31 Years Ago: Alabama Become First Country Act to Earn Quadruple-Platinum Status
Thirty-one years ago today (July 30, 1985), Alabama had 8 million reasons to celebrate. It was on that date that the group became the first country act to earn quadruple-platinum status, for sales of 4 million copies, for both their 1981 album Feels So Right and 1982’s Mountain Music.
Feels So Right, which was Alabama’s sophomore record released on RCA Victor, includes three No. 1 singles: “Old Flame,” “Love in the First Degree” and the title track. All three singles from Mountain Music, including the title track, “Close Enough to Perfect” and “Take Me Down,” landed at the top of the charts as well.
Alabama’s string of No. 1 hits started with “Tennessee River” and “Why Lady Why,” the last two singles from their freshman RCA Victor release, My Home’s in Alabama, and continued through 14 more singles, which came from five albums. The streak ended when the legendary country band’s 1987 single “Tar Top,” from Just Us, peaked at No. 7. But in spite of their phenomenal success at the time, lead singer Randy Owen says that the group remained uneasy when song after song hit No. 1.
“I was afraid it would curtail the ability to stay true to who Alabama was, and [we would] just do songs that would be commercially easy for radio stations to put on, spin it and have a No. 1 record,” Owen admits to No Depression. “It concerned me. I’m not sure how the other guys feel about that, but it concerned me because, to me, there are songs that you write that you think, ‘This is an Alabama song,’ and you just feel, ‘This is us.'”
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