Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly series showcasing an album, single, music video or performance of a bygone era and its personal and/or cultural significance.
There are few vocalists as transcendent as Trisha Yearwood. Her catalog of hits, running from “She’s in Love with the Boy” to “How Do I Live,” “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)” and the iconic “Walkaway Joe,” was the backdrop to my anxious, emo-ish and often distressed childhood. I was coming of age in the late ’90s, trapped inside a broken, abusive household, and Yearwood’s yearning was my yearning. Her vocal could tear through steel, demolish the mountaintops, part the Atlantic Ocean if you let her ⎯⎯ and envelope me in warmth, love and light the likes I have rarely known from listening to a CD. It doesn’t matter what she’s singing, really, she’ll make you feel something sensational and change your life forever.
Out of all her albums and countless hits and deep cuts, it is “I Would’ve Loved You Anyway” that moves me most, summons every tear from my body, sends chills down my spine, ignites my caterwauling next to her silky smooth alto. “It’s bittersweet to look back now at memories withered on the vine,” she paints, painstakingly sketching her suffering in vivid, earth-shattering detail. Written by Troy Verges (Carrie Underwood, Hunter Hayes) and Mary Danna (Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Trace Adkins), Yearwood blows the roof off and sets it on fire, casting her heart in stone and vowing she would have loved “even if she had seen it coming,” she unpacks on the bridge before another wave of strings hits you squarely in the chest. “Not a touch that I would trade had I known my heart would break,” she wails, signaling a second outbreak of goosebumps across the skin.
The blistering ballad is lifted from her 2001 studio album, Inside Out, which includes the exemplary Rosanne Cash-assisted “Seven Year Ache,” “I Don’t Paint Myself into Corners” (with the incomparable Vince Gill on backing vocals) and “Melancholy Blue.”