Sunday, December 18, 2011

If Tomorrow Never Comes - Ronan Keating

Ronan Keating
(G. Brooks, K. Blazy) Polydor 570 719-2


Chart Entry: 6th May, 2002
Highest Position: #3
Accreditation: Platinum
Points: 102,957
From the album "Destination".


Garth Brooks never had much luck on the Australia singles charts as he struggled to find success with a hit single during his reign as the premier Country music star of the 90's. Just two releases found their way into the ARIA Top 100 during 1994, "Standing Outside The Fire" (#45) and "One Day A Night" (#35). So when Ronan Keating decided to open his second album account with a cover of Garth's very first US Country #1, "If Tomorrow Never Comes", he was able to save some face in this country for Garth.

"If Tomorrow Never Comes" was the first of 19 US Billboard Country #1's, taken from Garth's debut self-titled album which sold more than 10 million copies in the US, giving him a rare Diamond accreditation. It kicked off a sales boom for Country music that lead to Garth being named the biggest selling albums artist since 1991! Ronan Keating had plenty of hits experience in Australia, scoring top tens both as a solo artist and with his former band, Boyzone. "If Tomorrow Never Comes" gave the Irish singer his third #1 single in the UK, also helping the Destination album reach the top spot as one million copies were eventually shipped inside Europe alone.

Despite Garth's 90's success, it would be 1989's "If Tomorrow Never Comes" that would remain his signature song. He shipped the idea for the track around constantly to find a songwriter who could give it that final polish. Enter Kent Blazy who immediately connected with Garth, and continued to provide hits for the Country superstar, writing at least one track for each of Garth's albums, bar one.

Had it not been for "When You Say Nothing At All", this hit would have provided that same signature song for Ronan Keating, but his Notting Hill track is a hard one to rise above. Nevertheless, "If Tomorrow Never Comes" set a tone for Destination that saw three Country covers released as singles. OK, so his hit duet with Lulu, "We've Got Tonight", is technically a Bob Seger remake, but Kenny Rogers did release his own cover. And then it gets tricky. Fourth single, "The Long Goodbye" was written by Ronan and fellow Irishman, Paul Brady a couple of years prior to his Destination success. In the time between, Country music duo, Brooks & Dunn scored a US Country #1 with their version, Ronan re-claiming the track in 2003 when it hit #3 in the UK.

Ronan Keating's version of "If Tomorrow Never Comes" has prompted many international music lovers to discover how magical Garth Brooks' version is, many converting back to the original as their version of choice. While this may be true, Ronan can be satisfied that his is the version that opened the door to Garth's music outside America.


Chart Run:
(25 weeks) (ARIA Top 100)

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