On This Day: Tim McGraw Releases 2nd Album ‘Not a Moment Too Soon’ in 1994

by Jim Casey
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Tim McGraw established himself as an up-and-coming superstar with the release of his sophomore album, Not a Moment Too Soon, on March 22, 1994.

Tim’s breakthrough album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and later reached No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. It also spawned five Top 10 singles, including No. 1 hits “Don’t Take the Girl” and “Not a Moment Too Soon.” In addition, the 10-song offering was named Album of the Year at the ACM Awards in 1995 and helped Tim earn Best New Male Vocalist honors.

A star was born. And Tim is still burning bright 27 years later.

Tim’s Second Album Was Just in Time

By commercial standards, Tim’s 1993 self-titled debut album was a dud. The album failed to produce any Top 40 singles. In addition, Tim McGraw is Tim’s only album not to enter the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

“I was told by one producer to pack up and go home,” said Tim to Country Weekly magazine in 1998. “He said I was never going to make it.”

A novelty song called “Indian Outlaw” was about to change the trajectory of Tim’s career. Released in January 1994, “Indian Outlaw” became a dance-hall favorite. It also became Tim’s first Top 10 hit. He followed up the up-tempo hit with a tear-jerking ballad, “Don’t Take the Girl.” The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

‘Not a Moment Too Soon’ Takes Off

The album became a smash. Hit singles “Down on the Farm” (No. 2), “Not a Moment Too Soon” (No. 1), and “Refried Dreams” (No. 5) followed.

At the 30th ACM Awards in 1995, Tim took home the trophy for Top New Male Vocalist. Even more impressive, Not a Moment Too Soon bested Garth Brooks In Pieces, Alan Jackson’s Who I Am, and more for Album of the Year.

“From the very beginning, my producers Byron Gallimore and James Stroud gave me a lot of freedom in the studio and the label did, too,” said Tim to Country Weekly. “But after the first album, the label just really cut us loose and let us pick our songs, cut our records and turn them in. And I finally buckled down and decided to do things the way I wanted to do them, whether it worked or not. Making Not a Moment Too Soon was really the turning point in my career.”

In 1995, Tim released his third album, All I Want, which featured his signature No. 1 hit, “I Like It, I Love It.” And in 1996, Tim hit the road with opening act Faith Hill on their “Spontaneous Combustion Tour.” That same year, Tim did take the girl when he married Faith.

Not a Moment Too Soon is Tim’s best-selling studio album. The album has been certified 6X Platinum by the RIAA for moving 6 million units.

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