What Mattered Most

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
What Mattered Most
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 18, 1995 (1995-04-18)
ProducerDoug Johnson, Ed Seay
Ty Herndon chronology
What Mattered Most
Living in a Moment

What Mattered Most is the debut album of American country music artist Ty Herndon, issued in 1995 on Epic Records. The album's title track, which was Herndon's debut single, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts in mid-1995. Other singles from the album were, in order, "I Want My Goodbye Back," "Heart Half Empty" (a duet with Stephanie Bentley) and "In Your Face." Doug Johnson produced the entire album, with additional production from Ed Seay on "Heart Half Empty".


What Mattered Most was released on April 18, 1995, via Epic Records Nashville. The album is led off by its title track, which is also the first single from it. Written by Gary Burr and Vince Melamed, this song became Herndon's first No. 1 country hit in May 1995, peaking on both the U.S. Billboard Country Singles charts and Canadian RPM Country Singles charts. Following it were "I Want My Goodbye Back," "Heart Half Empty" (another Gary Burr co-write), and "In Your Face." Respectively, these reached 7, 21, and 63 on the U.S. Country charts. "Heart Half Empty," a duet with Stephanie Bentley, was her first chart single. It was reprised on her 1996 debut album Hopechest, also on Epic Records.

"You Just Get One" was later released as a single by Jeff Wood from his 1997 debut album Between the Earth and the Stars. Additionally, "Summer Was a Bummer" was later recorded by Wade Hayes on his 1998 album When the Wrong One Loves You Right, and "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" is a cover of the Jim Croce song from 1972.

What Mattered Most debuted at number 15 on Top Country Albums and #1 on Top Heatseekers, the highest album debut for a country artist since Billy Ray Cyrus' Some Gave All in 1992.[1] It peaked at number 9 on the former chart. In addition, the album had the highest first-day shipment in the history of Epic Records' Nashville division.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Giving it 3.5 stars out of 5, Michael McCall of New Country wrote that "For the most part, Herndon comes on like a confident newcomer worthy of attention." He praised the title track, "Pretty Good Thing", "Hat Full of Rain", and "I Want My Goodbye Back" for Herndon's vocal delivery, but criticized the same on the "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" cover. He also panned "Heart Half Empty", "You Just Get One", and "In Your Face" for their "unduly shallow" lyrics.[3] An uncredited review in Billboard was favorable, sying that "With a rich, expressive voice that is equally suited to pensive ballads and rollicking, uptempo tunes, Herndon is one of country's most impressive newcomers."[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "What Mattered Most" (Gary Burr, Vince Melamed) - 3:40
  2. "Pretty Good Thing" (Walt Aldridge, Brad Crisler) - 2:51
  3. "Summer Was a Bummer" (Hank Cochran, Dean Dillon) - 3:30
  4. "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" (Jim Croce) - 3:16
  5. "Heart Half Empty" (Burr, Desmond Child) - 4:55
  6. "I Want My Goodbye Back" (Pat Bunch, Doug Johnson, Dave Berg) - 3:24
  7. "You Just Get One" (Vince Gill, Don Schlitz) - 3:35
  8. "In Your Face" (Annette Cotter, Kim Tribble) - 2:16
  9. "Love at 90 Miles an Hour" (Chris Knight, Sam Tate, Annie Tate) - 3:30
  10. "Hat Full of Rain" (Kim Morrison, Ronnie Godfrey) - 4:11



  • Jim Burnett - digital editing, assistant engineer
  • Don Cobb - editing
  • Paige Conners - production assistant
  • Emory Gordy, Jr. - string arrangement (track 10)
  • Bill Johnson - art direction
  • Doug Johnson - production (all tracks)
  • Anthony Martin - assistant engineer
  • Frank Ockenfels - photography
  • Denny Purcell - mastering
  • Ed Seay - production (track 5 only), engineering, mixing
  • Rollow Welch - art direction

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 9
U.S. Billboard 200 68
U.S. Billboard Top Heatseekers 1
Canadian RPM Country Albums 3


  1. ^ "See more articles from PR+Newswire TY HERNDON CONTINUES STREAK OF FIRSTS; ALBUM DEBUT SETS RECORD AS HOT SHOT DEBUT". PR Newswire. 1995-05-02. Retrieved 2009-05-19.[dead link]
  2. ^ "TY HERNDON MAKES MORE HISTORY WITH SINGLE/ALBUM". PR Newswire. 04-10-1995. Retrieved 2009-05-19. Check date values in: |date= (help)[dead link]
  3. ^ McCall, Michael. "Ty Herndon — What Mattered Most". New Country. 2 (7): 62.
  4. ^ "Reviews". Billboard: 62. June 24, 1995.