From the beginnings of his performing and recording career Collie’s singing and performing style drew comparisons to Bruce Springsteenand Johnny Cashas a result of Collie’s combination of Rockabilly energy, intensity and clever songwriting.
Collie began his career on MCA Records in 1989 after being discovered by label representatives. Tony Brown, then-president of the label, helped Collie secure his contract. His debut album Hardin County Line was released in 1990, with Brown and Doug Johnson co-producing. The album produced four singles: "Something with a Ring to It", "Looks Aren't Everything", the title track, and "Let Her Go", which was the highest-charting of the four, at number 18 on Hot Country Songs.
Collie's third album for MCA, Mark Collie, was produced by Don Cook. It accounted for his two highest-charting singles: "Even the Man in the Moon Is Cryin'" at number 5, and "Born to Love You" at number 6. After these two songs, "Shame Shame Shame Shame" and "Something's Gonna Change Her Mind" both made top 30 as well. Brian Mansfield wrote that the album was "At once a move to the mainstream and a return to Collie's West Tennessee rockabilly roots."
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