“Thank God For Believers”
Written by Tim Johnson, Mark Alan Springer, and Roger Springer
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
November 7, 1997
Mark Chesnutt returns with his best No. 1 single in years.
The Road to No. 1
After “It’s a Little Too Late” went to No. 1, “Let it Rain” was a top ten hit, closing out the singles run from Greatest Hits. Chesnutt then previewed his sixth studio album with its title track.
The No. 1
The nineties brought a more thoughtful approach to alcoholism and its consequences than was typical for the genre. Collin Raye’s “Little Rock” was featured earlier, and there’s an upcoming Kenny Chesney hit with similar themes.
The Mark Chesnutt entry is unique in that it is sung from the perspective of the struggling alcoholic, but deeply explores the impact of his struggle through the eyes of the woman who is supporting him. He doesn’t consider himself worthy of her love, but is deeply grateful for it.
There are so many little details in this song that bring it to life, especially in the first verse, where we get a glimpse of how his wife has gotten herself through the night as her husband was out drinking. We also see how he supports her in return, joining her at church and trying to see things her way with his bloodshot eyes.
By this point, Chesnutt’s voice had matured from his earlier days, drawing an even sharper contrast between him and the cowboys come lately that didn’t have nearly the same staying power as he did. He has one more No. 1 hit on deck, but this is his artistic peak from his later days at radio.
The Road From No. 1
Thank God For Believers struggled at radio after its lead single, with “It’s Not Over” going top forty and “I Might Even Quit Lovin’ You” squeaking into the top twenty. It was Chesnutt’s first album to fall short of a gold certification, which would inform the creative direction of his next album. We will see Chesnutt one last time with the lead single from that project.
“Thank God For Believers” gets an A.
Next: Shania Twain, “Love Gets Me Every Time”