“A Jukebox With a Country Song”
Written by Gene Nelson and Ronnie Samoset
#1 (2 weeks)
February 1 – February 8, 1992
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
January 17, 1992
A catchy melody helps along an implausible storyline.
The Road to No. 1
After two No. 1 ballads, Doug Stone topped the charts for the first time with an uptempo number.
The No. 1
And this uptempo number has been driving me crazy for the past 24 hours.
This song is deliriously catchy. Every time I start thinking about the gaping plotholes I want to write about here, it gets stuck in my head again.
Stone sings it so damn well, getting me to buy into his righteous indignation over how his rundown watering hole has become an upscale restaurant.
But the song makes no sense!
He heads to the “rundown one room tavern” and “it all still looks the same” as he pulls into the drive.
Then he goes inside, and there’s a maître d at the door. Everyone’s in suits and ties. There are even some ferns hanging everywhere.
Now I ask you.
Why the hell would someone take over a rundown, one room tavern, target a completely different clientele, and remake and remodel the place from top to bottom, but leave the outside looking the same? You don’t even put up a new sign?
It’s the first nineties No. 1 that hints at the storm clouds gathering on the horizon. There isn’t going to be enough solid material to sustain all of the talented artists that have broken through between 1989 and 1991, and there are still many new artists on the way that will be competing with them for songs.
So the material is going to get thin, and talented artists will have to lean heavily on style and performance to compensate for the weaker songs that they’re stuck singing.
Doug Stone isn’t there yet. But with this record, he’s now facing in that direction.
The Road From No. 1
This is Doug Stone’s only No. 1 hit in 1992, but he had two more singles reach the fop five: “Come in Out of the Pain,” the third and final single from I Thought it Was You, and “Warning Labels,” the lead single from his next set, From the Heart. We’ll see him again in 1993 with a pair of chart-toppers from that album.
“A Jukebox With a Country Song” gets a B-.