When 13-year-old LeAnn Rimes recorded the yodel-centric hit “Blue,” she immediately established herself as a deft interpreter of classic country music, earning rave reviews and a Top 10 debut hit. Two singles later, she would notch her first – and only – country Number One with a more modern-sounding single, the chiming “One Way Ticket (Because I Can).”
“One Way Ticket” was written by Keith Hinton with Judy Rodman, a singer who earned unexpected praise from no less than Bob Dylan in his 1985 Biograph liner notes, and whose 1986 single, “Until I Met You,” was a Number One country hit. Rimes’ original version of the tune was an upbeat affair, an optimistic look ahead with the barely-in-her-teens songstress looking forward to a brand-new start, taking a westbound train and dancing in the rain, ready to find love again. Eventually, the song’s hold-nothing-back theme would serve as a fitting metaphor for Rimes’ approach to crossing over into pop music.
Twenty-two years after the original, Rimes has released “One Way Ticket (Re-Imagined),” a slowed-down take on the song featuring acoustic guitar, light percussion and soulful backing vocals, but led entirely by Rimes’ heartbreakingly mature reading of the lyrics, now etched with encumbered wisdom and regret.
“My very first single was ‘Blue,’ which blew a gigantic hole into the atmosphere and created a massive breakthrough for me,” Rimes tells Rolling Stone Country. “‘One Way Ticket,” which was on the same album, was actually my first single to reach Number One. Keith Hinton and Judy Rodman wrote a fantastic song, but at 13 years old, I didn’t fully grasp the deeper meaning behind the lyric. After all these years, while re-imagining some of my hits for my Remnants Tour last year, we stumbled upon a slower tempo which I believe truly shines a light on the vulnerability and the courage of the lyric.”
“One Way Ticket (Re-Imagined)” was produced by Rimes and her longtime collaborator Darrell Brown. The track will be available for purchase digitally beginning at 12 a.m. ET Wednesday, April 25th.