“There’s Your Trouble”
Written by Mark Selby and Tia Sillers
#1 (2 weeks)
August 8 – August 15, 1998
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
July 31, 1998
The best band in country music history tops the charts for the first time.
The Road to No. 1
The Chicks got their start as a bluegrass band in Texas. Founded by sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer, they were originally a four piece band, featuring Laura Lynch and Robin Lynn Macy. They performed across Texas as the Dixie Chicks, a name inspired by the Little Feat classic, “Dixie Chicken.” Though they would keep their original name until 2020, two lineup changes happened in the nineties. Following their first two independent albums, Macy exited the band, feeling their sound was getting too contemporary. They released a third independent album as a trio, then replaced Lynch with Natalie Maines, the daughter of famous Texas musician Lloyd Maines.
This lineup got them a deal with Monument Records, which had been revived as an imprint of Sony Nashville. Their lead single from the major label debut album Wide Open Spaces, “I Can Love You Better,” went top ten. Their next three releases from the album all went to No. 1.
The No. 1
Natalie Maines famously loathes this song, and I can understand why. Like its immediate predecessor, it’s about a girl begging a guy to dump another girl for him. This passivity isn’t a good fit for the Chicks’ independent attitude as a band, and it suffers in comparison to their outstanding run of singles and albums from Fly through Gaslighter.
But it’s still pretty damn good. Lyrics aside, Maines gives a fierce performance, delivering wordy lines with rapid accuracy. Maguire’s fiddle work is astonishing, Strayer’s banjo rocks, and their harmonies are on point.
They’d make way better records in time, but even their earliest and weakest singles are excellent by any objective standard. This could drop today and it would still be a breath of fresh air for country radio.
The Road From No. 1
Their first signature song is up next, and it will launch them into the stratosphere.
“There’s Your Trouble” gets a B+.