Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Alabama, “When We Make Love”

“When We Make Love”


Written by Troy Seals and Mentor Williams

Radio & Records

#1 (4 weeks)

May 18 – June 8, 1984


#1 (1 week)

June 23, 1984

Alabama’s last chart topper leaned heavily into the country music tradition of trucker songs.  They followed it up with one of their stronger adult contemporary ballads.

Randy Owen is the star on “When We Make Love,” with his bandmates providing understated harmony throughout the record.  This template would serve them well down the road, and they would hang on to this style for far longer than the “Mountain Music” approach, which would largely disappear from their repertoire after an upcoming No. 1 single from Roll On.

The challenge with reviewing this retroactively is that they did so many more ballads in this style that it’s hard to recreate how distinctive this likely sounded upon its release.  Thankfully, the composition is strong enough – and Owen’s performance is distinctive enough – that it’s still one of the better ballads in their catalog.

That being said, the best is yet to come from Roll On

“When We Make Love” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. …”it’s more to me than just an affair” – not quite sure, if i expressed it like randy (no pun intended, really – i swear) owen did in that situation. otherwise, a pretty promising seduction effort that t.g. sheppard might have been real proud of. still, don’t wake up sleeping dogs!

  2. Before I discovered the Playboy Advisor advice column as a teenager, I am pretty sure I learned more about making love from country songs than anywhere else. T.G. Sheppard, Conway Twitty, and this Alabama single served as my primary family education instructors with their clear lessons on the subject. Even when the lyrics would stop short of my sweaty imagination, the lewd tempo and punctuation of the music had a lot to offer curious and horny ears.

    Randy Owen sounds great here.

    This is one of my favourite Alabama songs from the decade.

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