Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Alabama, “There’s No Way”

“There’s No Way”


Written by John Jarrard, Lisa Palas, and Will Robinson

Radio & Records

#1 (3 weeks)

March 22 – April 5, 1985


#1 (1 week)

May 4, 1985

It ain’t easy carrying your label’s bottom line on your shoulders. 

Sure, the Judds, K.T. Oslin, and Clint Black will be outselling Alabama shortly, but at the time of 4o Hour Week‘s release, Alabama had multiple smash albums behind them that raised expectations impossibly high.

So it is here when we start to see a heavier reliance on outside songwriters and musicians.  “There’s No Way” is more melodically ambitious than what Randy Owen would write for himself, so we get to hear him stretch a bit on the chorus.  

But in the process, we lose some distinctiveness, as he sounds like he’s channeling Conway Twitty when he goes for those gravelly low notes. He doesn’t completely get there, but him even coming close demonstrates his growth as a vocalist. 

As eighties Alabama ballads go, it’s mid-tier.  I’m a much bigger fan of the title track, which is up next. 

“There’s No Way” gets a B. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I like this one a little more than you do. I really like all of the singles from this album and would bump this up to a B+. After this album Alabama was really hit or miss for me with singles up to “Southern Star”. It remained that way for the remainder of their charting careers.

  2. …the benz in the clip doesn’t quite underline the message of their “forty hours week (for a livin’)”, does it? regarding that clip as whole: thank god, they didn’t consider a career in filmmaking.

  3. The assembly of this song makes clear all the other successful music at play on the country charts. Kevin already pointed out Twitty’s influence on Owens’ vocals. I also hear more emphasis on the harmony vocals suggesting they were wanting to mine the same vein the Oak Ridge Boys and Statler Brothers had successfully been working. The spoken word coda seems like a tip of the hat to traditionalism within a more contemporary sounding song.

    This is Alabama covering their bases.

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