Dixie Chicks’ ‘Home’ Album Turns 10
The Dixie Chicks were already flying high following the massive commercial success of their first two major label albums, when the Texas-based trio released their highly-anticipated third record. ‘Home,’ which hit store shelves on August 27, 2002, fell under the Chicks’ label imprint, Wide Open/Columbia Records.
‘Home’ was a first in many ways for the trio — the project was the first album released under the newly-formed label and was the band’s first album co-produced with Lloyd Maines, lead singer Natalie Maines’ father. The album’s contemporary acoustic bluegrass sound was a sharp sonic change of direction for the girls, who relied heavily on a mainstream country-pop influence to achieve their superstar status in the late ’90s.
The album was introduced to country music fans with ‘Long Time Gone,’ the project’s first radio offering. Despite a strong debut, the track was unable to top the country charts, fizzling out at No. 2. The follow-up single, ‘Landslide’ — a cover of the 1975 Fleetwood Mac classic — matched its predecessor’s peak, topping out just shy of the top spot. The third single, ‘Travelin’ Soldier,’ returned the Chicks to the top of the charts, giving the band their sixth No. 1 single.
Albums sales and radio airplay remained strong until the infamous comments Maines made, directed at then-President George W. Bush. Her words ignited a fury of patriotic warfare between the trio and conservative country music fans. “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas,” said the outspoken singer on March 10, 2003 during the London stop on their Top of the World Tour.
Ironically, the anti-Bush comments were made the same week ‘Travelin’ Soldier’ reached the No. 1 spot. The project suffered a sharp decline in sales, and the album’s fourth single failed to crack the Top 40 on the country charts.
Despite the backlash, ‘Home’ was easily the best-selling country album of the year, eventually scanning almost 6 million albums since its release. It even earned four Grammy Awards in 2003 — including Best Country Album.