On this date in 1973, Merle Haggard was topping the country charts with his 15th studio album.
Titled It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad), the record was released in 1972 and consisted of 11 songs, including The Hag’s original tune “I Wonder What She’ll Think About Me Leaving,” which later became a #4 country hit for Conway Twitty.
As suggested by the title track, which was written by Hank Cochran and Glenn Martin and released as a single and became Merle’s 13th #1 hit song, the album follows a theme of overall ambivalence towards love and relationships… and there’s something about the sound of it that I just love, plus, I think it’s still something plenty of people can relate to.
My personal favorite on the tracklist is the good old fashioned cheatin’ song “I Wonder Where I’ll Find You At Tonight,” as Merle goes through all the places his two-timin’ woman could be doing him wrong, but of course, there’s tons of great classic country to dive into on this record.
And of course, he’d go on to have 38 #1 singles and several more #1 records, and even though it may not be the one everyone still talks about, it’s certainly one of his best.