Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Alan Jackson, “Love’s Got a Hold On You”

“Love’s Got a Hold On You”

Alan Jackson

Written by Carson Chamberlain and Keith Stegall


#1 (2 weeks)

September 19 – September 26, 1992

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

September 4, 1992

After a detour to Montgomery, Alan Jackson makes it back to No. 1.

The Road to No. 1

Following seven consecutive No. 1 singles, Jackson went top five with “Midnight in Montgomery,” a haunting and evocative ballad about meeting the ghost of Hank Williams.  Arista then issued “Love’s Got a Hold On You” as the fifth and final single from Don’t Rock the Jukebox.

The No. 1

And it’s fine.

It’s a bit of a retread, harkening back to an older hit from Don Williams, “It Must Be Love,” which Jackson himself would later cover and take to No. 1.

It’s pretty generic album filler, making me wonder if it was sent to radio to buy Jackson some time to write some more material for his third Arista album.

A more energetic backing track would’ve helped.  It’s one of Jackson’s most forgettable chart toppers.

The Road From No. 1

But Jackson is another rising star kicking up to a higher gear, with a string of fantastic singles on the way from that third Arista set.  Stay tuned.

“Love’s Got a Hold On You” gets a B-.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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  1. This song is fun, but a million times inferior to “Midnight in Montgomery”! I can’t believe “Midnight” didn’t go number one! I’m glad I wasn’t into country music when it was charting, because I would have been quite disappointed that it didn’t make it to the top, but this song did.

  2. This is definitely the weakest single from the “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” album but it is a fun song but looking back it would’ve been interesting to see if “Working Class Hero”, “Playing Possum” or “Walking the floor over Me” would have done being mid to uptempo but it’s a crime to me that “That’s All I Need to Know” wasn’t a single I can see that reaching the top 5

  3. LeeAnn,I feel the same way about this song in comparison to “Midnight in Montgomery” that you do. I WAS into country music then and I was quite disappointed.

    Tyler, I was also a big fan of “Just Playin’ Possum” and “Walkin’ the Floor Over Me.” Those and MiM were my favorites from that album.

  4. While it’s definitely a weaker song compared to “Midnight In Montgomery,” (I absolutely can NOT believe that song wasn’t a number one!) this is a pretty fun, catchy, and enjoyable song for me in its own right. I especially love that continuous twangy guitar heard throughout, and it’s one of the things that’s always made it unique and enjoyable for me. It kind of reminds me of the sort of fun ditty that could’ve come out in the 50’s or early 60’s. Love the steel guitar work in this one, as well. This is definitely one of my favorites of the more lighthearted songs he’s released.

    This is also another song that brings back good memories from the late Summer and early Fall of 1992, not long after we moved into our new house. I also have it on one of my favorite tapes that I recorded in the Fall of that year when I started getting back into recording tapes from the radio regularly. That tape also includes: “Jesus And Mama” by Confederate Railroad, “Lie To You For Your Love,” by The Bellamy Brothers, “Like We Never Had A Broken Heart” by Trisha Yearwood, “Your Love Is A Miracle” by Mark Chesnutt, “Whoever’s In New England” by Reba, “Even The Man In The Moon Is Crying” by Mark Collie, “One Hundred And Two” by The Judds, “What Kind Of Love” by Rodney Crowell, “Runnin’ Behind” by Tracy Lawrence, a “double shot feature” for Alabama which included “Born Country and “Feels So Right,”, plus others. I would also listen to this tape often whenever my parents and I would go back to Fredericksburg, VA, and a lot of those songs, including this one, come back to mind whenever I’m back in that area.

    Anyway, I’m just as shocked as everyone else here that “Midnight In Montgomery” wasn’t also a number one. I actually remember that song being on the radio literally almost all the time during the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 1992. It’s one of the songs I was most fascinated with then, and I especially always loved that haunting steel guitar!

    As for favorite non-singles from Don’t Rock The Jukebox, mine are “That’s All I Need To Know” and “From A Distance.” Otherwise, I think they mostly got the single choices right. Still one of AJ’s best albums, imo!

  5. I have always loved the classic rockabilly tic-tack twang of the guitar. It sounds like an excited irregular heartbeat, no?

    Similar to what he did with “Wanted,” Jackson revisits a song structured around a two person conversation.

    Listen to the steel guitar rise as the patient shares – almost shouting – his symptoms. It’s sort of brilliants in how it captures the loopy, manic insanity of trying to describe being in love.

    The music descends to more stable solidity when the doctor makes his diagnosis or his buddies ask what is wrong with him.

    Is this the first time Jackson inserts his Bob Will’s like “Aw” into a single?

    This song is deceptively simple.

  6. I’ve always enjoyed this song, but I agree that it isn’t one of his strongest singles. To echo what others have said, “Walkin’ the Floor Over Me” and “Just Playin’ Possum” were two of my favourites from this album.

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