First, Tim McGraw had 25 songs for his upcoming album Here on Earth.
Then he wanted to narrow it down to 12.
But somehow, he ended up with 18.
On this weekend’s CMT Hot 20 Countdown, McGraw explains everything that went into his first studio album in almost three years.
“At first, I wanted to narrow the album down to 12. And then as I went through the process, I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t get it narrowed down. There were so many songs,” McGraw says, “that I wanted to do a big double album. But it’s just tough to do that in this environment. It’s tough to hold people’s attention that long.
“So I hope I can hold them long enough to listen to all of the 18 songs that we do have.”
McGraw’s other hope for the 18-song experience is that it becomes a tapestry of life for listeners, he says, because of the vignettes of the paths that we all walk down.
Here are some examples he gave:
He describes “Chevy Spaceship” as his redneck “Rocket Man.”
He describes “Hallelujahville” as a song that puts you back in the comfortable place where you grew up.
He describes “War of Art” as a song about making art while trying to be true to yourself.
He describes “Sheryl Crow” as a stamp of approval from Crow herself.
He describes “Doggone” as a way to put things back into perspective.
Here is the full track list for Here on Earth:
2. “Chevy Spaceship”
3. “Here on Earth”
4. “Damn Sure Do”
6. “Good Taste in Women”
7. “Hard to Stay Mad At”
8. “Sheryl Crow”
9. “Not from California”
10. “Hold You Tonight”
11. “7500 OBO”
12. “If I Was a Cowboy”
13. “I Called Mama”
15. “War of Art”
The day the album is released (August 21), McGraw will be performing a socially distant live stream event at 8 p.m. CT. Tickets for the Here on Earth Experience show are available here.
Watch the full interview with McGraw when Hot 20 Countdown airs on CMT at 8:00 a.m. CT on August 15-16.