Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Brooks & Dunn, “Husbands and Wives”

“Husband and Wives”

Brooks & Dunn

Written by Roger Miller

Billboard

#1 (1 week)

December 19, 1998

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

December 11, 1998

Brooks & Dunn’s final No. 1 single of the nineties.

The Road to No. 1

If You See Her produced three No. 1 hits, starting with the title track and continuing with “How Long Gone.”  A Roger Miller cover became the final chart-topper of the nineties for the Hall of Fame duo.

The No. 1

This shouldn’t work at all.

You can’t get much further apart in singing styles than Roger Miller’s idiosyncratic wordplay and Ronnie Dunn’s long, lonesome wail.

For all his classic vocal performances over the years, this one might be Dunn’s most technically impressive.  He preserves the odd cadence of the Miller original, but still manages to bend and stretch the melody to accommodate his signature vocal licks.

The result is a cover that respects the original classic while also elevating it, revealing some of the ache in the lyric that Miller wrote so poignantly.

The Road From No. 1

If You See Her produce one more big hit: the top five “I Can’t Get Over You.”  The album’s final single, “South of Santa Fe,” missed the top forty.  The struggles at radio continued with their next project, Tight Rope, which launched with the top twenty singles “Missing You” and “Beer Thirty.”  The album still went gold, and produced a top five hit with its third single, “You’ll Always Be Loved By Me.”  We will see Brooks & Dunn a few more times when we get to the 2000s.

“Husbands and Wives” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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