A Better Man

For the song by Thunder, see A Better Man (Thunder song).
"A Better Man"
Single by Clint Black
from the album Killin' Time
B-side "Winding Down"
Released February 18, 1989 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded November 1988
Genre Country
Length 3:04
Label RCA 8781
Writer(s) Clint Black
Hayden Nicholas
Producer(s) Mark Wright
James Stroud
Clint Black singles chronology
"A Better Man"
"Killin' Time"

"A Better Man" is title of a debut song co-written and performed by American country music artist Clint Black. It was released in February 1989 as his debut single, and was served as the first single from his debut album, Killin' Time. It was written by Black and Hayden Nicholas. When "A Better Man" went to No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart on June 10, Black was the first artist since Freddy Fender to ascend to the top of the country chart with his first charted single.[1] In addition, "A Better Man" was the No. 1 song of 1989 on the Hot Country Singles chart.[2] The success of "A Better Man," along with the follow-up "Killin' Time," were instrumental in Black winning the Country Music Association's Horizon Award in 1989.[3]


The song is a reflection on a relationship co-writer Black had recently ended with a girlfriend of seven years. He shared his dying romance story with friend Hayden Nicholas, who - after sharing an idea for the melody - came up with the hook line ("I'm leaving here a better man/For knowing you this way.").[4]

Music video

This was Clint Black's first music video; it was directed by Bill Young and premiered in early 1989. Much of the video is of Black driving down a little-used country road in a late-1950s Ford F-100 pickup truck, reflecting on his now-failed relationship. Interspersed are clips of Black performing the song before people dancing to the song.

Chart positions

Chart (1989) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[5] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1989) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 4
US Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 1



  1. Roland, Tom, "The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits." (Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1991 (ISBN 0-8230-7553-2)), p. 553-554
  2. Billboard magazine Hot Country Songs - 1989
  3. Millard, Bob, "Country Music: 70 Years of America's Favorite Music" (HarperCollins, New York, 1993 (ISBN 0-06-273244-7)), p. 161
  4. Roland.
  5. "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 6384." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. June 19, 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  6. "Clint Black – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Clint Black.
  7. "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1989". RPM. December 23, 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  8. "Best of 1989: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013.

External links

Preceded by
"Where Did I Go Wrong"
by Steve Wariner
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

June 10, 1989
Succeeded by
"Love Out Loud"
by Earl Thomas Conley
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

June 19, 1989
Succeeded by
"I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"
by Rosanne Cash
Preceded by
"Don't Close Your Eyes"
by Keith Whitley
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single of the year

Succeeded by
"Nobody's Home"
by Clint Black
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