Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Ty Herndon, “It Must Be Love”

“It Must Be Love”

Ty Herndon

Written by Craig Bickhardt and Jack Sundrud


#1 (1 week)

December 5, 1998

Ty Herndon’s third and most recent No. 1 single.

The Road to No. 1

After “Living in a Moment” went to No. 1, the album of the same name produced three more hits: the top thirty “She Wants to Be Wanted Again,” the top five “Loved Too Much,” and the top twenty “I Have to Surrender.”  Herndon then launched his third studio album, Big Hopes.  The lead single, “A Man Holdin’ On (to a Woman Lettin’ Go),” went top five.  The second single remains Herndon’s most recent No. 1 hit.

The No. 1

Featuring a call and response chorus with Sons of the Desert, “It Must Be Love” is one of the freshest sounding singles of the late nineties.  It keeps Herndon’s smooth signature sound, but features significantly more fiddle and steel than most of his hit records ever did.

His warm, expressive vocal cracks at all the right moments, reinforcing the lyric about falling desperately in love and slowly realizing that this one is for keeps.  Herndon’s music was a lot more consistent than his radio play.  This one, thankfully, got the reception that it deserved.

The Road From No. 1

Big Hopes produced one more single: the top five “Hands of a Working Man.”  Herndon’s fourth and final studio album for Sony, Steam, produced the top twenty title track and the top thirty “No Mercy.”  Herndon closed out his run at the label with a hits collection that featured the top forty hit “Heather’s Wall.”  In the years since, Herndon has been prolific on independent labels and has continued to tour throughout the United States.  He’s also emerged as an LGBTQ activist, giving visibility to his community within the country music space.

“It Must Be Love” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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