Written by Alan Jackson
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
June 28, 1996
A cut from Alan Jackson’s earliest Arista sessions gets an overdue shot at radio airplay.
The Road to No. 1
The promotional pitch for The Greatest Hits Collection was “20 Songs. 16 No. 1 hits. One that should’ve been. Three that will be.” Following “Tall, Tall Trees” and “I’ll Try,” the chart-topping success of “Home” fulfilled the prophecy of that very confident marketing slogan.
The No. 1
Seven years after Alan Jackson went into the studio from June 26-June 27, 1989 to record his debut Arista album, one of those songs achieved what four other songs from those sessions had done years earlier, making Here in the Real World the first and currently the only Alan Jackson album to produce five No. 1 hits.
“Home” treads common ground for material on debut country albums. Many new artists want to make sure that their potential audience knows where they came from and how they value their roots. Some of these are a bit on the nose, like Gretchen Wilson’s “Pocahontas Proud” and Carrie Underwood’s “I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore.” Others capture the feelings of the family home more than the town itself, like Alan Jackson’s “Home” and the Joe Diffie hit of the same name, the latter of which discouraged Arista from releasing the former to radio in 1990.
Fact is, they’re both classic records and there was probably enough room on the radio for both of them at that time. But how refreshing it was to hear a young, pre-stardom Alan Jackson on the radio again, sounding noticeably younger than he did on the other two single releases from The Greatest Hits Collection.
Like the best songs of this kind, his lyric is specific enough to be about his unique experience growing up, but the emotions it taps into are universal, and can make anyone with positive childhood memories of a family home feel warm with nostalgia.
The Road From No. 1
The lead single from Everything I Love is up next, and it taps into the catalog of fellow future Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall. We’ll cover it before the end of 1996.
“Home” gets an A.
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