Perfect Stranger finally has another hit single — and it’s not even out yet.
It’s a novel approach for the Curb Records group,
whose first and only Top 5 hit came in 1995 with
“You Have the Right to Remain Silent.”
The band’s new single, enticingly enough called
“The Hits,” is made up primarily of the titles of real
country classics. Although it is not set for release
until April, copies have already been slipped to
some radio stations, and the song is likely to be a
topic of hallway conversation during this week’s Country Radio Seminar. It does,
after all, allude to the emotional power of country radio, and radio people love to
Perfect Stranger will debut the song for CRS folk and others in a live performance
Friday (March 2) at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon.
While its method of composition is pure Music Row gimmickry, “The Hits” is
deadly serious — and unrelentingly mournful. Written by Marty Brown and Kevin
Dean Durham, it is told from the point of view of a guy whose lover has left him.
Naturally, every country song he hears on the radio is another needle in the
It would ruin the fun for first-time listeners to reveal the titles used in the chorus of
“The Hits,” but it’s safe to note that they conjure up gems from George Jones,
Ronnie Milsap, Crystal Gayle, Eddie Rabbitt, Dolly Parton, Vern Gosdin, Travis
Tritt, Keith Whitley, Hank Williams, Garth Brooks, Ricky Van Shelton, George
Strait and Ray Charles — but not in this order. The fact that country radio no
longer plays most of these artists is not a good omen.
But even if the song fizzles at radio, it is powered with enough late-night self-pity
to keep cowboys weeping at jukeboxes for years to come.