Eric Church Recalls His Original Master Plan for ‘Mr. Misunderstood’ and How It Included Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Bob Seger

Eric Church released his fifth studio album, Mr. Misunderstood in 2015. It was a major hit for the North Carolina native, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and the publication’s all-genre Billboard 200 chart. Additionally, it won Album of the Year at the CMA Awards. The 10-track collection also contained songs that remain fan-favorites like “Record Year,” “Mistress Named Music,” and the title track. However, the album wasn’t what Church initially had in mind.

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Recently, Church appeared on How Leaders Lead with David Novak to talk about his career. During the discussion, he revealed his original vision for Mr. Misunderstood. It would have been a much larger endeavor if he had gotten his way.

[RELATED: Eric Church Dissects the Modern Country Artists: “They Go on TikTok, They Write a Song, It’s Out”]

Eric Church on the Original Vision for Mr. Misunderstood

The story about the original vision for Mr. Misunderstood came about when David Novak asked Eric Church about writing “Mistress Named Music.”

“Initially, the whole Mr. Misunderstood album, which is my favorite album, it ended up winning Album of the Year and all this stuff. …I don’t think I’ve ever told this story. Initially, it was going to be a collaboration album,” he revealed. “I had contacted Willie [Nelson], I contacted Kris Kristofferson, I contacted Bob Seger, Billy Joel, and all these people,” he added. “I said, ‘Hey, I want to do this album where we get together and we make an album about what we all share which is this journey in music,” Church recalled.

While the idea for a collaborative album didn’t pan out, it led to one of Church’s fans’ favorite songs. “That’s really kind of where ‘Mistress’ started is that’s my journey. When you do this for a long enough time, everything else you do is trumped by music,” he said. “I love my wife, I love my kids, I love everything. But they also have learned over time that music has this siren effect on me. That’s initially what that song was about.”

“It was never a radio single but it’s a song that has been a defining song in my life,” Church said of “Mistress Named Music.”

Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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