Throwback Tuesday : ‘Wide Open Spaces’ By Dixie Chicks


Time for our weekly blast from the past y’all – and this week, we’re totally going Country! It’s the Dixie Chicks gracing our Throwback Tuesday post of the week people!

Firstly, get out of that shell of yours. No, seriously – do it. Country music is FUN! There are a whole lotta you completely oblivious to the extraordinary talents of this Texan trio comprising of lead singer Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Erwin Robison. For many of you not acquainted with the band, let’s just have a looksie at some of their achievements now shall we? For starters, they have 13 Grammy’s to their credit. With almost 30 million albums sold in the US alone, they stand as THE most successful all-female band of the SoundScan era (post 1991). Their stunning songwriting abilities, blending in everything from innocent love to defiant political statements – yet keeping it gentle, fun and insanely foot-tapping – define the very essence of the Chicks.

And then we have vocals by Natalie Maines. May I just say – stellar? The traditional twang is there alright, but there’s so SO much more to that voice that literally made Dixie Chicks a house-hold name following their breakthrough album ‘Wide Open Spaces‘ – their 4th overall – in 1998. Story-telling is an integral part of a Country song or album – let’s just say Natalie’s voice gets the job done – the very reason why the Dixie Chicks are one of the most influential and prominent figures in music as a whole, and not just Country.

Wide Open Spaces‘ was not just your average multi-platinum Country album, it was a phenomenon! After 3 unsuccessful tries (the band had been around since 1989), ‘Wide Open Spaces‘ was the album with which the band broke through not only on the Billboard Country Charts, but the Pop Charts as well, spawning 3 consecutive # 1 singles on the Country Songs Chart (‘There’s Your Trouble‘, ‘Wide Open Spaces‘ and ‘You Were Mine‘) – eventually being certified an unprecedented 12 times platinum by the RIAA for sales of 12 million units in the US alone! The Chicks made Country cool – and were largely responsible from bringing Country to the Pop Charts – especially the Hot 100. The genuine joy and energy of the album, with some of the best harmonies I’ve ever heard, was thoroughly palpable – the very reason why the Dixie Chicks are my fave Country band of all time!

Check out the infectious title track from the iconic album – our Throwback Tuesday song of the week. This song’s all about the melodies and the story – a subtle mix of Bluegrass-Pop and foot-tapping Rockabilly – and of course with Natalie’s soaring vocals.

If you enjoyed what you heard, I’d suggest picking up the albums ‘Wide Open Spaces‘, ‘Fly‘, ‘Home‘ and ‘Taking The Long Way‘ – I honestly do not have anything else to say about them but one word – extraordinary. It’s not just Country music – this is the kinda stuff that defines solid¬†musicianship.