On This Day: Garth Brooks Hits No. 1 With ‘To Make You Feel My Love’ in 1998

by Keeli Parkey

Twenty-three years ago today (Aug. 1, 2021) Garth Brooks released one of the many chart-topping songs of his career.

It was on Aug. 1, 1998, that the country music superstar released his cover of Bob Dylan’s song, “To Make You Feel My Love,” according to The Boot. Dylan used the song on his album, Time Out of Mind. It was released in 1997. However, it was titled, “Make You Feel My Love” on Dylan’s album. Also in 1997, Billy Joel also covered this Dylan song.

As performed by Bob Dylan, “Make You Feel My Love” is a very simple song and its accompanying music maintains that theme. For his version, Garth Brooks kept that simple feel. His version includes organ, piano, and acoustic guitar. Thanks to these additional instruments, the version by Garth Brooks really expresses the loving devotion expressed in Bob Dylan’s lyrics.

Speaking of the lyrics of “To Make You Feel My Love,” here’s a sample: “I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue /
I’d go crawling down the avenue / No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do / To make you feel my love / The storms are raging on the rolling sea / And on the highway of regret / Though winds of change are throwing wild and free / You ain’t seen nothing like me yet.

The lyrics, while simple, are truly moving. Bob Dylan wrote a terrific love song. And, Garth Brooks performs it beautifully. The version by Brooks appeared on the soundtrack for the popular Sandra Bullock film, “Hope Floats.” It was released in 1998 and also starred Harry Connick Jr. and Gena Rowlands.

His version of “To Make You Feel My Love” appears as the very first song on the film’s soundtrack. Interestingly, Trisha Yearwood, who is now the wife of Garth Brooks, also covers the Bob Dylan song on the “Hope Floats” soundtrack. Yearwood’s cover of the song is the last on the soundtrack.

Garth Brooks also released his cover “To Make You Feel My Love” on “The Limited Series” release of his Fresh Horses album.

His cover was only at the top of the country music charts for one week. It also led to two Grammy nominations. One was for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. However, this award went to Vince Gill for his performance of “If You Ever Have Forever in Mind.”

The other Grammy nomination was for Best Country Song. Had it won that award, the prize would have gone to Bob Dylan as the person who wrote the song. However, it was Shania Twain and Robert John “Mutt” Lange who won this Grammy for their song, “You’re Still The One.”