On This Day: Garth Brooks Goes No. 1 With ‘That Summer’ in 1993

by Madison Miller

Back in 1993, country artist Garth Brooks was just getting started.

A couple of years prior he shares his debut self-titled album, which turns out to be a massive success and No. 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. His favorite song of all time is on that album, “The Dance.”

His second album, “No Fences” came out in 1990 and went No. 3 on the Billboard 200. To this day, it is his top-grossing album. “Rope the Wind” followed in 1991. He had entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1.

From his highly successful first three albums, Brooks was coming in hot for his fourth in 1992. It was “The Chase.” The album contains songs like “Learning to Live Again,” “Somewhere Other Than the Night,” and “We Shall Be Free.”

Garth Brooks’ ‘That Summer’ Goes No. 1

Only one song on the album went to No. 1 status, which was “That Summer.” It went on to dominate the radio and be a defining song of that summer. It reached No. 1 on this day in 1993, which is 28 years ago. Garth Brooks co-wrote the song with Pat Alger and his wife at the time, Sandy Brooks. It spent two weeks at the top of the charts.

The song tells the dramatic story of a secret love affair between a widowed woman and a young, rather inexperienced man. “When I told her that I’d never / She softly whispered, ‘That’s alright’ / And then I watched her hands of leather / Turn to velvet in a touch / There’s never been another summer / When I have ever learned so much.”

As it turns out, it was another one of his favorites.

“‘That Summer” started out as a single guy and a married woman meeting at a party. The married woman [was] being ignored by who she was with, and they snuck off together. [Producer] Allen Reynolds told me, ‘Man, I just don’t find myself pulling for these characters. It doesn’t seem innocently cool. I was thinking that he was right. Going home that night in the truck, I started singing, ‘She has a need to feel the thunder.’ Sandy started helping me write the chorus, and we got the chorus done. Probably one of the neat things that I love about ‘That Summer’ is that I think the song is very sexy,” Garth Brooks once said, according to The Boot.

Other Song Off ‘The Chase’ Album

The song tells an intense and well-thought-out story.

Similarly, one of Garth Brooks’ most impactful songs also comes off “The Chase.” That is the single “We Shall Be Free.” Brooks and Stephanie Davis wrote the tune while the two were in Los Angeles amidst the L.A. riots that year. People came swarming into the city after the acquittal of the police officers that beat up Rodney King.

The song is an anthem for coming together and inclusion. “People have been requesting ‘We Shall Be Free’ a lot more recently. Any time there is turmoil, any time there is division, we are looking for a safe place. This song is telling us, ‘We’ve all got our differences, but instead of letting it separate it, let’s revel in those differences and use them to our advantage as one,'” Brooks said to People in 2017.