Written by Larry Boone, Richie McDonald, and Paul Nelson
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
October 16, 1998
Lonestar closes out their first era with an appropriately nostalgic ballad.
The Road to No. 1
After “Come Cryin’ to Me” became their second No. 1 single, the band made their first attempt at pop-flavored country with “You Walked In,” written by “Mutt” Lange. It went top fifteen, as did the album’s third single, “Say When.” By the time the band released its fourth and final single from Crazy Nights, founding member John Rich had departed the lineup. The rest of the band stayed, but got ready to ditch their cowboy hats.
The No. 1
“Everything’s Changed” was easily the strongest single from Lonestar up until this point. It’s appropriately nostalgic, sounding like a requiem for the sound that had powered so many country bands from the early-to-mid-nineties.
The lyrics have a keen attention to detail, as a scorned lover wanders around his rapidly changing small town. “They put up a plant where we used to park. The old drive-in is a new Walmart.”
His lover is gone, but her memory remains, and changing all the landmarks associated with their time together just makes her memory that much more painful.
McDonald’s going to become closely associated with crossover country after this hit, so it’s worth recognizing one last time that he was also a pretty darn good pure country singer, with a more distinctive voice than so many band leaders and male solo acts that launched around the same time.
It’s a poignant record that perfectly marks the moment right before everything changed for Lonestar.
The Road From No. 1
The band previewed their third album, Lonely Grill, with the single “Saturday Night.” Their first effort without Rich didn’t even crack the top forty. But the second single not only got them back on track, but became the biggest pop crossover hit since “Islands in the Stream.” We’ll cover it toward the middle of 1999.
“Everything’s Changed” gets an A.
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