor on one of them.

“It’s Your Love” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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1 Comment

  1. This is an anthemic ballad. It’s bigness and significance are inescapable. It is a showcase for both McGraw and Hill as vocalists. It’s a moment. Admittedly, one I was never crazy about, but the energy is palpable. You can’t ignore this song.

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