The track is the first cover to top Hot Hard Rock Songs dating to the tally's June 2020 inception. Covers have been more common, however, atop Hard Rock Digital Song Sales, where Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24," first recorded by TSO members in the band Savatage, led over the 2020-21 holiday season. Before that, Nickelback's take on The Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" reigned last August.
Similarly, Phoebe Bridgers and Maggie Rogers' update of Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" topped Rock Digital Song Sales in November 2020.
Brooks' original "Thunder," which he co-wrote with Pat Alger and released on his second LP, 1990's No Fences, ruled Hot Country Songs for two weeks in June 1991, becoming his fifth straight No. 1 (of 19 to date), a streak that started with "The Dance" in July 1990.
State of Mine's version of "Thunder" isn't the only hard rock cover of the song to reach Billboard charts in recent memory. All That Remains' version hit No. 2 on Hard Rock Digital Song Sales in September 2017 and was then sent to radio, peaking at No. 23 on Mainstream Rock Airplay that December. And as far as other Brooks songs go, Billy Joel's version of "Shameless," a Hot Country Songs No. 1 for Brooks in November 1991, hit No. 40 on Adult Contemporary the following January.
Brooks himself has charted remakes on Hot Country Songs of tracks by rock artists, including versions of Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love" (No. 1, 1998), Aerosmith's "The Fever" (No. 23, 1995), Kiss' "Hard Luck Woman" (No. 67, 1994) and Little Feat's "Dixie Chicken" (No. 73, 1993).
Concurrently, State of Mine's "Thunder" starts at No. 17 on the airplay-, sales- and streaming-based Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart.
"Thunder" isn't State of Mine's first foray into country covers. The Michigan-based band's interpretation of Rascal Flatts' "What Hurts the Most," initially released in 2018, is up 238% to 1,000 sold in the latest tracking week. Rascal Flatts' original ruled Hot Country Songs for four weeks in 2006.