Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Alabama, “In Pictures”

“In Pictures


Written by Bobby Boyd and Joe Doyle

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

December 1, 1995

Alabama takes a Linda Davis cover to the top.

The Road to No. 1

“She Ain’t Your Ordinary Girl” went to No. 1 as the lead-off single from In Pictures.  The title track followed it to No. 1

The No. 1

Randy Owen gives a subtle and restrained performance, and it heightens the emotional impact of the story he’s telling about an estranged father watching his daughter grow up from a distance.

The production doesn’t support his performance well.  Everything about it screams, “this is an important record about a serious subject.”  It’s somehow both too slow and too bombastic.

Even when they’re working with strong material, mid-nineties Alabama sounds like an oldies act, much like Conway Twitty and Ronnie Milsap did earlier in the decade.

The Road From No. 1

Their next single, “It Works,” was one of the finest records they ever released.  It barely went top twenty. It was followed by “Say I,” which scraped the bottom of the top forty, becoming their lowest-charting single since 1977.  They rebounded with the fifth single, “The Maker Said Take Her,” which went top five.  They’d return to the top in 1997 with the lead single from their next album, making 1996 their first year without a No. 1 single since 1979.

“In Pictures” gets a B. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Alan Jackson, “Tall, Tall Trees” |

Next: Aaron Tippin, “That’s as Close as I’ll Get to Loving You”

1 Comment

  1. I agree; the production does not compliment the lyrics well at all. The tinkling keyboards and syrupy strings ooze sentimentality while the lyrics tell a safer tale. Randy Travis’ “Promises” comes to mind as one example of how a lean sound can spotlight the anguish of a lyric. Here, Owen’s hushed and whispered vocals would be allowed to take on a harsher, anguished sound rather than the oddly reverential/nostalgic tones they inexplicably settle upon. Just another confused offering from a band that has lost its way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.