“American Honky-Tonk Bar Association”
Written by Bryan Kennedy and Jim Rushing
#1 (1 week)
December 4, 1993
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
November 26, 1993
Garth tops the charts with a clunky single.
The Road to No. 1
This is Garth’s fifth consecutive No. 1 single, and his second from his fifth album, In Pieces.
The No. 1
This song is built around a clunky idea that doesn’t really work. The idea of an “American Honky-Tonk Bar Association” is supposed to be one of solidarity with the working class, but it’s a mouthful that gets in the way of any kind of melody. It’s like the record skips a scratch every time that he has to say the ridiculous title, and it’s all over the verses as well as central to the chorus.
He would’ve been better off covering “Working Man Blues” or just ceding this territory to Aaron Tippin, who does this kind of material so much better than Brooks. He sounds like he’s posturing here, and it’s not very convincing.
The Road From No. 1
After the top five “Standing Outside the Fire” and top ten “One Night a Day,” In Pieces would produce a final No. 1 single with a New Grass Revival cover that might be the best thing Garth has ever done. We’ll cover it in the spring of 1995.
“American Honky-Tonk Bar Association” gets a C.
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