John Prine’s Final Song Is His First Billboard Chart No. 1
John Prine's final recorded song, "I Remember Everything," has become the folk icon's first Billboard No. 1. Thanks to its first-week sales, the track debuted at No. 1 on the Rock Digital Song Sales chart.
While Prine earned critical acclaim and a legion of fans, many famous creatives themselves, he never found much success on the Billboard charts. The last album he released, 2018's The Tree of Forgiveness, was his best-charting album, earning the top spot on the Americana/Folk Albums chart; No. 2 spots on the Rock Albums, Independent Albums and Country Albums charts; and No. 5 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
The week after his April 7 death at the age of 73 of the novel coronavirus, Prine was No. 1 on the Rock Songwriters chart, as fans searched out his material and propelled six of his songs into the Top 30 of the Hot Rock Songs chart and two albums onto the Billboard 200. The same two albums, his self-titled 1971 debut and The Tree of Forgiveness, spent that week at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, on the Americana/Folk Albums chart, too.
Co-written by Prine and Pat McLaughlin, and produced by Dave Cobb, "I Remember Everything" is a quintessential Prine love song: simple, yet full of emotion and a few unique details. "I remember everything / Things I can’t forget," Prine sings in each chorus, admitting at the end to a lost love, "How I miss you in the morning light / Like roses miss the dew."
Prine first shared "I Remember Everything" on Thanksgiving in 2018, when Cobb and some other friends were celebrating the holiday with the Prines. The recording of the song exists, Cobb tells the Tennessean, thanks to an unexpected Spring 2019 recording session at Prine's home, set up and filmed for a documentary on Prine.
"I Remember Everything" is part of a batch of new, unreleased music that Prine's wife Fiona recently revealed he was working on before his death. More never-before-heard tracks will be released in the future, she says, noting, "John left me a lot — a lot of memories, music, cars."
In addition to his wife, Prine is survived by three sons, Jody, Jack and Tommy, and grandchildren, along with a legion of adoring fans and beloved friends. Numerous artists paid tribute to him in their own ways following his death, and while the family was unable to have a traditional memorial service or funeral due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have found small ways to honor his memory.
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