George Strait is the kind of artist with a commercial track record that’s so incredible, his disappointment would be most people’s triumph.
19 March 1991 saw the release by MCA of what was already the Texan country hero’s 11th studio album, Chill Of An Early Fall. Named after the opening track, co-written by Green Daniel and Gretchen Peters, it peaked at No. 4 on the country LP chart, and thus became his first studio album not to top that listing since his second release Strait From The Heart way back in 1982.
Listen to Chill Of An Early Fall right now.
But the supposedly bad news hid what most artists would consider extraordinary success. Strait had to make do with an album that “only” included two No. 1 country singles, “only” reached platinum certification and “only” spent 58 weeks on the country countdown.
Produced, as usual, by Strait and studio maestro Jimmy Bowen, Chill Of An Early Fall was released a week after its lead single ‘If I Know Me.’ The track was written by Pam Belford and Dean Dillon, the latter a country chart artist in his own right who was later inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. By May of 1991, the song was topping the country chart for two weeks.
The follow-up single was ‘You Know Me Better Than That,’ an Anna Lisa Graham/Tony Haselden composition which also went to No. 1, spending three weeks there in August to become Strait’s 22nd bestseller in just nine years.
‘The Chill Of An Early Fall’ itself followed up with a No. 3 country ranking before the final single from the album had George paying tribute to one of his forebears on the country roll of honour. He remade the 1920s song that had become indelibly associated with Hank Williams when he took it to the top in 1949, ‘Lovesick Blues.’
Chill Of An Early Fall can be bought here.
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