Written by Byron Hill and John Schweers
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
March 6, 1992
A by-the-numbers Alabama hit tops the charts.
The Road to No. 1
“Then Again,” the first single from Greatest Hits II went to No. 1 in 1991. RCA released “Born Country” as the second and final single from the hits collection.
The No. 1
This is like an Alabama casserole, mixing together leftovers from “Down Home,” “Song of the South,” and “40 Hour Week” and presenting the reheated dish as something new.
And just like some of the best such casseroles, it produces something flavorful but overly familiar. Randy Owen knows how to deliver a vocal for a pseudo-patriotic southern pride anthem as well as anyone, and the production has enough energy to make it all feel almost new again.
I wouldn’t change the station if it came on the radio, but if I was going to represent this type of Alabama song on any definitive collection of their work, I’d choose those other songs listed above and leave this one off to avoid redundancy.
The Road From No. 1
Alabama followed Greatest Hits II with one of their strongest collections, American Pride. They made a point to freshen up their sound and explore new themes in their work. So of course, the compelling and entertaining lead single, “Take a Little Trip,” became their first since the ambitious “Pass it On Down” to miss the top. This was a band that radio did not reward for their creative risks. Thankfully, the second single brought them back to No. 1, and it’s one of their all-time best. We’ll see it later in 1992.
“Born Country” gets a B.