Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: George Strait, “Write This Down”

“Write This Down”

George Strait

Written by Dana Hunt Black and Kent Robbins


#1 (4 weeks)

June 19 – July 10, 1999

Radio & Records

#1 (3 weeks)

June 11 – June 25, 1999

George Strait’s final No. 1 single of the decade.

The Road to No. 1

George Strait followed “True” with two top five hits that are among the best singles in his catalog: “We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This,” the final single from One Step at a Time, and “Meanwhile,” the first single from Always Never the Same.  That album’s second single became Strait’s final chart-topper of the nineties.

The No. 1

At the time of release, I was getting frustrated with both George Strait and country radio’s preference for his less substantive material.  “Write This Down” spending multiple weeks at No. 1 after “Meanwhile” fell short of the top was a big reason for that feeling.  That remains a high point in his career and belonged in this feature more than at least a half dozen Strait singles that made it in.

But with the power of hindsight, I can fully enjoy “Write This Down” for the clever ditty that it is.  As usual, Strait’s phrasing elevates the material.  His reading of “stick it on your ‘frigerator door,” which he then manages to rhyme with “you can see it for sure,” takes a couplet that would’ve been insufferably corny by someone else and makes it charming and funny instead.

I wonder how many guys threw this song on a mixtape back in the day when they needed to get back in good standing with their partners?

The Road From No. 1

Strait went top five with the third and final single from Always Never the Same, “What Do You Say to That,” which was his last single of the nineties.  We will see George Strait many, many times when we cover the eighties and the oughts.

“Write This Down” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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1 Comment

  1. In 1999, I thought this single represented low point in Strait’s career. It seemed so slight and silly at the time, frivolous even.

    A fellow clerk at Tower Records used to hold this song up as evidence of why “new” country was terrible. Then again, he made fun of Vince Gill’s “The Key” based solely upon the admittedly unremarkable cd cover, but he seemed to have a point with the latest Strait single. As the new staff country apologist, my strategy was to point to better songs on the album and in Strait’s career.

    Then this song started to grow on me, and it just kept growing, and hasn’t stopped since. Now, it is almost one of his signature hits.

    It has all the hallmarks of a great Strait performance from the phrasing to the sneaky good melody to the impeccable musicianship. It has since become a joy to listen to and sing along with whenever I hear it.

    If I learned anything from my relationship with this single, it is not to second guess Strait’s song sensibilities and that record store clerks can be insufferable.

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