When looking at the songs he has recorded since moving to Nashville in 1984, his current recognition as one of the city’s foremost singer/songwriters seems ineludible. He wrote or co-wrote “Everybody’s Sweetheard,” “The Way Back Home,” “Turn Me Lose,” “Colder Than Winter,” “True Love,” “If It Weren’t For Him” (With Rosanne Cash), and “Oklahoma Borderline” (with Rodney Crowell and Guy Clark.) Of the songs mentioned earlier, he wrote “Never Alone” with Rosanne Cash, “Oklahoma Swing” with Tim Dubois, and “Pocket Full of Gold: with Brian Allsmiller.
17: I Cánido’t Tell You Why, Common Thread: The Songs of The Eagles (
This one-off contribution to an Eagles country all-star tribute album made it onto the country and adult contemporary charts. It sounds a lot more like R&B, though, complete with Hammond B-3 organ, a soprano saxophone solo, and Vince Gill at his most Michael McDonald. It’s refreshing, though, to hear Gill’s slick vocal riffs over different material. The album won the CMA for album of the year, with this track widely deemed the standout.
The title track of Vince Gill’s most successful album was also its first single, a mellow pop-oriented ballad produced to capitalize on country’s increasing crossover with the adult contemporary format. It succeeded, not only becoming Gill’s first Billboard country chart-topper, but reaching no.30 on its Adult Contemporary chart; its genre-agnostic appeal meant that it earned plenty of covers, including a smooth jazz rendition and a take by Bad Company. It also earned Gill his third and fourth Grammy Awards, as well as the CMA’s Song of the Year award for the third straight (!) year in 1993.