Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"The Closer You Get" by Alabama

Song#:  1438
Date:  05/07/1983
Debut:  89
Peak:  38
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Country Crossover

Pop Bits:  Alabama were really at the peak of their popularity with their 5x platinum third album "Mountain Music." Their follow-up "The Closer You Get..." did nearly as well reaching #1 at country and eventually selling four million copies. The LP's first single, "Dixieland Delight," was another Country #1, but it failed to hit the pop chart. That would change when this title-track single would be issued. Not surprisingly, it reached #1 at Country while getting into the Pop Top 40 and reaching #9 at AC. It helped the album become their first and only Top 10 Pop album (#10).

ReduxReview:  Well, other than that annoying "pcheeew" synth sound, this is a pretty good song. It was a solid candidate for getting them back on the Pop and AC charts. But around this time, their crossover style was starting to wane at Pop and this would end up being their last Top 40 entry on their own. It didn't really matter though as they issued #1 singles and #1 platinum albums at Country for the rest of the decade and into the next. In the meantime, they were riding the crest of a multi-platinum wave that would continue for a couple more albums and establish them as country superstars.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was originally recorded by the band Exile. Written by band members J.P. Pennington and Mark Gray, the song appeared on their 1980 album "Don't Leave Me This Way." It was the second song from that album that Alabama copped. They also remade Exile's "Take Me Down" (#1 Country/#18 Pop). Country singer Don King recorded a version the following year that reached #27 on the Country chart. That same year, Rita Coolidge covered the tune for her "Heartbreak Radio" album. It was issued as a single, but did not chart.


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