My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Classic Rewind: Earl Thomas Conley – ‘What I’d Say’

2 responses to “Classic Rewind: Earl Thomas Conley – ‘What I’d Say’

  1. Luckyoldsun August 31, 2018 at 1:06 am

    Good, psychologically complex song that I couldn’t see anyone other than ETC tackling. I’ve wondered if Earl or his label had any worry over whether the prominent and stark “Go to hell” line repeated in the choruses might cause the record to encounter some resistance at country radio. Or maybe by the late ’80s this was no longer an issue. The single went to No. 1.

    • Ken August 31, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      ETC’s recorded performance of this song was superb but I strongly disagree that he was the only possible artist that could have done it. Many other artists could have also turned in an excellent rendition. The clever lyrics are not “psychologically complex.” The concept of a person talking to himself and pondering what they might do if they encountered their “ex” is not unusual or unique to this song.

      Although the phrase “go to hell” had not previously appeared in a hit country song it was considered rather tame by 1989. Especially compared to the exceptionally explicit lyrics contained in many rap and rock songs of that time. I cannot recall any radio stations having an issue with that phrase. Had some stations refused to play that song it could not have become a #1 hit. A record required airplay on 100% of the Billboard reporting stations for it to go to #1.

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