Remember Which Garth Brooks Hit He Wrote With His Ex-Wife?
Brooks collaborated with Mahl on "That Summer," but only after the original idea that he had started with songwriter Pat Alger didn't quite pan out. In a 1996 television special, Brooks recalled that the original story was about a married woman whose husband is ignoring her at a party, so she goes off and has an affair with a single guy. Brooks' producer, Allen Reynolds, told him he couldn't root for the characters in the song, and Brooks agreed.
Driving home from that meeting with his then-wife, he started singing, "She had a need to feel the thunder," and Mahl helped him craft what came to be the final chorus of "That Summer."
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The final lyrics tell the story of a "teenage kid so far from home" who loses his virginity to a "lonely widow woman" he goes to work for one summer.
"She had a need to feel the thunder / To chase the lightnin' from the sky / To watch a storm with all its wonder / Ragin' in her lover's eyes / She had to ride the heat of passion / Like a comet burnin' bright / Rushin' headlong in the wind, out where only dreams have been / Burning both ends of the night," Brooks sings in the chorus.
"That Summer" reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart when it as released as the fourth single from Brooks' album, The Chase, in 1993.
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