Posts Tagged ‘Ronnie Dunn’

Reba’s Obstacles To Another #1 Country Song

It’s no secret that I love Reba McEntire.  I own every album she’s ever released, I’ve seen her in concert thirteen times, and I even got to meet her back in 2005.

Reba Anthony 2005

However, much to my chagrin, she’ll likely never have another #1 song on the Billboard Country charts (unless she duets with a chart-dominating, younger star)!

Reba

Reba’s place in country music history is cemented as iconic.  She’s the “Queen of Country Music” and she’s a member of the “Country Music Hall of Fame”.

Reba has more Top Ten hits than any other woman in country music and she’s tied with Dolly Parton for the most #1 songs on the Billboard Country charts by a woman at 25.

Dolly+Parton+Reba+McEntire

So, why did the lead single from her latest #1 album, “Love Somebody”, “Going Out Like That” only peak at #23 on the Billboard Country chart (and #28 on the Country Airplay chart) and why did it take six months to rise and fall at country radio?

Reba Love Somebody

And, why is Reba’s latest single, “Until They Don’t Love You”, only being played at 60-something country stations?  It’s just now cracking the Top 50 country radio airplay list at #48.

Reba Until They Don't Love You

Here are my thoughts and I know this might not set well with some Reba fans.  But, being one myself, I’m being objective.

At this point in her career, Reba may not be concerned about #1 hits at country radio.  As an avid chart watcher and huge Reba fan, the fault might be mine — I care, but Reba may not.

While Reba released her first album in 1977, it wasn’t until she switched labels to MCA that she had her first gold album with 500,000 copies shipped (“My Kind of Country”, 1984).

Her first platinum album (one million copies shipped), “Whoever’s In New England” came out in 1986, and her first multi-platinum album was “Greatest Hits”, which dropped in early 1987 and has sold more than three million copies.

Reba Albums

Reba’s biggest selling album, “Greatest Hits, Volume 2”, has moved more than five million copies and that one came out in 1993.

Since then, her album sales have been dropping.

REBA_ATWIA_COVER_500

Her 2010 release, “All The Women I Am”, has not even been certified gold and it featured her last #1 song at country radio, “Turn On The Radio”.

As I mentioned earlier, Reba may not be concerned with how high her singles go on the chart.  She may not lose sleep over how many album she sells because she knows that her concerts are huge draws and they always will be.  Concerts are where artists make their money.

Reba 2011

Reba is not alone.  It’s the same for pop music.  Madonna has dominated pop music for as long as Reba has country music and her tours are some of the biggest money makers and she sells out every show.Madonna MDNA

However, Madonna’s hit singles at Top 40 radio are as infrequent as Reba is at country radio lately.

When Reba followed up the chart topper “Turn On The Radio” with her remake of the Beyonce song, “If I Were A Boy”, that song stalled at #22 and the two other singles released from the album peaked at #40 and #44.

Shortly thereafter I questioned a friend in the radio industry about the cool reception for the final three singles from “All The Women I Am”.  He said he wasn’t surprised “after having ‘If I Were a Boy’ shoved down our throats.”

After that album’s release, Reba devoted more time to her family, her Reba brand at Dillard’s department stores, acting one season on ABC’s “Malibu Country” and touring.

Now that she has a residency in Las Vegas with Brooks & Dunn and she’s touring again supporting the new album, “Love Somebody”, why aren’t the first two singles burning up the charts?

Reba Love Somebody

In one of my first blogs, I brought up the topic of ageism and sexism in the entertainment world.  You can read that blog here:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/todays-country-radio-wheres-reba/

While that is still blatant, I think the real problem for Reba now is her association with the Nash Icon record label, which is focused on the “biggest country artists of the last two decades, who are still recording and touring but not getting enough exposure today”.

If that wasn’t limiting enough, it’s affiliated with Cumulus Media, the third largest radio group in the business.  And, that is reflecting in the number of stations that played “Going Out Like That” and the new song.

Reba Until They Don't Love You

As of yesterday, “Until They Don’t Love You” is being played on 67 of 262 stations that report to Mediabase.  Of those, many are Cumulus stations.

This is purely speculation, but I feel that other radio groups, such as Clear Channel (#1) and Infinity (#2) don’t want to get into the business of promoting singles that another radio group, Cumulus, is making money off of.

Another example to prove this point is Ronnie Dunn, who is on the Nash Icon label.  His new single, “Ain’t No Trucks In Texas” is faltering at country radio.

When I saw Reba live in early August, she performed both singles from the “Love Somebody” album and they sound great.

I hope that I’m wrong about Reba never topping the country singles charts again without the support of say someone like Luke Bryan or Carrie Underwood.

Country radio, prove me wrong!

Show me that you still love Reba and that there’s room on your playlist for new songs in heavy rotation and not just the occasional classics.

Anthony

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Reba’s Return To Country Music

When a singer is forty years into a musical career that has produced more top ten hits than any other woman on the country chart and she’s tied with Dolly Parton for the most #1 singles by a woman, it’s hard for songs to sound original.

But, on her 27th studio album, “Love Somebody”, Reba McEntire sounds original and familiar at the same time.

Reba Love Somebody

In its first week, “Love Somebody”, Reba’s first new album since late 2010’s “All The Women I Am”, debut at the top of the Country Album chart and at #3 on the Billboard 200 (a ranking of all musical genres) selling 62,000 copies.

This is her 12th number one country album and her ninth Top Ten album on the Billboard 200.

The first single, “Going Out Like That”, is now up to #25 on the Billboard Country Singles chart.

“Love Somebody” comes in two versions:  a standard 12-song album and a deluxe Target exclusive that features two additional songs.

Hopefully when you bought the album or you buy it, you give yourself time to listen to it without interruptions.

When I listened to it for the first time, I was driving and got only two or three songs into the album before real life forced me to start listening to it again later.

That was a disservice to Reba’s efforts on the album and for my listening pleasure.  Because of that, at first listen, I thought the album felt disjointed.  That is far from the truth.

Upon devoting proper time to my idol’s heartfelt gift to her fans, I realized how much the album is classic Reba and how much I’ve missed hearing new music from her.

While the first single, “Going Out Like That”, which kicks off the album, was released four months ago and is slowly gaining traction at country radio, there’s no talk publicly of the second single.

As you explore the album for possibilities, the clear cut winner would be, “Enough”, the second cut on the album, which is a duet with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.

This song tells the story of a married woman hoping her man finds enough about her to stay while “the other woman” is hoping for the same thing.

Earlier when I said the album sounds original and “familiar” at the same time, “Enough” will have you flashing back to Reba’s Grammy Award-winning, #1 smash duet, “Does He Love You”, with Linda Davis, from 1994.

Reba has always had her finger on the pulse of people (mostly women) going through breakups and dealing with heartbreak, people hoping to find love, and for people finding that love.

“She Got Drunk Last Night” and “I’ll Go On” both satisfy the breakup and moving on theme.  “I’ll Go On” reminds me a lot of one of my favorite Reba songs that was never released as a single, “He Wants To Get Married” from 1992’s “It’s Your Call”.

In 1991, following a very dark time for Reba, she released a very personal album, “For My Broken Heart”.  The title track and first single and the last song on the album, “If I Had Only Known” are alive in this album’s “Just Like Them Horses”.

The beautiful song is stunning.  It’s about one person facing the reality that their time on Earth is over and they convince a survivor that they’re ready to go and that have to say goodbye.  They do it with grace, dignity, and respect.

When Reba got the song, she thought of her father, Clark, who wasn’t doing well.  When he passed away last October, Reba sang it at his funeral.

Reba 2011

Finding love against all odds is a strong point for Reba and through my 25 years of being a fan, she’s given me hope when I didn’t think there was any.

On this album, “That’s When I Knew” would give any man or woman faith that love is right around the corner and it’s my favorite song on “Love Somebody”.

Reba excels at upbeat anthems, too, and there are many on “Love Somebody”.

“Livin’ Ain’t Killed Me Yet” and “Until They Don’t Love You” are great, and then there’s the simplistic beauty of the mid-tempo, “Promise Me Love”.

When there’s a new Reba album, I admit that I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t a song that doesn’t truly rip your heart out and bring you to tears.

On her recent efforts, “Moving Oleta” (from “Room To Breathe”) and “Roses” (from “So Good Together”) come to mind.

On “Love Somebody”, that song is “Love Land”.  After I got over the mindset that the mother didn’t want her daughter to have a child outside of marriage, the message song brought me to tears — first, of sadness and then, happiness.

Reba Love Somebody

“Love Somebody” is a solid album and it makes you realize how much Reba has brought to country music over the past forty years.  It also makes it clear how much she could offer country music radio if it looked beyond ageism.

This is Reba’s best album since 2004’s “Room To Breathe”.

GRADE:  B+

My favorite tracks:  “That’s When I Knew”, “Just Like Them Horses”, “Promise Me Love”, “Until They Don’t Love You”, “Going Out Like That”, and  “Enough”.

Here’s a Reba bonus.

Last summer, before it was announced that Reba was working on “Love Somebody”, she released “Pray For Peace”, featuring her good friend, Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks & Dunn, and her daughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson.

It’s featured on the new album.