Garth Brooks, ‘More Than a Memory’ — Story Behind the Song
'More Than a Memory,' Garth Brooks' 51st career single and first single from his 2007 'The Ultimate Hits' compilation album, is the first and only song to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Brooks' first No. 1 single since 1998's 'To Make You Feel My Love,' the tune spent 20 weeks on the charts. Lee Brice, who co-wrote 'More Than a Memory' with Kyle Jacobs and Billy Montana, tells The Boot about the inspiration behind the hit.
I woke up one night thinking about the love of my life, an old flame, even though we hadn't been together in eight or 10 years. I woke up thinking about her at 3:30 AM and started writing her a letter.
I got halfway down the letter, and I was like, "What are you doing? You do this all the time -- you never send her anything. Just go back to bed. She's just a memory." Then I thought, "Well, I'm up at 3:30 in the morning, physically, tangibly doing something, writing a letter. She's still a tangible, physical part of my life, so she must be more than a memory."
So I started writing the song right there. Then I took my ideas, melodies, thoughts to Kyle. We're best friends. Any time he gets ideas or I get ideas, we always go to each other, because we like writing together.
The first time I performed it was on the Grand Ole Opry. I performed my single, 'She Ain't Right,' and I was kinda nervous because it was my first time on the Opry. I decided at the last minute to do this new song I'd just written and try it out on the Opry audience. Nobody had ever heard it. I played an acoustic version of 'More Than a Memory,' and when I got to the first chorus -- the first time anybody heard it -- the audience stood up and clapped for me in the middle of the song. That is a moment I'll never forget.
After Garth released it and it debuted at No. 1, it just exploded, and everybody who came to my shows knew it. They would sing every word, the lighters would come out -- it was really cool.
The girl I wrote the song about knows. Actually, she called me. I'd always had a fantasy that we'd get back together. But what if we got back together and this muse I've had for eight years goes away? I want to keep writing songs about her. Songs like that, they come from a real place.