“Take Me Down”
Written by Mark Gray and J.P. Pennington
Radio & Records
#1 (3 weeks)
July 9 – July 23, 1982
#1 (1 week)
July 24, 1982
Many of Alabama’s early hits were written by band members. This one mined the catalog of another band that would find some country success of their own in the eighties.
At this point, Exile was best known for their big pop hit “Kiss You All Over.” Their 1980 version of “Take Me Down” just barely missed the pop charts. When Alabama covered it, it not only went to No. 1 on the country chart, but also went top twenty on the pop chart.
Alabama improves on the original recording across the board. Randy Owen understands how this can work as a country rock hit, and he gives an impassioned vocal performance that easily eclipses Exile’s efforts.
His vocal and Alabama’s musicianship elevate what is a fundamentally slight composition, giving a half-baked effort a few more minutes in the oven. It’s another gem from their imperial era.
“Take Me Down” gets a B+.
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