Written by Michael Clark and Jeff Stevens
#1 (1 week)
November 27, 1993
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
November 19, 1993
Alabama reconnects with the youthful energy of their earliest records.
The Road to No. 1
Alabama’s American Pride was their last album to produce three No. 1 singles. Their next studio set, Cheap Seats, would produce only one No. 1 single, its first.
The No. 1
“Reckless” has Alabama roleplaying as younger than their years, as the narrator notes to his beau, “You’re daddy’s got plans for you, and mine thinks I’m in school.”
The track does its best to capture the reckless energy of the lyric within the confines of a typically pedestrian Alabama production. The musicians never quite get there, but the band’s harmonies do enough of the heavy lifting to make the record work.
It’s a fun, energetic effort that serves a callback to their earlier hits, while also positioning them as being just as able to speak to the new, younger audience of country music when they put their minds to it.
The Road From No. 1
“T.L.C. A.S.A.P.” followed “Reckless,” and it went top ten. Then the title cut became the first Alabama single to miss the Billboard top ten since “My Home’s in Alabama” in 1980. RCA chose to stop after three singles and move on to Greatest Hits Vol. 3, which was led off with my personal favorite Alabama single, “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore.” It went top ten. Then the second single from the hits collection returned them to the top. We’ll cover it in 1995.
“Reckless” gets a B.
Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties
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I personally really love this record, and it’s become one of my all time favorite Alabama songs over the past two decades. Randy Owen and the boys sound way more re-energized here compared to the previous “Hometown Honeymoon.” Everything about it, from the driving beat, the catchy melody, the timeless theme of wanting to escape town to find adventure, the electric guitar solo, and Randy’s enthusiastic vocals puts me in an upbeat, energized mood and makes me want to just go off and take a long drive. For me, it’s always been one of my top go to songs for any road trip playlist, and it’s a great example of an escapism song done right. Oh yeah, and I just LOVE those low guitar notes near the end, as well!
Speaking of great driving songs, I’ve always couldn’t help but notice how many really good ones came out in 1993, or at least songs that sound great while on the road. Besides this Alabama song, off the top of my head, other ’93 songs that would be great for a road trip playlist: “On The Road” by Lee Roy Parnell, “Let Go” by Brother Phelps, “Mama Knows The Highway” by Hal Ketchum, “Drive South” by Suzy Bogguss, “Drivin’ And Cryin'” by Steve Wariner (and also his “If I Didn’t Love You” from the same year), “Tell Me Why” by Wynonna, “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” by Dwight Yoakam, and I’m sure quite a few more.
Of the other singles from Cheap Seats, I also really like the title track and think that’s another one of their underrated 90’s singles.
This stretch of Alabama delivers my favorite singles from them, but they didn’t top the charts: “The Cheap Seats,” “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore,” and “It Works.”
Good God! All this bouncing like a yo-yo when Alabama pulls my strings makes me wonder if this up-down response to their output is what Morgan Wallen and Florida Georgia Line were singing about in that Hardy penned 2017 smash single.
Kevin – I’m also bummed that “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore” and “It Works” weren’t number ones, especially! Those are also two of my favorite Alabama ballads.
While I tend to prefer Alabama’s bluegrass-tinged songs the best (Mountain Music, Song of the South, etc.), I do like this song a lot. (Cheap Seats is also a really good one).
@ Jamie – interesting observation about the driving songs from ’93!