When you think Tim McGraw
I hope you think my favorite song
Someday you'll turn your radio on
I hope it takes you back to that place
When you think Tim McGraw
I hope you think of meSamuel Timothy "Tim" McGraw is a Country Music artist. He is known as much for his music as for being the son of baseball player Tug McGraw and husband of fellow singer Faith Hill since 1996.McGraw's first single, "What Room Was the Holiday In", didn't even make the charts, and "Welcome to the Club" only got to #47. After two more singles which both tanked miserably, he could easily have been tossed into the dustbin of country music history. Then a little song called "Indian Outlaw," with its cartoonish stereotypes of Native American lifestyles (and ensuing controversy), broke him into the Top 10 of country and Top 20 of pop, followed by the slightly more substantial "Don't Take the Girl." It wasn't long before his second album, Not a Moment Too Soon, sold six million copies stateside. Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, he has maintained a constant stream of hits, including twenty-three #1 hits on the Billboard country charts. The longest-lasting of these is "Live Like You Were Dying," released not long after the death of his father.The hits have slipped slightly since then, though he has had several more #1 hits since. The fanbase largely blames this slippage on poor single choices: pretty much every single between "Back When" and the end of his tenure with Curb has been considered a poor choice, and many fans have thought that a great deal of album cuts would have made better single choices.After much legal wrangling, McGraw finally left Curb in May 2012 and signed with Big Machine Records. Coincidentally, this label is also home to Taylor Swift, who name-dropped him extensively in her debut single (quoted above).It should be noted that while he is proud of his Country Music roots, McGraw is open about the fact that his personal taste in music is wide ranging indeed and that he is a fan of nearly every genre of music. It was this wide-ranging taste in music that led him to join Nelly on the song "Over and Over". Country Music meets Hip-Hop, folks.McGraw also has a non-trivial acting career, including roles in Friday Night Lights, Flicka, The Blind Side and Country Strong.
—"Tim McGraw" by Taylor Swift
- Tim McGraw (1993)
- Not a Moment Too Soon (1994)
- All I Want (1995)
- Everywhere (1997)
- A Place in the Sun (1999)
- Greatest Hits (2000)
- Set This Circus Down (2001)
- Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors (2002)
- Live Like You Were Dying (2004)
- Tim McGraw Reflected: Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (2006)
- Let It Go (2007)
- Greatest Hits 3 (2008)
- Southern Voice (2009)
- Emotional Traffic (2012)
- Two Lanes of Freedom (2013)
- Sundown Heaven Town (2014)
- Damn Country Music (2015)
- Advertised Extra: On then-labelmate Jo Dee Messina's "Bring On the Rain", to which he contributed a barely-discernible backing vocal. His credit seems especially egregious, as he already had a single out at the time ("The Cowboy in Me", which even succeeded "Rain" at #1).
- Similarly, two singles from Sundown Heaven Town give credit to barely-noticeable backing vocalists: Faith Hill on "Meanwhile Back at Mama's" and Catherine Dunn (his cousin) on "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools".
- Zig-zagged with Keith Urban's part on "Highway Don't Care", where he only plays a guitar solo and does not sing. The album credits both Taylor Swift (who sings a prominent duet vocal) and Keith Urban, but on the charts, it was only Tim and Taylor.
- He also gets full credit for a barely noticeable backing vocal on Big & Rich's 2016 single "Lovin' Lately".
- Age Progression Song / Dual Meaning Chorus: "Don't Take the Girl," his first Number One hit, is an example of this, following Johnny and an unnamed girl. First, the boy asks that his dad not take the girl on a fishing trip; then he asks a robber not to take her away from him; then he asks God not to take her life as she struggles to stay alive.
- Album Title Drop: Sundown Heaven Town is named for a line in "Lookin' for That Girl".
- Auto-Tune: Used heavily on "Lookin' for That Girl", although an alternate mix was also made which lessens the use.
- Badass Mustache: McGraw originally wore a fu manchu, but at some point in the late nineties it evolved into a goatee.
- The Bully: The singer of "One of These Days" used to be one.
- Common Meter: The verses of "Last Dollar (Fly Away)" are common meter double.
- Dead Man Writing: The subject of "If You're Reading This" is a soldier that was killed in action, and the lyrics make up a letter he wrote to his loved one, only to be read in the case of his untimely death.
- Doo Wop Progression: "Highway Don't Care".
- Down on the Farm: His 1994 song of that name.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Until about the late 1990s, he was a lot more mainstream. Starting with A Place in the Sun, he moved into rock and AC territory more often, with "Please Remember Me" as a notable turning point. It also looks very weird seeing him strum a guitar in the video to "Welcome to the Club".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: His first single for Big Machine Records was called "Truck Yeah".
- Have a Gay Old Time: "Back When" discusses this trope, looking back to a time when words like "coke", "hoe", "crack", "screw", and "blow" had much more innocent meanings.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "Just to See You Smile."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: "Real Good Man" is the singer's attempt to argue this: sure, he's a biker and all, but he loves his mother and is a dedicated patriot, so don't be afraid to get on that bike with him...
- Kids Rock: His children sing along at the end of "Last Dollar (Fly Away)."
- The Masochism Tango: "Please Remember Me" is apparently the tail end of one of these that was largely the singer's fault, leading to a sort of nonlethal Her Heart Will Go On.
- Like You Were Dying: His biggest hit, "Live Like You Were Dying".
- List Song: "Southern Voice," which lists off various Southern-oriented personalities, from Hank Aaron to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to Pocahontas. All are in the form of "[name] [verb]ed it", such as "Jack Daniels [sic] drunk it."
- Lyrical Shoehorn: "Angry All the Time" has a line "Twenty years have came and went", even though the grammatically correct "Have come and gone" would have fit the meter.
- "My Old Friend" is even worse with "They laugh and they cry me / And somehow sanctify me". Verbs do not work that way.
- Meanwhile, Back at the...: "Meanwhile Back at Mama's." The song is about a city boy who wants to move back to the country because "meanwhile back at mama's" things are so much nicer. He does move back at the end.
- Men Don't Cry: Repeatedly subverted in "Grown Men Don't Cry."
- Rearrange the Song: He re-cut the vocal track for the single release of "She Never Lets It Go to Her Heart", which also had the backing vocals toned down on the chorus.
- The radio edit of "Lookin' for That Girl", as mentioned above, greatly reduced the use of Auto-Tune.
- Record Producer: He's worked with Byron Gallimore from day one, and began co-producing on Everywhere. James Stroud co-produced with them from 1994 to 2001, Mark Wright also handled some tracks on the first album, and Darran Smith was also a co-producer from 2001-2006.
- He and Gallimore also produced for labelmate Jo Dee Messina from 1996 to 2005, along with The Clark Family Experience (who recorded for Curb in 2000) and Halfway to Hazard (who released one album for McGraw and Gallimore's StyleSonic label).
- Second-Person Narration: "One of Those Nights"
- Self-Titled Album: As listed above, he had one in 1993 and another (sort of) in 2002.
- Vocal Evolution: His voice started out fairly high and whiny, but got gradually lower and less whiny over time. By Set This Circus Down, the whine was completely gone.
- Word Salad Lyrics: "She's My Kind of Rain:"She's my kind of rain
Like love in a drunken sky
She's confetti falling down all night
She sits there quietly
Like water in a jar
Says, "Baby, why you trembling like you are?"
- Also "When the Stars Go Blue", a Ryan Adams cover.