Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Kenny Chesney, “She’s Got it All”

“She’s Got it All”

Kenny Chesney

Written by Craig Wiseman and Drew Womack

Billboard

#1 (3 weeks)

August 30 – September 13, 1997

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

August 22, 1997

Kenny Chesney inches closer to his signature sound on his second No. 1 hit.

The Road to No. 1

After earning his first chart-topper with “When I Close My Eyes,” the third and final single from his third album, Me and You, Chesney launched his fourth set with a multi-week No. 1 hit.

The No. 1

“She’s Got it All” is a spirited record that features an enthusiastic performance from Kenny Chesney, who is slowly but surely inching toward the signature sound that would make him a multi-platinum superstar in the decade to come.

The lyric is playful, it’s produced with a light touch, and it moves along quickly without overstaying its welcome.

You can really hear his growth as vocalist in the chorus, as he emphasizes “sweet memory” a little bit differently each time.   He’s also moving away from his higher range, which will help with making his records sound more mature as time progresses.

The Road From No. 1

Two excellent ballads followed “She’s Got it All.”  “A Chance” just missed the Billboard top ten, and then “That’s Why I’m Here” made it to No. 2 in Billboard and all the way to No. 1 on the Radio & Records listing.  We’ll cover it when we get to 1998.

“She’s Got it All” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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2 Comments

  1. Yet another one of my very favorite feel good songs from the late 90’s! :)

    Before “She’s Got It All,” I had heard Kenny Chesney’s previous singles like “Fall In Love,” “All I Need To Know,” “Me And You,” and “When I Close My Eyes” on the radio before, and I even saw the video for “Me And You” back in ’96 when it was new. I liked those songs, but for whatever reason (perhaps not hearing his name spoken by the deejays enough) I never really knew who sang them or realized they were all by the same artist. It was THIS song that changed all of that for me when I first caught its music video on GAC one afternoon. Once again, I had heard “She’s Got It All” on the radio a few times already before seeing the video and always liked it, but I somehow always missed hearing who sang it. When I first saw the video, that’s when the name Kenny Chesney finally stuck in my brain, thanks to seeing his mug singing on a bottle label of “Kenny Chesney’s Lethal Lightnin’ Sauce” right from the start, lol. It also really helped that he showed quite a bit of likeable charm in the rest of the clip, as well. From that point on, I was finally able to put the face with the name and the name to the songs and his voice when it came to Chesney. And of course I later on realized it was the same artist I saw a year earlier in the “Me And You” Video.

    I always really enjoyed the video for “She’s Got It All” whenever it came back on GAC, and I always enjoyed it on the radio, as well. At the time it was really picking up steam on the radio and getting played a lot in the Summer of ’97, I also remember that being around the same time I’d often be playing Star Fox 64 at Best Buy whenever my dad or step dad took me there. :) And like many of these other Summmer of 1997 country hits, it also takes me back to the Maine vacation my parents and I went on in August of that year. It specifically reminds me of when we were staying at the Millbrook Inn motel in Scarborough (now called America’s Best Value Inn), and I remember having “She’s Got It All” stuck in my head one night when we were all in our motel room watching TV before going to bed.

    Since “She’s Got It All” remained such a strong recurrent after it’s chart run, I also remember it going through my head one day in science class while still early into my 6th grade year in the Fall of 1997. It was still going strong on the radio later in the Fall of 1998 as well when I was starting 7th grade, and I had it recorded on to a tape around that time. It pretty much remained as one of Kenny’s biggest recurrent hits for us up to 2004 when I started slowly giving up on country radio. And never once did I ever get tired of it!

    And that’s still very much the case with me on this song today. “She’s Got It All” still sounds just as fresh, exciting, and energetic to me today as when I was first impressed by it on GAC in 1997. And man, it still never fails to make me smile and brighten my mood! The opening guitar still gets me excited, and by the time those fiddles kick in during the intro, I’m really pumped. I also love Kenny’s enthusiastic performance and how he sings “every sweet memory” in the last few choruses. The joyful way he delivers that lyric just always makes me happy! Same with how he just begins with the second half of the chorus after the instrumental break. Sonically, this is very much the start of modern day Kenny Chesney, but minus the island theme and with a heck of a lot more fiddle and steel. Buddy Cannon and Norro Wilson’s production style here is still heard on many of his records going into the mid 2000’s, especially the sound of the drums. It’s also the production style that would be heard on many other late 90’s country records by other artists like Reba, Lila McCann, Mindy McCready, Collin Raye, Andy Griggs, etc. But anyway, hearing this one, I can’t help but wish Kenny had continued using this much fiddle and steel on some of his later records, as well. I especially love how in your face Sonny Garrish’s steel guitar is throughout the entire record, and his solo in the instrumental break is one of the coolest and fanciest parts ever recorded, imo. Btw, “She’s Got It All” also gets bonus points from me for being a Drew Womack co-write, who fronted the highly underrated band, Sons Of The Desert, who released another one of my very favorite 1997 singles, “Whatever Comes First.”

    The “She’s Got It All” video is still a joy for me to watch, as well, and it brings back great memories of my GAC watching days in ’97. I still like his playful charm with the actress and seeing him singing out of that hot sauce bottle still makes me smile. My favorite part, however, was always later on when he his singing right in front of that firecracker pinwheel just outside the cafe. I always thought that was such a cool shot, making it look like it’s just his shadow you see singing as the fireworks are going off behind him. Even to this day, after the song’s instrumental break is finished and Kenny starts singing: “All of my life, I’ve been hoping…” I always think of that part of the video and smile. :)

    The next single, the excellent Dean Dillon and Royce Porter cut, “A Chance” is another one of my personal top favorites from Kenny, and sadly one of his most underrated ones, imo. It’s another late 1997/early 1998 single that brings back great memories of 6th grade and hearing it on Chris Charles’ Weekly Country Countdown in my bedroom. Also reminds me of when my parents and I would always hang out at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, VA almost every Sunday during that time. :)

    In my opinion, I Will Stand is still one of the finest albums that Kenny ever recorded, and I can help but wish he did more albums like it afterwards. My other favorites on it are: “She Always Says It First,” “You Win, I Win, We Lose,” the title cut, “She Gets That Way,” “Lonely Needin’ Lovin’,” and “From Hillbilly Heaven To Honky Tonk Hell” (featuring Tracy Lawrence and George Jones). Buddy Cannon and Norro Wilson’s classy production is still very modern sounding, and I love Kenny’s deeper, richer and more smooth vocals on it throughout. Listening to this record and going back to his earlier albums where he almost sounded like the second coming of Aaron Tippin is almost like listening to two different artists.

    I also adore “That’s Why I’m Here,” and I’m really looking forward to it!

  2. Chesney managed to channel Clay Walker’s and Neil McCoy’s enthusiasm and exuberance while still creating his own style and sound. Just like his close friend Tim McGraw, Chesney would forever frustrate me with his wild vacillations in song quality and single choices, but when he got it right, he absolutely nailed it. You can hear him figuring that out in this joyful performance.

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