23: Big Love (Tracy Byrd)

Album: Big Love
Artist: Tracy Byrd
Year: 1996

1. Big Love
2. Cowgirl
3. Good Ol’ Fashioned Love
4. Don’t Take Her She’s All I Got
5. If I Stay
6. Don’t Love Make a Diamond Shine
7. Tuscon Too Soon
8. I Don’t Believe That’s How You Feel
9. Driving Me out of Your Mind
10. I Love You, That’s All

Tracy is probably best known for Watermelon Crawl, and it’s my favorite song by him as well. But while his earlier albums had a few monstrous hits, the filler was exceptionally poor.  His third album, Love Lessons, nearly made the list. When his fourth album came out, I was blown away.  While not every song here is amazing, it really feels like these ten songs were meant to be together, which is a fine achievement considering that the ten songs had nine different writers. Not a big fan of the album title, but the cover is nice, and implies Byrd’s big love is the expanse of nature.

Gary U.S. Bonds wrote Don’t Take Her She’s All I Got, which has been a big hit for everyone who’s recorded it, including Byrd. Big Love was the other smash from the album, and it’s a decent opener. Cowgirl is great tongue-in-cheek country swing. If I Stay is a sad, up-tempo break-up song but it would also make a great ballad in any genre. I Love You, That’s All is another break-up song, and one I kind of modeled my own break-ups after (i.e. not being a whiny ass about it).

After this album, Byrd kind of went good ol’ boy for a while, and he slowly rolled off the charts and he hasn’t done much lately. He’s one of several country artists whose favorite album of mine is their fourth, and most of them fell off a cliff afterwards. I think part of the reason is that a lot of them, once they make it big, stop singing about relationships and move towards family, or patriotism, or how awesome it is to be a redneck. In Tracy’s case, it was also because the filler got more boring than ever.

 

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