Billy Dean or William Harold Dean Jr., is an American country singer-songwriter whose first national fame took place when he joined Star Search, a talent competition on TV. Since then, he actively worked to develop his career in music. In the span of his career, Billy Dean has recorded and released a total of eight studio albums. His first three albums were certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, while all of his studio albums combined brought over 20 hit singles that made it to the Billboard country charts.
With over 20 songs that impressed critics and listeners far and wide, pinpointing the best among the finest masterpieces of Billy Dean can be a challenging feat to undertake. We did a little digging and, with a few debating left and right, came up with a list of 10 of what we believe is his most noteworthy songs.
10. I’m Not Built That Way
I’m Not Built That Way was released in August 1993. It was co-written by George Teren and Don Pfimmer. This third single from Billy Dean’s album, Fire in the Dark, landed on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks’ 34th spot and peaked at top 18 on the Canada Country Tracks.
9. Cowboy Band
This guitar-heavy track is the best song to serenade your road trips with your group of friends, or a great afternoon of barbecue and fine booze by the barn while you bask in the fading warmth of the sunset. It’s simple but its beats will leave a positive atmosphere wherever you go, and no matter what you’re doing.
8. Tryin’ to Hide a Fire in the Dark
Some love songs strike our hearts because of the endearing, sugary lyrics that speak of first loves and crushes. But Tryin’ to Hide a Fire in the Dark is different. Its appeal stems from the fact that its backstory is that of a man whose heart had been stolen by another woman even after he is already dating someone else. The reception to the song was so good that it made its way to the top 6 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks.
7. Billy the Kid
Co-written by Billy Dean, Billy the Kid slightly features music from Only the Wind at the beginning of the song. It was released in May 1992, debuted at the 60th spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks during the week of May 23 of the same year. The music video was directed by Bill Young.
6. If There Hadn’t Been You
The song was written by Tom Shapiro and Ron Hellard, It snagged the top 1 spot on the Canada RPM Country Charts, while it landed on third place on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. This mellow, poignant song expresses deep, heartfelt gratitude for someone who has helped the narrator through the toughest times in his life. It’s relatable, light, but filled with emotional honesty.
5. Only Here for a Little While
Another emotionally-charged melody from Billy Dean is Only Here for a Little While. It speaks of how short life is and that we are all here for a limited time, and so we must make the most out of every day we have. The realization for the narrator dawned upon him after a good friend of his passed away. The song, which debuted in December 1990, peaked at number three on the charts the following year, and spent over 22 weeks on the Hot Country Songs charts, has a homey feel to it. It packs the kind of feel-good motivation that will drive you to eliminate personal differences with the people around you and truly want to reconcile.
4. Young Man
One of the first songs to complete Billy Dean’s debut album of the same title, Young Man is about a mother and son who holds conflicting perspectives on how the latter should live his life. The mother begs her son to settle down in the town where he was born, find a job on the docks or in the fields, and stay close to her. But, her son, who is also the song’s narrator, refuses to give in to her wishes for he dreams of exploring the world far and beyond and live a life with no regrets.
3. You Don’t Count the Cost
Reaching number 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles in September 1991, You Don’t Count the Cost sings of love in its deepest meanings and simplest forms. It depicts how love is not something that can be bought or monetized because it is evident in the feelings and actions we do to protect and care for the ones important to us.
2. Only the Wind
The track conveys an interpretation and analogy of one of the common fears that kids have—windstorm. But this time, it relates the storm to a man’s failing relationship with the woman he used to love. The story shows that the man reminisces his childhood days, where his mom would bring him comfort and solace whenever their house was pestered by strong, howling whips of wind. Fast forward to his present life, he shares that their relationship has hit rock bottom fight after fight, leading his partner to leave him. But then, as the sound of the door shutting as she leaves and closes the door rings in his ear, memories of his childhood flash back and so he wishes aloud that his woman’s departure in his life is only temporary.
1. Somewhere in My Broken Heart
Number one on our list is, Somewhere in My Broken Heart, a mellow Billy Dean song about parting ways with an ex-lover, setting them free while finding forgiveness, the strength to keep going and wishing them well, and continuing to harbor your unspoken love in the broken pieces of your hurting, mending heart. It hits you squarely in your heart without the bitterness we often encounter during painful separations.