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When you think Tim McGrawI hope you think of me
I hope you think my favorite song
Someday you'll turn your radio on
I hope it takes you back to that place
When you think Tim McGraw
McGraw first hit the country charts in 1992 with "Welcome to the Club," which failed to make the Top 40. After two more singles which both tanked miserably, he could easily have been tossed into the dustbin of country music history. Then a little song called "Indian Outlaw," with its cartoonish stereotypes of Native American lifestyles (and ensuing controversy), broke him into the Top 10 of country and Top 20 of pop, followed by the slightly more substantial "Don't Take the Girl." It wasn't long before his second album, Not a Moment Too Soon, sold six million copies stateside. Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, he has maintained a constant stream of hits, including twenty-three #1 hits on the Billboard country charts. The longest-lasting of these is "Live Like You Were Dying," released not long after the death of his father.
The hits have slipped since then, though, as he has managed only three more #1 hits since. The fanbase largely blames this slippage on poor single choices: pretty much every single since "Back When" has been considered a poor choice, and many fans have thought that a great deal of album cuts would have made better single choices.
McGraw finally left Curb in May 2012 and signed with Big Machine Records.
- Tim McGraw (1993)
- Not a Moment Too Soon (1994)
- All I Want (1995)
- Everywhere (1997)
- A Place in the Sun (1999)
- Greatest Hits (2000)
- Set This Circus Down (2001)
- Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors (2002)
- Live Like You Were Dying (2004)
- Tim McGraw Reflected: Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (2006)
- Let It Go (2007)
- Greatest Hits 3 (2008)
- Southern Voice (2009)
- Emotional Traffic (2012)
- Age Progression Song / Dual-Meaning Chorus: "Don't Take the Girl," his first Number One hit, is an example of this, following Johnny and an unnamed girl. First, the boy asks that his dad not take the girl on a fishing trip; then he asks a robber not to take her away from him; then he asks God not to take her life as she struggles to stay alive.
- Badass Mustache: McGraw originally wore a fu manchu, but at some point in the late nineties it evolved into a goatee.
- Black Sheep Hit: His duet with Nelly, "Over and Over." Strangely, this wasn't released to country radio at all.
- The Bully: The singer of "One of These Days" used to be one.
- Down on the Farm: His 1994 song of that name.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Until about the late 1990s, he was a lot more mainstream. Starting with A Place in the Sun, he moved into rock and AC territory more often, with "Please Remember Me" as a notable turning point. It also looks very weird seeing him strum a guitar in the video to "Welcome to the Club".
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "Just to See You Smile."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: "Real Good Man" is the singer's attempt to argue this: sure, he's a biker and all, but he loves his mother and is a dedicated patriot, so don't be afraid to get on that bike with him...
- Kids Rock: His children sing along at the end of "Last Dollar (Fly Away)."
- The Masochism Tango: "Please Remember Me" is apparently the tail end of one of these that was largely the singer's fault, leading to a sort of nonlethal Her Heart Will Go On.
- Men Don't Cry: Repeatedly subverted in "Grown Men Don't Cry."
- Like You Were Dying: His biggest hit, "Live Like You Were Dying".
- List Song: "Southern Voice," which lists off various Southern-oriented personalities, from Hank Aaron to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to Pocahontas. All are in the form of "[name] [verb]ed it", such as "Jack Daniels [sic] drunk it."
- Lyrical Shoehorn: "Angry All the Time" has a line "Twenty years have came and went", even though the grammatically correct "Have come and gone" would have fit the meter.
- "My Old Friend" is even worse with "They laugh and they cry me / And somehow sanctify me". Verbs do not work that way.
- Record Producer: He's worked with Byron Gallimore from day one. James Stroud co-produced with them from 1994 to 2001, and Darran Smith from then to 2006.
- He and Gallimore also produced for labelmate Jo Dee Messina from 1996 to 2005.
- Self-Titled Album: As listed above, he had one in 1993 and another (sort of) in 2002.
- Shout-Out: Taylor Swift's "Tim McGraw," of course.
- Signature Song: Take your pick: "Indian Outlaw," "Don't Take the Girl," "I Like It, I Love It," "It's Your Love," "Just to See You Smile," "Please Remember Me," "Live Like You Were Dying."
- Vocal Evolution: His voice started out fairly high and whiny, but got gradually lower and less whiny over time. By Set This Circus Down, the whine was completely gone.
- Word Salad Lyrics: "She's My Kind of Rain:"
She's my kind of rain
Like love in a drunken sky
She's confetti falling down all night
She sits there quietly
Black water in a jar
Says, "Baby, why you trembling like you are?"
- Also "When the Stars Go Blue", a Ryan Adams cover.