Tough All Over (Gary Allan album)

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Tough All Over
Tough All Over.jpg
Studio album by Gary Allan
Released October 11, 2005
Recorded 2005 at The Sound Kitchen and House of Gain
Genre Country
Length 47:13
Label MCA Nashville
Producer Mark Wright
Gary Allan
Gary Allan chronology
See If I Care
(2003)See If I Care2003
Tough All Over
Greatest Hits
(2007)Greatest Hits2007
Singles from Tough All Over
  1. "Best I Ever Had"
    Released: May 23, 2005
  2. "Life Ain't Always Beautiful"
    Released: January 17, 2006
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly A[2]

Tough All Over is the sixth studio album by American country music artist Gary Allan, released in 2005 on the MCA Nashville label> it has been certified gold by the RIAA. Recorded after his wife's suicide, the album is more somber than his previous works, with several songs termed "excruciatingly sad."[3]

Two songs from the album were released as singles: "Best I Ever Had", a cover of the 2001 Vertical Horizon song, and "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" . Both placed on the Billboard Top Ten Hot Country Songs charts.

Critical Acclaim[edit]

Rhapsody (online music service) ranked the album number 7 on its "Country’s Best Albums of the Decade" list.[4] "Allan's sixth album was the first one released after his wife of three years committed suicide. This collection of haunting, heartbreaking songs chronicles his pain and, ultimately, his path back to living. Steeped in grief, Tough All Over is one of Allan's most consistent efforts to date, thanks in part to his gift of conveying emotions like regret, heartbreak and emptiness in a single, well-phrased line. Country Universe said the album was the 3rd best of the decade.[5] Engine 145 country music blog list it number 7 on the "Top Country Albums of the Decade" list.[6]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Tough All Over" Jim Lauderdale, Odie Blackmon 3:21
2. "Best I Ever Had" Matthew Scannell 4:11
3. "I Just Got Back from Hell" Harley Allen, Gary Allan 4:03
4. "Ring" Kostas 3:47
5. "Promise Broken" Deric Ruttan, Margaret Findley 3:11
6. "Nickajack Cave (Johnny Cash's Redemption)" Jamie O'Hara 4:15
7. "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" Tommy Lee James, Cyndi Goodman 3:44
8. "He Can't Quit Her" Casey Beathard, Ed Hill 3:32
9. "What Kind of Fool" O'Hara 3:57
10. "Puttin' Memories Away" Allan, Matt Warren 3:32
11. "No Damn Good" O'Hara, Allan, Blackmon 3:44
12. "Putting My Misery on Display" Allan 6:07
Total length: 47:13


As listed in liner notes.[7]

Strings by the Nashville String Machine.

Chart performance[edit]


Chart (2005) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 1
U.S. Billboard 200 3


Year Single Peak chart
US Country US
2005 "Best I Ever Had" 7 51
2006 "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" 4 61


Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[8] Gold


  1. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Tough All Over review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  2. ^ Nash, Alanna (October 17, 2005). "Tough All Over review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (May 29, 2006). "Rascal Flatts and Gary Allan: The Yin and Yang of Stoicism". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  4. ^ "Country’s Best Albums of the Decade" Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  5. ^ [1] Retrieved 17 March 2010
  6. ^ [2] Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  7. ^ Tough All Over (CD). Gary Allan. MCA Nashville. 2005. B0003711. 
  8. ^ "American album certifications – Gary Allan – Tough All Over". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
Real Fine Place by Sara Evans
Top Country Albums number-one album
October 29, 2005
Succeeded by
Timeless by Martina McBride