Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Alabama, “Forever’s as Far as I’ll Go”

“Forever’s as Far as I’ll Go”


Written by Mike Reid


#1 (1 week)

January 26, 1991

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

January 11, 1991

Alabama’s first No. 1 single of 1991 treads familiar ground.

The Road to No. 1

After topping the charts for four weeks in 1990 with “Jukebox in My Mind,”  Alabama released a stately ballad as the third single from Pass it On Down.

The No. 1

And that stately ballad is a slowed-down rewrite of “Forever and Ever, Amen,” complete with the flash forward to the golden years, where a promise is given that the love will remain.

Y’all, this record is boring.

They’d already done so many ballads like this by this point in their career, and there are another dozen on the way throughout the nineties.  It’s not a bad song, but it’s not an essential one, either.

Truth be told, even Trisha Yearwood couldn’t make this lyric compelling, and she’s the best interpretive singer of the last forty years, so there was little hope that Randy Owen could work wonders with it.

Next, please.

The Road From No. 1

Alabama still have two more No. 1 singles on the way this year from Pass it On Down, plus one more from their second hits collection.

“Forever’s as Far as I’ll Go” gets a C. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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  1. Yet another one of their singles that never seemed to get much recurrent play after the initial chart run was over. I always did sort of remember the chorus though, and I didn’t really get to hear it again until I picked up the Pass In On Down album.

    I’ll admit that these synthesizer drenched ballads have a bit of a charm for me because they remind me of times long gone. I also tend to have a weakness for sappy love songs than many other commenters here, and for me, it’s still a nice pleasant listen. That said, I slightly prefer other songs of theirs in this vein such as “Then Again” and “Once Upon A Lifetime.”

  2. This song felt like the band was backsliding from their recent explorations of hard country into synth schlock again.

    I never felt I could implicitly trust Alabama’s musical instincts, but I also could not escape how massively popular and influential they were.

    This song somehow sounded familiar even upon its release. That’s either a ringing endorsement or a damning indictment of their music.

    I’m still not sure which one it is.

  3. I’m a sucker for Alabama’s ballads, including “There’s No Way”, “Once Upon A Lifetime”, “Angels Among Us”, “How Do You Fall in Love”, “It Works” and this one. But they do seem too sappy for me in the last several years.

  4. A forgettable song that I’ll listen to once in a while now when it pops up on my playlist but not search it out. Also, not a good enough song to stick with me from my childhood. Agree with the rating for sure

  5. Way late on this one, but I’ve got to be honest…I always had a soft spot for this song among Alabama’s ballads. I do agree they went the sappy route a little too often, with some of my least favorites being their cover of the Carpenters “Touch Me When We’re Dancing”, their duet with KT Oslin, and my least favorite, “Then Again”, which for whatever reason absolutely just annoys me (sorry, Jaime).

    But, like many been previously mentioned, I also have a penchant for Alabama’s ballads, and this is one that always clicked the most for me. Their best ballads usually focus on either commitment (“Close Enough to Perfect”, “There’s No Way”, “It Works”, etc) or the lack there of (“Lady Down on Love”). “Forever” doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is…a beautiful love song focusing on commitment. It’s a well-worn topic for song, I agree…but I think it’s treated with reverence here, and it works. It’s like many wedding ballads, like “I Swear”, “Your Loves Amazes Me”, “Amazed”, etc…you either like that type of song or find it sappy…and I like it. (Plus, I always had a soft spot for Mike Reid, hence the “PSU in “PSU Mike…but more on that in another review)

    • Regarding Alabama ballads, “It Works” and “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore” are two of my favorite nineties singles. I wish they had gone number one so I could discuss them in this feature!

  6. I really love both “It Works” and “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore”!

    Also, I think “There’s No Way” is one of their best love ballads.

    PSU Mike – Don’t worry, it’s all good. :) We’ve all got our favorites and non favorites. “Then Again” particularly brings back some great childhood memories for me. Also, you make some really great points about “Forever’s As Far As I’ll Go.”

    Leeann – I simply adore “How Do You Fall In Love.”

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