Work Hard, Play Harder
|"Work Hard, Play Harder"|
|Single by Gretchen Wilson|
|from the album I Got Your Country Right Here|
|Released||October 26, 2009|
|Gretchen Wilson singles chronology|
|"Work Hard, Play Harder" at CMT.com|
"Work Hard, Play Harder" is the title of a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Gretchen Wilson. It was released in October 2009 as the lead-off single from her album, I Got Your Country Right Here, which was released on March 30, 2010. Additionally, "Work Hard, Play Harder" serves as the first single release from Wilson's own Redneck Records. Wilson co-wrote the song with John Rich and Vicky McGehee (a team responsible for writing her 2005 hit "All Jacked Up").
"Work Hard, Play Harder" is an up-tempo song, backed primarily by electric guitar and fiddle. The song's narrator describes having a busy work schedule, but highlights that on Friday she has free time to go out and party. The song serves as the debut single for Gretchen Wilson's Redneck Records label, following her departure from Columbia Nashville.
In July 2008, the song was featured in a commercial for Saving Grace. The rock band The Black Crowes believed that "Work Hard, Play Harder" copied their song "Jealous Again"; therefore, they filed a lawsuit against Gretchen Wilson. The lawsuit also covered then-label Columbia Nashville, her publishing company, and the cable network. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed sum  and Black Crowes members Chris and Rich Robinson were given songwriting credits.
The song has received mixed reception among music critics. Juli Thanki of Engine 145 gave the song a thumbs down, noted that while "it is catchy, and far from horrible," the song was too similar in theme to several of Wilson's previous singles. Matt Bjorke of Roughstock positively described the song as "the perfect kind of song to play while driving to and from work or getting ready to go out on the weekend." He also thought that it would re-capture Wilson's fanbase. Leeann Ward of Country Universe gave the song a B- rating, describing its theme and production as an "inferior carbon copy" of her debut single "Redneck Woman." She felt that although Wilson is a "decidedly talented artist," she should be free to make better music now on her own record label.
The music video for the song, directed by Deaton-Flanigen Productions, premiered on CMT on October 13, 2009. In the video, Wilson is shown driving through the countryside, standing beside a barn with a projector screen showing footage of her previous music videos, and performing with her band in the evening at an outdoor concert.
The song debuted at #56 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of November 14, 2009; it is Wilson's first chart single since "Don't Do Me No Good" in 2008. After 33 weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the song reached a peak of #18 for the week of June 26, 2010, becoming Wilson's first Top 20 single since "All Jacked Up" reached #8 in 2005.
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||18|
|US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100||15|
- BMI - Repertoire Search
- CMT News: Gretchen Wilson, Sony Music Part Ways
- Serpe, Gina (2008-07-30). "Black Crowes Caw Out Gretchen Wilson for Alleged Song Stealing". E! Online. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- Engine 145: Gretchen Wilson – “Work Hard, Play Harder”
- Roughstock Blog: Gretchen Wilson - "Work Hard, Play Harder"
- Country Universe - Review: Gretchen Wilson, “Work Hard, Play Harder”
- CMT Videos: Music Binge - 10.13.09: Work Hard, Play Harder
- "Gretchen Wilson – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Gretchen Wilson. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
- Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 978. ISBN 0-89820-188-8.