Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Alabama, “‘You’ve Got’ The Touch”

“‘You’ve Got’ the Touch”


Written by John Jarrard, Lisa Palas, and Will Robinson

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

March 6 – March 13, 1987


#1 (1 week)

April 11, 1987

There are two memorable things about “‘You’ve Got the Touch.”

First, the title was supposed to have parentheses around You’ve Got instead of quotation marks That was a clerical error that was never fixed back in the day for some reason.

Second, it was the final of Alabama’s record-setting 21 consecutive No. 1 singles, and it came courtesy of the same songwriters who helped Alabama break Sonny James’ record of 16 consecutive No. 1 singles just two years earlier with “There’s No Way.”

They wrote this one with the intent of having another Alabama hit, and they did.  It covers no new ground lyrically and Harold Shedd’s production is tepid and sounding awfully out of date at this point.

You can hear Randy Owen pushing up against the paint-by-numbers approach here, doing everything he can to make his vocal at least be distinct from their earlier efforts.

But they’re treading well worn ground at this point, and even a guest appearance by K.T. Oslin on their next No. 1 single wouldn’t be enough to keep them working with the same producer for much longer.

“‘You’ve Got’ The Touch” gets a B-.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Yeah, that was pretty flat. I’m surprised how many of these I barely remember. As I said, the radio station I grew up listening to continued to cycle through 80s hits on their playlist into the mid-2000s, but I don’t think I heard this one in 35 years. Nearly every act with the longevity of Alabama has some entries in their portfolio that either run together sound-wise or just get completely lost in the shuffle over time. This one certainly qualifies. I actually like the electric guitar work that was otherwise being phased out of mainstream country by 1987. It was the most memorable part of the listen for me.

    Grade: C

  2. Alabama has fully exhausted its core intent with this single, and they sound tired doing it. Fatigue may be a relative term but it consistently applies to Alabama’s recent run of uninspired and directionless work.

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