“Out of My Bones”
Written by Gary Burr, Robin Lerner, and Sharon Vaughn
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
May 8, 1998
Randy Travis launches a new chapter in his storied career.
The Road to No. 1
From the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties, Randy Travis was the biggest superstar on the Warner Bros. Nashville roster. We last saw him in this feature with the first two singles released from his 1994 album This is Me: “Before You Kill Us All” and “Whisper My Name.” That set also produced the top five title track and the top ten “The Box.” But his next album for the label, Full Circle, surprisingly underperformed at radio. The 1996 release produced two top thirty hits: “Are We in Trouble Now” and “Would I.”
Travis exited the label and signed with upstart DreamWorks Nashville, and it revitalized his career. The lead single from his first album for the label, You and You Alone, was an out of the box smash, and it returned him to No. 1 for the first time in four years.
The No. 1
“Out of My Bones” is one of the best singles that Randy Travis ever released.
The fiddle work is phenomenal, it’s lyrically strong, and Travis gives a spectacular vocal performance. It’s one of those tracks from a veteran recording artist that instantly reminds you why you fell in love with them in the first place, while also breaking new musical ground that pushes their artistry forward.
Travis never stopped releasing quality material, but you could definitely hear how the younger traditionalists of the nineties were being more aggressive with their production. On “Out of My Bones,” he sounds more vital and urgent than he had in years, as he reclaimed his rightful place on the genre’s A-list.
Find me anyone – anyone – who can do what he does vocally here on the intro to the bridge. His reading of “Sweet amnesia” expresses more emotional layers in four syllables than most of his contemporaries could express in an entire song.
It may be a stretch to call a Hall of Famer who sold millions of records “underappreciated,” but damn, if you’ve forgotten somehow just how great he is, this hit will fully refresh your memory.
The Road From No. 1
Travis followed this chart-topper with another great single, “The Hole,” which went top ten. We’ll see him at No. 1 again soon with the third single from this album.
“Out of My Bones” gets an A.
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