“Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow”
Written by Alan Jackson and Jim McBride
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
November 23, 1990
Alan Jackson’s third No. 1 hit of 1990 is a celebration of a dream as it’s becoming a reality.
The Road to No. 1
While his first Billboard No. 1 remained elusive, Jackson had topped the Radio & Records chart twice already in 1990 with “Here in the Real World” and “Wanted.” For the fourth single from his debut album, Arista chose an uptempo autobiographical number.
The No. 1
Ever notice how some of Alan Jackson’s very best singles – “Chattahoochee,” “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” “Remember When,” “Small Town Southern Man” – are his most autobiographical?
“Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” is one of the best “I wanna be a country star” hits ever written, capturing Jackson’s struggles, motivations, and inspirations and partnering them with indelible country music imagery and a killer hook.
Daddy won a radio,
He tuned it to a country show.
I was rockin’ in the cradle
To the cryin’ of a steel guitar.
Mama used to sing to me.
She taught me that sweet harmony.
Now she worries cause never thought
I’d ever really take it this far.
Singin’ in the bars
By the first time the chorus kicks in, you’re not only singing along with him. You’re 100% rooting for him, buying into the young artist’s dream of country music stardom.
If it was infectious and endearing upon release, it’s even more so in retrospect, knowing that this particular dreamer would develop into the finest male country artist of his generation.
The Road From No. 1
We’ve got one more No. 1 single from Here in the Real World on its way in 1991, and this time, Billboard will finally join the party.
“Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” gets an A.