“Sad Lookin’ Moon“
Written by Greg Fowler, Teddy Gentry, and Randy Owen
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
May 9, 1997
Alabama nears the end of its legendary chart run.
The Road to No. 1
After “She Ain’t Your Ordinary Girl” went to No. 1, Alabama’s extraordinary consistency at country radio faltered. “In Pictures” went top ten, “It Works” went top twenty, and then “Say I” barely cracked the top forty. They bounced back with the final single from In Pictures, the top five “The Maker Said Take Her.” Alabama returned to the top with the lead single from one of their strongest albums, Dancin’ On the Boulevard.
The No. 1
“Sad Lookin’ Moon” is one of the least interesting tracks from a surprisingly diverse album, so of course it was the biggest radio single from the project.
The idea is sound enough, and Owen gives one of his better vocal performances. The band sounds so much more relaxed here, which gives “Sad Lookin’ Moon” a warmth that is missing from many of the formulaic radio hits that dominated the airwaves for two decades.
It’s just so lyrically clunky. “I thought that you could fly. I thought that you had wings,” rhymed with “It knocked me to the ground on my knees,” still makes me wince. To be fair, the second verse is much stronger, but I don’t know how that first verse made it out of the writers’ room.
I’d still rather listen to it than most of their mid-decade chart-toppers.
The Road From No. 1
Dancin’ On the Boulevard produced three more singles: the top five “Dancin’, Shaggin’ On the Boulevard,” and the top thirty entries “Of Course I’m Alright” and “She’s Got That Look in Her Eyes.” Perhaps to remind radio of their former glory days, their label put together For the Record, a collection of forty No. 1 hits. The lead single from that project will be covered when we get to 1998, and it will be the band’s final appearance here.
“Sad Lookin’ Moon” gets a B-.
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