Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gold May Be Good, but Not That Good Diamond Rio Takes Its Old Approach

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gold May Be Good, but Not That Good Diamond Rio Takes Its Old Approach

Article excerpt

DON'T EXPECT Diamond Rio to buy into the sophomore-pressure theory of album-making. Recording "Close to the Edge," the band's second record, didn't make the band tight around the collar. But "Love a Little Stronger," the band's soon-to-be-released third record, was a different story.

"We felt almost more (pressure) on this one because the first one . . . sold over a million. The second one has only gone gold, and even though that's great to have another gold album, it's only half as many sold as the first one," said Dan Truman, Diamond Rio's keyboardist. "So we thought, well, did we miss something there? Is it our image? Is it the songs that were on the album?"

The band's solution to such questions was to return to the record-making formula that helped make their 1991 self-titled first record one of the most notable debuts in recent country music history.

Like that album, the band recorded "Love a Little Stronger" in stages, beginning last May and recording two or three songs at a time over a series of four sessions.

And as with the first record, Diamond Rio will advance-issue the first single, releasing the title track to radio in mid-May, a full two months before "Love a Little Stronger" reaches record stores. In 1991, the band released "Meet Me in the Middle" well ahead of the record. The song became the first single ever by a group to top the country singles chart, and it propelled the album into the Top 15 in the first week of its release.

Truman certainly won't guarantee that "Love a Little Stronger" will do for the third album what "Meet Me in the Middle" did for the debut, but he feels good about the song.

At this point, Truman ought to recognize a hit when he hears one. The debut album produced four more Top Five songs in addition to "Meet Me in the Middle," including a second No. 1 track, "Norma Jean Riley." "Close To The Edge" added four more Top 10 singles to the band's resume.

This fast success was in strong contrast to the group's early history. …

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