Fly (Dixie Chicks album)

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Standard edition cover; limited edition version featured a different background
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 31, 1999
RecordedMarch–June 1999
Dixie Chicks chronology
Wide Open Spaces
Singles from Fly
  1. "Ready to Run"
    Released: June 28, 1999
  2. "Cowboy Take Me Away"
    Released: November 8, 1999
  3. "Goodbye Earl"
    Released: February 28, 2000
  4. "Cold Day in July"
    Released: May 8, 2000
  5. "Without You"
    Released: August 9, 2000
  6. "If I Fall You're Going Down with Me"
    Released: February 12, 2001
  7. "Heartbreak Town"
    Released: June 25, 2001
  8. "Some Days You Gotta Dance"
    Released: September 24, 2001
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Consumer Guide(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)[2]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[3]
Houston Chronicle[4]
Los Angeles Times[5]
Rolling Stone[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[9]

Fly is the fifth studio album (second major label) by American country music band the Dixie Chicks, released on August 31, 1999 through Monument Records. Compared to their previous album and breakthrough Wide Open Spaces (1998), the group had a stronger hand in writing, co-writing five of the fourteen tracks. The album was produced by Blake Chancey and Paul Worley, both of whom had already produced Wide Open Spaces.

The album was widely praised, even more so than their prior album and has been regarded as one of the best country albums of the '90s decade. The album was a massive commercial success for the group, debuting at the top of the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums with 341,000 copies sold first week, becoming the most successful country album of 2000 and making the group the first ever country group in history to debut at number one on the former chart. The album was also moderately successful internationally, debuting atop the Canadian country albums chart and peaking at number six on the Canadian Albums Chart, while also peaking within the top 40 in the album charts in Australia, Finland, and the United Kingdom.

Eight singles were released from Fly, including the Hot Country Songs number one hits "Cowboy Take Me Away" and "Without You", along with their then-highest charting entry on the Billboard Hot 100, "Goodbye Earl", which peaked at number 19. Other successful hits from the record include country top ten hits "Ready to Run" from the Runaway Bride soundtrack, "Cold Day in July", "If I Fall You're Going Down with Me", and "Some Days You Gotta Dance", with the latter having been originally recorded by The Ranch for their only studio album. Original member Keith Urban plays guitar on the Dixie Chicks's version.

The album earned four Grammy nominations in 2000: Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for "Ready to Run", Best Country Album, Album of the Year, and Best Country Song also for "Ready to Run" and its two writers Marcus Hummon and member Martie Maguire (then Martie Seidel), with the group winning Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Country Album.

On June 25, 2002, the album was certified Diamond by the RIAA for selling ten million copies, making the Chicks the only country group to have two diamond albums after Wide Open Spaces.[10] In 2020, the album was ranked at 224 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.[11]

Commercial performance[edit]

Fly debuted at number one on both the Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums chart the week of September 18, 1999, selling 341,000 copies in its debut week, giving the Dixie Chicks the second biggest opening week for any country act in the 90's only behind Garth Brooks and the third overall in any week behind Brooks and LeAnn Rimes.[12] Fly would go on to spend 131 weeks on the former chart, being the group's second consecutive album to spend more than two years on the chart after Wide Open Spaces (1998) spend 134 weeks. Internationally, the album performed decently well. Fly debuted at number six on the Canadian Albums Chart and topped the RPM Canada Country Albums chart. The album was also successful in Australia, debuting the week of September 19, 1999 at its peak position of number 16 and spent eight weeks in total. The album performed poorly in the United Kingdom, where country music already isn't that popular. It debuted on September 11, 1999 at its peak position of number 38 and only spent five weeks on the chart in total. However, Fly performed much better in the UK's country albums chart, where it peaked at number two and would go on to spend 70 weeks in the top ten.

Track listing[edit]

1."Ready to Run"3:52
2."If I Fall You're Going Down with Me"
3."Cowboy Take Me Away"
  • Hummon
  • Maguire
4."Cold Day in July"Richard Leigh5:12
5."Goodbye Earl"Dennis Linde4:19
6."Hello Mr. Heartache"
7."Don't Waste Your Heart"2:49
8."Sin Wagon"
  • Maines
  • Strayer
  • Stephony Smith
9."Without You"
  • Maines
  • Eric Silver
10."Some Days You Gotta Dance"
  • Troy Johnson
  • Marshall Morgan
11."Hole in My Head"3:22
12."Heartbreak Town"Darrell Scott3:53
13."Ain't No Thang But a Chicken Wang" 0:01
14."Let Him Fly"Patty Griffin3:07
Total length:48:02

Note Track 13 is unlisted on the back cover and disc, though it is listed as "Ain't No Thang But a Chicken Wang" in the booklet. On some pressings of the CD, "Heartbreak Town" lasts 3:47 on track 12 and fades into track 13, which plays the last six seconds of the song. On other pressings of the CD, track 12 lasts for the full 3:53 seconds, and track 13 contains no audio, only lasting for 0:01. Digital versions of the album remove the blank track completely, bumping "Let Him Fly" up to track 13.


Compiled from liner notes.[13]

Dixie Chicks

String section on "Without You"

  • Strings conducted and arranged by Dennis Burnside.
  • Violins – Martie Seidel, Carl Gorodetsky, Pamela Sixfin, Lee Larrison, Connie Ellisor, Alan Umstead, David Davidson, Mary Katherine Van Osdale, David Angell, Janet Askey, Karen Winkelman, Cate Myer, Catherine Umstead
  • Violas – Kris Wilkinson, Jim Grosjean, Gary Van Osdale, Monisa Angell
  • Cellos – Bob Mason, John Catchings

Additional musicians


  • Producers: Blake Chancey, Paul Worley
  • Engineers: Tony Castle, Mark Martin, Chris Rowe, Clarke Schleicher, Billy Sherrill
  • Assistant engineer: Tony Castle
  • Mixing: John Guess, Patrick Murphy
  • Mastering: Denny Purcell
  • Assistant mastering engineer: Jonathan Russell
  • Editing: Tony Castle
  • Art direction: Tracy Baskette-Fleaner, Bill Johnson
  • Design: Gina R. Binkley
  • Photography: Ed Rode, Albert Sanchez
  • Photo consultant: Dari Marder
  • Stylist: Renee Fowler
  • Hair stylists: Jennifer Davis, Alex Dizon, Daniel Erdman, Melanie Shelley, Michael Silva
  • Make-up: Debra Ferullo, Stacey Martin, Maital Sabbon
  • Cover lettering from Butterfly Alphabet by Kjell Bloch Sandved.

Charts and certifications[edit]


Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category
2000 Fly Best Country Album
2000 "Ready to Run" Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Fly – Dixie Chicks". AllMusic. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Dixie Chicks: Fly". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  3. ^ Nash, Alanna (September 10, 1999). "Fly". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 21, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Hildebrand, Lee (August 29, 1999). "Dixie Chicks Let Emotions 'Fly'". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Hilburn, Robert (August 29, 1999). "Stand-Up CD From Dixie Chicks; Travis Meeks Aims High". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Zeltner, Mark (October 31, 1999). "Dixie Chicks: Fly". PopMatters. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  7. ^ "Dixie Chicks: Fly". Q (158): 118. November 1999.
  8. ^ Sheffield, Rob (September 16, 1999). "Dixie Chicks: Fly". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  9. ^ Harris, Keith (2004). "Dixie Chicks". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 245. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  10. ^ RIAA Bestsellers Archived August 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 22, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  12. ^ "Between the Bullets" (PDF). Billboard. September 18, 1999. p. 134.
  13. ^ Fly (CD booklet). Dixie Chicks. Monument Records. 1999. 69678.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. ^ "Dixie Chicks, TLP". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "Dixie Chicks, CLP". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  16. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1999". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  17. ^ "Top Country Albums – Year-End 1999". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  18. ^ "Canada's Top 200 Albums of 2000". Jam!. Archived from the original on August 12, 2004. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  19. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2000". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  20. ^ "Top Country Albums – Year-End 2000". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  21. ^ "Top 200 Albums of 2001 (based on sales)". Jam!. Archived from the original on November 6, 2003. Retrieved March 26, 2022.
  22. ^ "Top 100 country albums of 2001 in Canada". Jam!. Archived from the original on July 1, 2002. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  23. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2001". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  24. ^ "Top Country Albums – Year-End 2001". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  25. ^ "Top 100 country albums of 2002 in Canada". Jam!. Archived from the original on December 4, 2003. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  26. ^ "Top Country Albums – Year-End 2002". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  27. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2003 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association.
  28. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Dixie Chicks – Fly". Music Canada.
  29. ^ "British album certifications – Dixie Chicks – Fly". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  30. ^ Paul Grein (October 30, 2013). "Katy Perry Knocks Miley Cyrus Down a Couple Pegs". Chart Watch. Yahoo.
  31. ^ "American album certifications – The Chicks – Fly". Recording Industry Association of America.