I'll Try

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"I'll Try"
Alan Jackson - Ill Try single cover.JPG
Single by Alan Jackson
from the album The Greatest Hits Collection
B-side "Home"
Released January 1, 1996
Format Promo-only CD single
Recorded May 31, 1995[1]
Genre Country
Length 3:51
Label Arista Nashville
Writer(s) Alan Jackson
Producer(s) Keith Stegall
Alan Jackson singles chronology
"Tall, Tall Trees"
"I'll Try"

"I'll Try" is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Alan Jackson. It was released in January 1996 as the second single from his 1995 compilation album The Greatest Hits Collection. Like "Tall, Tall Trees" (the other newly recorded track on that compilation), it was a number-one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks.[2] It also reached number 5 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.

Background and writing[edit]

Jackson told Billboard magazine, "Everybody kept telling me, 'You need to come out with a positive love song.' I've had a lot of sad ballads, but I have a hard time writing those [positive love songs] because there's a tendency to get real sappy with them so they're not real. That's the way most of them come off to me. I wanted to write one that was realistic, what I call a realistic approach to a positive love song."[3]


The song is a mid-tempo love ballad with the male narrator pledging his faithfulness to his significant other regardless of the relationship complications that may occasionally arise and despite the narrator's imperfect well-being. The line "Both know damn well it's not easy together," from the first verse, was changed to "We both know too well..." in the radio edit.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Deborah Evans Price of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying "How refreshing—an honest love song. Instead of promising the moon and stars, Jackson has penned a song that simply says, "I'm not perfect, just another man/But I will give you all that I am/And I'll try to love only you/And I'll try my best to be true/Oh darlin' I'll try." What more could a woman want? Honesty is the best policy, and this realistic look at love is destined to be a hit with country music lovers everywhere."[5]

Chart positions[edit]

"I'll Try" debuted at number 67 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of December 30, 1995.

Chart (1996) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[6] 5
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 1
Chart (2000) Peak
Brazilian Singles Chart (ABPD)[8] 93

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[9] 71
US Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 29


  1. ^ The Greatest Hits Collection (CD). Alan Jackson. Arista Records. 1995. 07822 18801. 
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Alan Jackson biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ Billboard, September 16, 1995
  4. ^ Hirschhorn, Joel. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Songwriting, 2nd Edition. 
  5. ^ "Country." Billboard 108.2 (1996): 62. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 18 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2917." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. March 18, 1996. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  7. ^ "Alan Jackson – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alan Jackson.
  8. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1996". RPM. December 16, 1996. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Best of 1996: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1996. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Wild Angels"
by Martina McBride
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single

March 9, 1996
Succeeded by
"The Beaches of Cheyenne"
by Garth Brooks