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18 Years Ago: Brad Paisley’s Debut Single Is Released

Brad Paisley Who Needs Pictures single cover
Arista Nashville

Eighteen years ago today, on Feb. 22, 1999, Brad Paisley‘s debut single, “Who Needs Pictures,” was released. The song was the title track of the artist’s freshman album, which was released the following June.

Paisley wrote “Who Needs Pictures” with good friends Chris DuBois and Frank Rogers. With lines such as, “When we were down in Cozumel / We had the whole beach to ourselves / And it’s crazy now to think / That it’s all there on that film / And I could take it to the store / To be developed, but what for? / I can still see everything just fine / And who needs pictures with a memory like mine?” the song landed in the Top 15 on the charts.

In the more than 15 years since the release of “Who Needs Pictures,” Paisley has released 10 studio albums, and while plenty has changed within the music business, the country star says that he is grateful that one thing in particular hasn’t: “People [still] want to come see you play these songs they love.”

“Almost everything else has changed, the way that you go about providing them that music … When I did Who Needs Pictures, they pressed a few in vinyl. That was about the last time. And now, I don’t know how many people listen on CD anymore. They might buy the CD, but before they’re done with it, it will end up on some other format in a headphone device as an MP3,” Paisley tells CMT. “But that’s the thing that’s good about it: The business doesn’t change in terms of live music. People still go see you play.”

Paisley followed “Who Needs Pictures,” with “He Didn’t Have to Be,” which became the singer’s first chart-topping single. From his debut album, Paisley also released “Me Neither,” which landed in the Top 20, and “We Danced,” which also became a No. 1 single.

Who Needs Pictures was nominated for a CMA for Album of the Year. The single was included on Paisley’s 2009 Playlist: The Very Best of Brad Paisley project and is available for download on iTunes.

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