In 2016, country singer Eric Church released “Record Year” as the second single from his album Mr. Misunderstood.
The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and also peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. After remarkably reaching two million units in sales and streams, it was certified double Platinum by the RIAA.
The Story Behind The Song
Written by Eric Church with his long-time banjo player and guitarist Jeff Hyde, “Record Year” tells the tale of a man who heals his broken heart just by listening to a collection of vinyl record albums. It made references to different musical artists to whom the man in the song is listening – like hits from George Jones, James Brown, and Waylon Jennings.
“I guess I really oughta call and thank you. I rediscovered Red Headed Stranger Got down with old James Brown. And found New Grass Revival. If you find your way back, I owe you a beer for my record year,” the song goes.
Church knew that the moment he sat with Hyde, he’s going to get something unique. In fact, the country star revealed that it was actually Hyde who came up with the original idea for the song.
“I’ve written a lot of songs with a lot of people, and very rarely do you come up against an idea that’s unique, that you think there’s no way that it is unique,” Church said. “I remember when Jeff had the idea for ‘Record Year,’ I thought, ‘Well, it had to have been done in this way,’ and was shocked to learn that it hadn’t been done.”
On the other hand, Hyde felt like “it was a gift from God because most of the time, the ideas I come up with are not nearly as good as that one was,” he said.
Then Church took “Record Year” to another level, making it the starting point for his 2015 album, Mr. Misunderstood.
“‘Mr. Misunderstood’ was the first song, ’cause it was the album title. But for me, the record always started with ‘Record Year,'” Church explained, who claimed he’d been a vinyl fan back before it was in craze like it is today.
“I remember, whatever it is that I had to get over or get past or get through, I remember records being my refuge during that time. It was a song, and it is a song that I’m proud of, and I think it’ll be one of the bigger ones in our career.”
You can listen to “Record Year” in the video below.