A major hit in 1975, “I’m Not Lisa” is a three-minute country song penned and recorded by American outlaw artist Jessi Colter. Her husband, Waylon Jennings, and former U.S. manager of Apple Records Ken Mansfield co-produced the song. However, it was Capitol Records that gained the rights for the song and released it on January 16, 1975.
Interestingly, “I’m Not Lisa” became Colter’s first major hit as a solo artist in 1975, appearing in several charts in four countries.
The song became a chart-topper in the U.S., Canada, Austria, and New Zealand. It debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs on February 15, 1975, where it placed on top among all other songs at that time. Also, it was a major crossover pop hit. It reached no. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. By the year-end charts, it was the 40th most famous song for the year 1975. The song also penetrated the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, placing no. 16 on the charts.
On the other hand, “I’m Not Lisa” also stormed the Canadian music charts. It went no. 1 on both Canadian RPM Country Singles and RPM Adult Contemporary Singles. Meanwhile, it peaked at no. 6 on the Pop Singles. Subsequently, it ranked 39th on pop singles year-end charts. While “I’m Not Lisa” was becoming popular in the Americas, it also entered the foreign charts. Interestingly, it reached no. 17 on both Austrian Top 40 and New Zealand Singles chart.
In addition, the song gave Colter nominations at the Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Country Music Association Awards.
As mentioned earlier, “I’m Not Lisa” is the first major hit of Jessi Colter as a solo artist. Colter personally penned the song and revealed later in the story. It is about someone who is dating a guy but having a hard time moving on from his past lover. The girl (named Julie in the song) who is reminding the guy he’s dating that she is not Lisa (the previous relationship of the guy). Additionally, she is pointing out that Lisa has already gone and he has to move on.
The message of the song is very evident in its first stanza:
I’m not Lisa, my name is Julie
Lisa left you years ago
My eyes are not blue
But mine won’t leave you
‘Til the sunlight has touched your face
Watch Jessi Colter perform her 1975 hit “I’m Not Lisa”:
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