Tornado (song)

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Single by Little Big Town
from the album Tornado
ReleasedOctober 1, 2012 (2012-10-01)
LabelCapitol Nashville
Producer(s)Jay Joyce
Little Big Town singles chronology
"Your Side of the Bed"

"Tornado" is a song recorded by American country music group Little Big Town. It was released in October 2012 as the second single from their fifth studio album, Tornado. The song was written by Natalie Hemby and Delta Maid.


The song is in E-flat minor with a moderate tempo and a main chord pattern of Em-D.[1] It features lead vocals from Karen Fairchild, and uses a tornado as a metaphor for a woman's anger at her lover being unfaithful. The main accompaniment is guitars in E-flat tuning, along with a distorted bass guitar and drum loops.

Natalie Hemby wrote the song with Delta Maid, and said that the idea came when Maid asked if the area had frequent tornadoes.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Billy Dukes of Taste of Country gave the song four and a half stars out of five, writing that "Karen Fairchild is the group’s go-to girl for attitude, and she slings it on this relentless foot-stomper that somehow still feels understated."[3] Matt Bjorke of Roughstock gave the song a favorable review, saying that "Tornado is a lyrical gem and a downright awesome song with really interesting percussion and the vocal effects the group does are simply unmatched."[4] Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe gave the song a B- grade, writing that "the concept is interesting, but it’s forced, with predictable imagery lifted right out of Wizard of Oz."[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Shane Drake and premiered on October 31, 2012. It was filmed in Watertown, Tennessee and co-stars Johnathon Schaech as the object of the band's wrath.[6]

Chart performance[edit]

"Tornado" debuted at number 47 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of October 13, 2012.[7] It also debuted at number 97 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week of November 24, 2012, and debuted at number 88 on the Canadian Hot 100 for the week of December 15, 2012.[8]

Chart (2012–13) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[9] 60
Canada Country (Billboard)[10] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 51
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[12] 6
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[13] 2

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Position
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[14] 40
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[15] 42


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[16] Gold 40,000^
United States (RIAA)[18] Gold 693,000[17]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "'Tornado' sheet music". Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  2. ^ Conaway, Alanna (October 3, 2012). "Little Big Town, 'Tornado' – Lyrics Uncovered". Taste of Country. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Dukes, Billy (September 20, 2012). "Little Big Town, 'Tornado' – Song Review". Taste of Country. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  4. ^ Bjorke, Matt (September 21, 2012). "The Weekly Single Recap: September 21, 2012". Roughstock. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  5. ^ Coyne, Kevin John (October 16, 2012). "Single Review: Little Big Town, "Tornado"". Country Universe. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  6. ^ "Little Big Town's "Tornado" Video Due on Halloween". Country Music Television. October 26, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  7. ^ Morris, Edward (October 6, 2012). "Little Big Town's Tornado, Jason Aldean's "Take a Little Ride" Still No. 1". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  8. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 For The Week of December 15, 2012". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Little Big Town Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Little Big Town Chart History (Canada Country)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Little Big Town Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Little Big Town Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Little Big Town Chart History (Country Airplay)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Best of 2013: Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  15. ^ "Best of 2013: Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  16. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Little Big Town – Tornado". Music Canada. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  17. ^ Matt Bjorke (March 27, 2013). "Country Chart News - The Top 30 Digital Singles: The Week of March 27, 2013: Darius Rucker "Wagon Wheel" #1: Blake Shelton #2; Justin Moore "Point At You" Highest Debut". Roughstock. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  18. ^ "American single certifications – Little Big Town – Tornado". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 17, 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.