Retro Single Review: Alan Jackson, “Tonight I Climbed the Wall”

1993 | Peak: #4

There really isn’t anything much more sad or upsetting in a relationship than cold, awkward silence. Things left unsaid or the silence after things that shouldn’t have been said can create what seems like an impenetrable, cold wall.

In his twelfth single, Alan Jackson expertly captures the forlornness of being in just such a situation. With crying steel and mournful vocals, “Tonight I Climbed the Wall” sounds like a perfect country song. Except, there’s a happy ending where, in the end, humility saves the day and the wall of silence is climbed. Ultimately, a song that manages to be both mournful and hopeful makes for an even more perfect country song.

Peaking at #4, “Tonight I Climbed the Wall” may not be one of Jackson’s signature hits, but its quality makes it one of his best.

Written by Alan Jackson

Grade: A

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  1. It’s one of the best songs omitted from his first greatest hits collection. He is a very good songwriter. As some of his other solo writing efforts since have proven – note “Where Were You …”, “Drive”, “Remember When”, etc. – if his singing career hadn’t worked out, he’d probably be known as one of country music’s best songwriters.

  2. This was my favorite song from him when I was a kid, I remember going see him as my first concert and being disappointed he didn’t play this. I still rank it as one of his best songs and it’s a real shame that it’s one of his less talked about singles.

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