“How Do You Fall in Love”
Written by Greg Fowler, Teddy Gentry, and Randy Owen
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
October 23, 1998
Alabama’s final No. 1 single of the decade closes out an amazing radio run.
The Road to No. 1
Dancin’ On the Boulevard was the best reviewed Alabama album in years, and it did respectfully enough at radio, with one No. 1 single and an additional top five hit. The band’s label took a novel approach to their next release. Rather than compile a Greatest Hits Vol. 4, they did a full career retrospective: For the Record – 41 Number One Hits. The 2-CD set included all of the band’s singles that had topped an industry chart. The lead single from the project lived up to its predecessors, becoming Alabama’s final solo No. 1 hit to date.
The No. 1
There is absolutely nothing wrong with “How Do You Fall in Love.”
Randy Owen is in fine voice, delivering a tender lyric about the importance of continuing to search for love until you find it, and not taking it for granted once you do.
It’s textbook Alabama, and it’s not quite as dreary as some of their other chart-topping ballads of the decade. But it doesn’t really stand out, either. It could’ve been one of their No. 1 singles from the eighties or nineties. Remarkable consistency? Reliable redundancy? A little bit of both, really.
Their twenty year run at country radio was incredibly impressive, even if the music itself was only intermittently memorable.
The Road From No. 1
The second single from 41 Number One Hits was “Keepin’ Up,” which went top fifteen. The collection went 5x platinum, their first to do so since their first Greatest Hits collection, though the 2-disc nature of 41 Number One Hits reflects 2.5 million in sales, not the 5 million achieved by their original single disc hits package. Their final album of the nineties, Twentieth Century, featured the top five hit “God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You.” This *NSYNCcover featured harmonies by the boy band. The album also included the top thirty hit “Small Stuff.” The album went gold, and was the first studio album of their career to fall short of platinum sales.
Their 2001 album, When it All Goes South, featured the top fifteen title track. It fell short of gold status, and would be their last country studio album for fourteen years. However, we will see the band again when we get to the 2010s, as they earn two more No. 1 hits through collaborations with other artists.
“How Do You Fall in Love” gets a B.
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