“I Don’t Care”
Written by Webb Pierce and Cindy Walker
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
July 30, 1982
#1 (1 week)
July 31, 1982
Ricky Skaggs earned his second No. 1 hit with “I Don’t Care,” which had originally topped the charts for twelve weeks when it was recorded by its co-writer Webb Pierce.
Even more so than on his previous chart-topper, you can hear the stylistic influence of Emmylou Harris, where an old song is redone with a somber and serious tone. That works against Skaggs here, because he sounds oddly disconnected from the plaintive promises of the lyric.
Covers can be tricky. Play it too close to the original recording and you come off as derivative. Make too many changes and you risk stripping the song of its original charm. I think the slower arrangement of “I Don’t Care” is fine, but it was an error to deviate so far away from Webb Pierce’s irresistibly twangy vocal performance. This needed the high lonesome bluegrass sound that Skaggs is more than capable of delivering.
He’ll get there, though. Much more compelling records from Skaggs are on the way.
“I Don’t Care” gets a B.
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