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December 5

Story of Alabama’s “Take Me Down”

“Take Me Down” is a song recorded by Alabama. Released in May 1982, it was the American country music band’s second single from their album Mountain Music.

Written by Exile band members Mark Gray and J.P. Pennington, Gray, Pennington and the band originally recorded it in the early 1980s. Having released their versions as a single, Exile fell short for it to become a hit. Although it reached number 2 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100, it did not pull through.

When Alabama released their cover of the song –the group’s seventh number one on the country chart, it was a success. In addition to its victory on the country charts, the song charged modestly well on pop radio. The track occupied the number 18th spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Album

Mountain Music by Alabama is the country music group’s sixth studio album that was released in 1982. Being a crossover success, it ranked well as an album on both country and pop charts. Additionally, it launched singles that became a hit in several markets. By far, this is Alabama’s most successful non-compilation album. In 1998, the Recording Industry Association of America certified the album 5× Platinum.

Early long play pressings of this album were mastered at a slower speed. Reissues were made after they have corrected the error.

The single edit to “Take Me Down”, released for retail sale and radio airplay, is about 1:10 shorter than the full-length album version. Cut out from the single version:

  • In the second refrain, the song immediately proceeds from the second verse into the bridge.
  • An earlier fade happened during the ending harmony part which was about 30 seconds earlier than the album version.

The B-side to “Take Me Down” is a song entitled “Lovin’ You Is Killin’ Me”. This was a re-recording of one of Alabama’s earliest songs. “Lovin’ You Is Killin’ Me” originally appeared as the B-side to the band’s first charted single, 1977’s “I Wanna Be With You Tonight”.

 


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