Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Alabama, “Give Me One More Shot”

“Give Me One More Shot”

Alabama

Written by Teddy Gentry, Randy Owen, and Ronnie Rogers

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

April 14, 1995

A remarkably poor song that is performed remarkably well.

The Road to No. 1

After “Reckless” topped the chart in 1993, Alabama went top ten with “T.L.C. A.S.A.P.”  Then they released two of their best singles ever back-to-back, and radio didn’t embrace them as well as their earlier hits.  “The Cheap Seats” was their first single to miss the top ten since 1979, despite having more personality than most of their nineties chart-toppers.  Then, they previewed Greatest Hits Vol. III with the devastating ballad “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore,” which went top ten.  It took the second single from Hits to put them back on top.

The No. 1

“Give Me One More Shot” is terribly written.  It’s nonsensical at times, haphazardly putting together “down on my luck” tropes while also aiming to be inspirational in its resilience.

But it’s hard to pull that off with lyrics like this:

If you could see how I’m living, and this old car I drive
Well you’d probably ponder and even wonder why I even want to stay alive

The chorus isn’t any better: “Give me one more chance, I’ll learn to dance the dance.”

But I have to say that Randy Owen sings it quite well, and he sounds fully committed to the silly words coming out of his mouth.  It’s almost like he’s singing a mea culpa to radio: “Hey, I know we got all creative and meaningful with our last two singles and y’all didn’t like that, so here’s a generic midtempo number that you can play between advertisements.”

Skip this one and check out “The Cheap Seats” and “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore.”

This won’t be the last time in the nineties that radio played the wrong Alabama singles.

The Road From No. 1

Alabama’s next two singles will also go No. 1, and we’ll cover both of them in 1995.

“Give Me One More Shot” gets a D.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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4 Comments

  1. It’s just crazy this made it to #1 and “We Can’t Love Like This” didn’t. It’s gotta be one of the most underrated songs in Alabama’s catalog. I love that song

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  2. This was actually the first then current Alabama song I heard on the radio in the car with my dad just when I was really getting interested in listening to country radio again. We were on our way to the pet store because he needed to pick something up over there. Dad seemed to like the song, and I remember on the first chorus after Randy Owen sang “Give me one more shot,” Dad followed it by going “Pow!” Since I wasn’t really paying much attention to the lyrics, the image that popped in my mind was Randy Owen being in sort a old fashioned Western style gunfight, lol. That image actually stayed with me whenever I heard this song for the longest time.

    I actually find that I still enjoy this song, as long as I don’t pay too much attention to the lyrics and focus on the nostalgia it brings back. As you pointed out, Randy Owen gives it a nice heartfelt performance, and I also like the melody and the overall laid back production (I believe Garth Fundis produced this, along with “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore”). I do appreciate the sentiment of being thankful to be alive, but sometimes I find it very comforting to vent about the sucky things in life. Especially with all the personal stuff my mom and I have been going through the past few years, I haven’t been exactly in the mood for any “Life is hard, but suck it up” type of songs (Not that I ever really liked those kind of songs all that much).

    I’m totally with you guys once again in wishing that “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore” being a number one. “Cheap Seats” definitely deserved better, too. Unfortunately, creative and lyrically meaningful songs were not what radio was looking for from most male artists in 1994, it seems.

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    • This is a remarkably weak stretch of No. 1 singles and it’s almost all male acts. Patty and Shania have some classics coming up this summer that will blow the guys out of the water. There are also two newer male artists who have great singles coming up.

  3. As country music undergoes seismic changes, I can feel Alabama wrestling with the weight of its musical legacy and the industry expectations of its output in a song like this. The band didn’t receive commercial validation for the chances they took with songs like “Cheap Seats” and “We Can’t Love Like This Anymore,” so to stay in the game they release this predictable pablum.

    Alabama was a victim of their own success. They were so insanely popular they were never given the chance to pivot or play off script. The stakes were too high to misstep. What would an Alabama record not geared for radio even sound like?

    This is Alabama’s deer-in-the-headlights moment.

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