By the summer of 1992, Stuart was finally in favor with mainstream country music. Released in late 1991, “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin,” the inaugural duet between him and Travis Tritt, peaked at #2, the highest peak Stuart would ever see. The duo would also go on to win a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration that same year, marking Stuart’s first such win.
Capitalizing on his recent success, Stuart released “This One’s Gonna Hurt You (For A Long, Long Time),” another duet with Tritt in June. The title track for his third album with MCA Records, it would prove successful as well peaking at #7. Written by Stuart, it’s just as good, if not better, than their previous collaboration. The tale of love gone wrong is framed in a stone cold arrangement complete with steel and piano that helps accentuate the mournful and clever lyrics. I love how she’s the one who’s going to hurt, not him.
Released next, the bluesy “Now That’s Country,” written solely by Stuart, would peak at #18. A honky-tonker complete with electric guitar and steel flourishes, it depicts the ways in which Stuart was raised:
Well, that’s country,
I was born, yes, a country child
Now that’s country, but baby that’s my style
The almost dirty production is very good and helps elevate the song. But with very little to hold onto lyrically, the tune isn’t particularly memorable.
“High On A Mountain Top” came next, peaking at #24. Written by Alex Campbell and Ola Belle Reed, it isn’t to be confused with the Loretta Lynn song of the same name. This “High On A Mountain Top” is a rocker complete with accents of mandolin that details the story of a man reflecting on the journey that led to the current moment:
High on a mountaintop, standing all alone
Wondering where the years of my life have flown
High on a mountaintop, wind-blowing free
Thinking about the days that used to be
It’s too bad producer Tony Brown saw fit to create such a cluttered arrangement, as this could’ve been a wonderful song. The screaming guitars hinder Stuart’s vocal and nearly drown it out.
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