Written by Charlie Craig and Alan Jackson
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
August 24, 1990
Alan Jackson enjoys the second of many consecutive No. 1 hits.
The Road to No. 1
After his debut single, “Blue Blooded Woman,” peaked outside the top forty, Alan Jackson enjoyed his commercial breakthrough with his second single, “Here in the Real World.” Next up from the album of the same name: “Wanted.”
The No. 1
“Here in the Real World” was the earliest indication that Alan Jackson was going to be a songwriter for the ages. “Wanted,” on the other hand, shows how he was still refining his skills.
Using the metaphor of a man placing a classified ad, “Wanted” is limited by the effectiveness of its framework. The chorus works well, thanks to Jackson’s already fully realized ability to emote. But the verses are a slog to get through, with Jackson forced to repeat the other side of the conversation so the listener knows what’s being said by both the protagonist and the woman responsible for placing the ad in the paper.
If he’d conceived this idea further down the road, he might’ve used the third person voice to better capture the scene. More likely, he’d have picked a better framing device for a heartbreak song.
The Road From No. 1
Jackson’s run of No. 1 hits won’t be interrupted for three years, so we’ll be seeing him again in just a few weeks.
“Wanted” gets a B-.