Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Alabama, “Touch Me When We’re Dancing”

“Touch Me When We’re Dancing”


Written by Ken Bell, Terry Skinner, and J. L. Wallace

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

October 31, 1986


#1 (1 week)

November 29, 1986

The tail end of the Harold Shedd years produced the worst music of Alabama’s career, and they never fully recovered from the dropoff in quality on The Touch and Just Us.

Of course, they were still Alabama, so even though their record sales plummeted with these two albums, radio remained firmly on board, sending four songs from the two albums to No. 1.

“Touch Me When We’re Dancing” was a minor pop and AC hit for the band Bama, and it became a moderate pop and AC hit again when it was covered by the Carpenters.  It’s not really in Randy Owen’s wheelhouse, so he does this strange combination of borrowing from himself (“Feels So Right”) and from Conway Twitty (“Slow Hand”) as he tries to make this tepid as tapioca track come to life.

He’s not successful, despite a game effort.  His band could’ve provided some additional support, but they’re surprisingly lethargic, with the creativity of the previous year’s “She and I” apparently evaporating in a matter of months.

They’ll be back in top form once they take a break and switch producers, but it’s a long slog between now and then.

“Touch Me When We’re Dancing” gets a C.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. “The Touch” is a mediocre album but “Pony Express” is my favorite Alabama song without Randy on lead vocals and probably in my top 10 of theirs overall. It’s a cool concept and the production style that doesn’t work that well on the country pop ballads works really well on the more rock-oriented ballad.

  2. …again, randy owen surely didn’t beat around the bush here. love the enthusiasm of the ladies in the clip. this dud even grows on you, actually me, after a few spins. seems like my good taste has already disappeared for spring break.

  3. At this point of the decade, Alabama had largely devolved into this sound of inconsequential aesthetics. The utterly sanitized exploration of a dance floor touch essentially neuters this song. Owen’s inability to evoke the urgency and intensity of Twitty’s lascivious growl leaves this performance sounding like the safest of radio singles.

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