After Wade’s cover of ‘Wichita Lineman’ failed to catch fire, the recording was swiftly removed from his upcoming album. The next single, which became the true lead single for 1998’s When The Wrong One Loves You Right, was much more successful, reaching #5. It is a great story song written by Mark D Sanders and Steve Diamond, about a young Oklahoma couple, told with subtlety. Led in with a wistful fiddle, the narrator is blindsided by his girlfriend’s pregnancy and her subsequent shame-filled choices:
No, she wasn’t showing yet
But she’d be by Christmas time
Up there like a fool
I took for granted it was mine
She never came out and told me I was wrong
But all of a sudden the light came on
The day that she left Tulsa
In a Chevy in a hurry in the pouring down rain
With the caution lights flashing in the passing lane
From a bridge I watched our dreams going down the drain
I guess she thought the truth would end up driving me away
Well, she was wrong
But I never had the chance to say
This is an outstanding song and performance. Unfortunately the title track did not repeat its predecessor’s chart performance, failing to make the top 40. It’s an up-tempo Leslie Satcher song which is actually pretty good.
The mournful undertones in Wade’s voice are perfect for the next single, ‘How Do You Sleep At Night’, written by Jim McBride and Jerry Salley, as he reproaches his ex:
Do you see me when you close your eyes?
How do you sleep at night?
Now your side of the bed’s as cold
As the lies that I believed
I’m at the point when I can’t even trust you in my dreams
Did the way you left me leave you feeling proud?
This time he was rewarded with a #13 peak for what proved to be his last hit single.
Wade’s last single for Columbia was the song originally intended as the album’s title track. ‘Tore Up from the Floor Up’ is an up-tempo honky tonker which is quite good but not very memorable.
Wade co-wrote two of the songs. ‘Are We Having Fun Yet’ (written with Chick Rains and Lonnie Wilson) is a good honky tonk number about a married man who discovers the grass isn’t greener on the party side of life. ‘One More Night With You’, written with Rains and producer Don Cook, is a decent mid-tempo tune about the dreariness of a working life contrasted with a happy love life.
‘Summer Was A Bummer’ is a charming song penned by Dean Dillon and Hank Cochran which Dillon had recorded himself a decade or so earlier and Ty Herndon also cut. It is a closely observed conversational number about a college girl’s coming home to her hometown (and her farm-based sweetheart) after a year away. Wade’s vocal is exquisite, and there is some lovely fiddle.
‘If I Wanted To Forget’ is a beautiful sad ballad written by Tom Shapiro and Chris Waters about not fully letting go of an old love. ‘Mine To Lose’, written by Paul Nelson, Larry Boone and Matt King, is addressed to the protagonist’s ex’s new love, regretting his own past failures, and is another fine song. Lewis Anderson and Jason Sellers wrote the delicate ballad ‘This Is My Heart Talking Now’, a last ditch plea to a loved one not to give up on their relationship.
This record was not as successful commercially as it deserved to be, but it is well worth rediscovering.