On This Day: Clint Black Drops Debut Album ‘Killin’ Time’ in 1989

by Katie Maloney
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32 years ago, country music icon Clint Black soared to fame after releasing his debut album, Killin’ Time.

Most artists gradually climb to the tops of the charts but not Clint Black. Country music superstar Clint Black skyrocketed to the top of the charts after releasing his first album ever, Killin’ Time. Clint Black wrote or co-wrote all 10 songs on the album that produced five number-one singles. His debut single, “A Better Man,” became Black’s first number one hit song ever.

His second single, “Killin’ Time” also soared to the number one spot. The third and fourth singles released, “Nobody’s Home,” and “Walkin’ Away,” spent a combined five weeks in the top spot on the chart. Lastly, Clint Black’s fifth single, “Nothing’s News” landed him the number one spot on the Hot Country Songs chart in Canada. The song peaked in the number three spot in the US.

In conclusion, Clint black didn’t waste any time gradually climbing to fame. He went straight for the top of the charts with this album.

Clint Black’s “Killin’ Time”

The Story Behind Clint Back’s First Hit

Breakup songs where the singer actually thanks an ex for all the growth they’ve experienced during the relationship are pretty uncommon. At least that was the case in 1989. Not many country songs about heartbreak featured a grateful ex. But Clint Black changed that. His song, “Better Man” is about a guy driving away at the end of a relationship. He could sing about the heartbreak. Or he could sing about how he was wronged by his partner. He could sing about how much he knows he’ll be missed. But, instead, he simply thanks his partner for helping him become a better man.

During the song, Clint Black sings, “I don’t know if words from me can still upset you. But I’ve just gotta make this memory stand clear know I’m leavin’ here a better man. For knowin’ you this way. Things I couldn’t do before now I think I can. And I’m leavin’ here a better man.”

And now we’re crying! This is precisely why the song soared to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. During an interview in 2019, Black talked about his different approach to heartache.

“You know, I don’t remember a lot, other than that it was a different approach to a heartache song and the idea that even though things weren’t right, something good came out of it. And really trying to stick with a positive attitude about that,” said Black. “I’ve gotten a lot of comments over the years about how people appreciated that twist. How it wasn’t, you know, ‘You’re a jerk, goodbye,’ but rather, ‘Hey, something positive came out of this negative for me.’ And it’s funny, I hadn’t really thought about it in terms of whether there were a lot of country songs, or any country songs, that I grew up with that did that, but we made a conscious effort at it.”

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