Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Diamond Rio, “How Your Love Makes Me Feel”

“How Your Love Makes Me Feel”

Diamond Rio

Written by Max T. Barnes and Trey Bruce


#1 (3 weeks)

September 27 – October 11, 1997

Diamond Rio’s final No. 1 single of the decade is a winner.

The Road to No. 1

After earning their fifth No. 1 hit with “Walkin’ Away,” Diamond Rio produced three more hits from their IV album: the top five “That’s What I Get For Lovin’ You” and “Holdin’,” and the top fifteen “It’s All in Your Head.” The band then previewed their Greatest Hits set with the longest-running Billboard No. 1 single of their career.

The No. 1

“How Your Love Makes Me Feel” is a gloriously infectious record, all earworms and layered harmonies and rapid fire delivery of the lyrics.  The musicianship is first rate and showcases them as a band better than any single since “Meet in the Middle” put them on the map six years earlier.

Diamond Rio made many great records in between, of course, but this is such a purely Diamond Rio Diamond Rio record.  It’s witty without being corny, and sentimental without being cloying.

You could drop this on the radio today and it would still stand out in its fresh approach and crackling intensity.

After “Middle,” this is the best No. 1 single of their career.

The Road from No. 1

The second single from Greatest Hits, the Bryan White co-write “Imagine That,” went top five. The band then released their best single, “You’re Gone,” as the lead single from their fifth studio album, Unbelievable.  It went top five, as did the title track right afterward.  These were their last major hits of the decade, but they’d return in the 2000s with three more No. 1 singles, all of which will be covered when we go through the No. 1 singles of that decade.

“How Your Love Makes Me Feel” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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Next:Deana Carter, “How Do I Get There”



  1. It is easy enough to entertain arguments about how uninspired and dull Diamond Rio’s music was, lame dad-country even, except for how great so many of their songs sound, and in this case feel! From the virtuosity of the instrumentation to the soaring, layered bluegrass harmonies, Diamond Rio was the one Nashville band that I never confused for any other.

    Alabama was flailing about for relevancy. Lonestar was in search of a sound. Little Texas was already in the rearview mirror. Ricochet never bounced back. Sawyer Brown soared and then fell from the charts. The Mavericks only flirted with chart success.

    All while Diamond Rio stuck their musical landings with a truly signature sound time and time again.

  2. Always loved this song, as well! This song is just pure joy to me, and once again it brings back great memories from that special time in my life from the August 1997 trip to Maine to starting 6th grade in September. :)

    For me, this was Diamond Rio at their commercial peak in the 90’s. There was hardly a day in the late summer and early fall of 1997 that you could go without hearing this song on a country station, and it continued to be a strong recurrent for us going into the early 00’s. I love how clean and professional their records had sounded by this time, and as already mentioned, the superb musicianship of the band, and their excellent harmonies were on full display here. It seems like every band member got to shine on this record, and that’s even sort of hinted at in the music video. I also love the overall sunny, feel good vibe of this song and its driving beat. That combined with lyrics like “Buying ice cream to see how far we can drive before it melts,” made it a perfect summer jam for 1997 and many more years to come. Oh, and I’ve always loved the randomness of that chorus, as well. Even that guitar and drum intro before it kicks off into the main beat really gets me pumped! It’s simply still one of Diamond Rio’s most joyful records and definitely one of the most fun songs from 1997!

    I’ve always loved the video for this song, as well, and I remember seeing it often on GAC not long before we took the vacation to Maine. Back then, I always thought it sounded like Marty Roe was saying “Cow in the road, SMURF to the left,” lol! :D I especially remember one time thinking it sounded like “Smurf to the left” while seeing all the band members leaning to the side at 2:08, lol. While I figured out shortly that it was “swerve,” I still stubbornly heard it as “smurf” just to add some extra humor to it in my mind, lol. Anyway, I just love how fun and silly this video is and how everyone seemed to be having such a good time lip syncing and dancing to the song. I also love seeing New York City as the backdrop! Once again, I love how more loose, fun, and inclusive many country videos seemed to be from the mid-late 90’s. I actually read a YouTube comment on this video a while back saying that it was strange seeing a country video taking place in the city. My first thought was that person evidently never saw that many 90’s or early 00’s country videos, lol.

    As I mentioned earlier, “How Your Love Makes Me Feel” also takes me back to the Maine trip that my mom, step dad, and I went on in August, 1997, but it actually reminds me more of when we were driving up and down the roads of New England, both on the way to Maine and on the way back home. Hearing it while on the interstates and winding roads made it perfect for the song’s cruising/road trip feel. :) I specifically remember hearing it on the interstate on the way back home, surrounded by nothing but green, beautiful scenery, and one of my last baby teeth was loose and bothering me. At that moment, I was enjoying the song while at the same time, trying to stop my loose molar from hurting too much, lol. And yes, I was still thinking of “Smurf to the left” instead of “swerve,” and that image in the video of all the band members leaning to the side also came back to mind. LOL! I still think of that very moment every time I hear it today. :)

    “How Your Love Makes Me Feel” also brings back great memories of when I started middle school in the Fall of 1997, and I was still hearing it often whenever my dad picked me up from school around that time. This song also continued to get a lot of recurrent airplay for us well into the early 00’s, and on one night around 2003 while on I-95 on the way back home from Fredericksburg, my step dad started dancing to this song as soon as it kicked into it’s driving beat, lol. My step dad had been known for years to sing and do certain crazy dance moves while driving, especially if a good upbeat song came on, and this was just one of many examples, lol.

    “Imagine That” should’ve also been a number one, and that’s also another one of my all time favorites from them. Like so many late 1997/early 1998 songs, it brings back great memories of 6th grade and hearing it on Chris Charles’ Weekly Country Countdown on Saturday nights. It was actually still getting played occasionally in the Fall of 1998 when I started 7th grade, and I recorded it on a tape during that time.

    I also really love “You’re Gone,” which definitely would’ve been a number one too if I had my way. Such a great song sonically (those harmonies near the end!) and lyrically relatable, plus it brings back memories of the late Summer of 1998 and starting 7th grade.

    I also adore the Steven Dale Jones gem, “I Know How The River Feels” that was released in the Summer of 1999. To this day, I still don’t get how that wasn’t a bigger hit! It’s simply gorgeous with it’s beautiful, soothing melody, and once again, the band’s trademark harmonies are on wonderful display.

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