'Til I Gain Control Again

"'Till I Gain Control Again" is a country song written by Rodney Crowell and originally recorded by Emmylou Harris in 1975.[1] The song was included on her 1975 studio album Elite Hotel. The song is most known by the No. 1 single version recorded by Crystal Gayle on her 1982 album, True Love.

Waylon Jennings covered this song on his 1977 album, Ol' Waylon. Willie Nelson covered it on his 1978 live album Willie and Family Live. Jerry Jeff Walker also covered the song in 1978 on his Contrary to Ordinary album. Bobby Bare covered the song in 1979. Crowell recorded his own version of the song as well in 1981 on his self-titled album. The eclectic band This Mortal Coil covered it on their 1991 album Blood. Blue Rodeo covered the song in 1993. Van Morrison covered it on his 2006 Pay the Devil album. Alison Krauss recorded it in 2016 as part of a tribute album to Harris titled: The Life & Songs of Emmylou Harris.


Rodney Crowell wrote the song while working for Jerry Reed's publishing company. At the time, he was hanging out with noted songwriters Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Steve Runkle, and wanted to show his own songwriting skill.[2]

In retrospect, Crowell expresses regret at rhyming "been" with "can" in the lyric "What you've seen is what I've been/There is nothing I could hide from you/You see me better than I can." Had he written the song later in his career, Crowell says he would have spent time to find a hard rhyme. Crowell marvels when people tell him this song is their favorite of his.[2] Crowell's version was released on his third (self titled) album in 1981.

Crowell wrote the song back-to-back with "Song for the Life" (recorded on his debut album Ain't Living Long Like This) in the 1970s and says both are a "projection into the future that I later lived through . . . and it was exactly like I predicted."[2]

Crystal Gayle version[]

"'Til I Gain Control Again"
Single by Crystal Gayle
from the album True Love
B-side"Easier Said Than Done"
ReleasedOctober 27, 1982
Songwriter(s)Rodney Crowell
Producer(s)Jimmy Bowen
Allen Reynolds
Crystal Gayle singles chronology
"Livin' in These Troubled Times"
"'Til I Gain Control Again"
"Our Love Is on the Faultline"

In 1982, the song would be recorded by Crystal Gayle and her recording was her tenth number one on the country chart. Her recording would go to number one for one week and spend a total of twelve weeks on the chart.[3] A music video was filmed for the song.


Weekly charts[]

Chart (1982–1983) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 12

Year-end charts[]

Chart (1983) Position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 22

Blue Rodeo version[]

"'Til I Gain Control Again"
Single by Blue Rodeo
from the album Five Days in July
GenreCountry rock
LabelWarner Music Canada
Songwriter(s)Rodney Crowell
Producer(s)Blue Rodeo
Blue Rodeo singles chronology
"Dark Angel"
"'Til I Gain Control Again"
"Head over Heels"

In 1993, the song was covered by Canadian country rock band Blue Rodeo for their album Five Days in July. Released as a single in 1994, the song peaked at number 24 on the RPM Country Tracks chart.[6]

Chart performance[]

Chart (1994-1995) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 24


  1. ^ "Recording: Till I Gain Control Again - Willie Nelson". Second Hand Songs. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  2. ^ a b c Cooper, Peter, Rodney Crowell: Closer to Heaven, American Songwriter, October 31, 2008.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second ion. Record Research. p. 31.
  4. ^ "Crystal Gayle Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "1984 Talent Almanat" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 95, no. 51. December 24, 1983. p. TA-24. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "Country Tracks chart for January 16, 1995". RPM. Archived from the original on 2013-11-11. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2706." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. January 16, 1995. Retrieved November 16, 2013.