Written by Rick Bowles and Josh Leo
#1 (3 weeks)
April 13 – April 27, 1991
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
April 5 – April 12, 1991
Alabama tops the charts with another celebration of small town southern life.
The Road to No. 1
Alabama had already gone to No. 1 with the two previous singles from Pass it On Down: “Jukebox in My Mind” and “Forever’s as Far as I’ll Go.” Like RCA had done with its predecessor, Southern Star, a fourth single was pulled from the album.
The No. 1
Talking about how great it is to come from/live in a small southern town closely rivals saccharine love ballads for the largest share of Alabama output. That puts “Down Home” at an immediate disadvantage, as it’s measured against ground that Alabama has repeatedly and more effectively covered in the past.
“Down Home” is a bit too generic. It doesn’t have the specificity of “Song of the South” or the heartfelt homesickness of “My Home’s in Alabama.” It’s also their fourth song in this vein out of their last seven singles, and is arguably of them all. The “know you by name” line makes its sound like the theme song to a southern Cheers spin-off.
But the track benefits from the fresh production and enthusiastic performance from the band. It’s not their most distinguished hit, but it’s still an enjoyable listen.
The Road From No. 1
For the first time, Alabama pulls five singles from a studio album. We’ll cover that fifth single later this year.
“Down Home” gets a B.