Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Alabama, “Here We Are”

“Here We Are”

Alabama

Written by Beth Nielsen Chapman and Vince Gill

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

August 2, 1991

A soaring Alabama hit co-written by Vince Gill.

The Road to No. 1

Pass it On Down had already achieved three chart-toppers among its first four singles.  For the first time ever, Alabama pulled a fifth single from a studio album, and it replicated the achievement of its three predecessors.

The No. 1

“Here We Are” has a fantastic pedigree, being written by legendary songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman and rising superstar Vince Gill.

Those soaring Alabama harmonies are put to effective use, with a light and boisterous production further elevating the record.

As a song, it feels like a test run at Gill’s anniversary standard, “Look at Us,” documenting the hardships a relationship has experienced and endured.  It doesn’t have the timelessness of that classic, but any time you have a song about a long-running partnership that has ebbed and flowed over the years, it feels like music for adults.

Part of the reason that early nineties country is knocking it out of the park is because it’s being aimed at an older audience. Keep this in mind as the decade progresses.

The Road From No. 1

The next two singles from Alabama will be new tracks included on their second hits collection. We will see them both soon.

“Here We Are” gets a B+.

 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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5 Comments

  1. Appropriate to a song celebrating the moment, Alabama had never sounded so vitally contemporary and alive as they did with this song. They were not lost in the 80’s, reaching for some remembered country idyllic or striving for the future.

    In August of 1991, it was now and they were there with this song. I think they tap into this similar energy again with “I’m in A Hurry”

    Kevin has gotten at the nut of what makes 90’s country so special as it was music geared for an older audience.

    We could endlessly explore and dissect what this older audience expected of “country” music, but it was clear it was being offered the finest fare the genre had produced in years. Hunger and abundance coming together at just the right time.

  2. This song is a great example of how a song can have mature lyrics, and yet still be so fun to crank up and listen to! Really love the high energy production on this one, along with Alabama’s signature harmonies. For the longest time, I never actually knew it was co-written by Vince. Peter nailed it when mentioning that Alabama truly sounded like they were ready for the 90’s with this one.

    Unfortunately though, this was yet another one of Alabama’s singles that my stations seemed to forget about once its chart run was over. I never heard it again until around 2000 when we were in York, Pennsylvania, and we had the radio on in the car while parked outside of Cracker Barrel waiting for Mom to come out. A couple of the country stations around that area still played many 80’s and 90’s songs that most others had forgotten about, and when this song came on it really took me back to 1991.

    Kevin’s mentioning of 90’s country being mainly aimed for an adult/mature audience is pretty much one of the biggest reasons why I still find most of the country music from that decade so appealing and relatable, while most modern country songs leave me cold.

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