DIARY - 7 APRIL 2004 - ALAN JACKSON CD REVIEW
JACKSON CD REVIEW 2003 - NEW
YORK ON GEORGIAN MIND
were you when the world stopped turning on that September day/ were you
in the yard with your wife and children/ or workin' on some stage in L.A."
- Where Were You - Alan Jackson.
born country superstar Alan Jackson knows exactly where he was when
the World Trade Centre was bombed.
He was watching TV at his Tennessee lakeside home after exercising
"The first plane had already hit," Alan revealed, "I
was standing there when the second one hit. I was just devastated.
I didn't feel like doing anything. I was just depressed for a couple
of weeks at least."
But six weeks later the image was so powerful he arose at 3 am and
sang his career song into a digital recorder after coming home to
Franklin from a concert in his home state.
just a singer of simple songs. I'm not a real political man/I watch CNN,
but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran,"
He finished the song in time to debut it live on the CMA Awards in Nashville
and shoot it to the top of the Billboard charts for five weeks as his
28th #1 country hit.
The studio and live version, introduced by Vince Gill, are both on Jackson's
huge selling 12th album Drive (BMG) that bumped Creed's Weathered
from Billboard pop charts after an eight week reign.
"I played a show down in Georgia Saturday night, and I flew home
late," Jackson 44, revealed, "I got up at three or four in the
morning, and that's when the song came just out of nowhere. I got up,
came down here, and put it on a digital recorder. I just sang it, didn't
even play guitar. I just sang the melody and lyrics right into it and
went back to bed. I got up the next morning, and finished writing the
verses. It just came out. I think it was a gift, and I'm just a messenger
for it. It's a very special song. It's weird. I've woken up many times
and had song ideas, but nothing that structured and that complete."
hombre, who shares the same hometown of Newnan with Steve Young, is no
opportunist; he didn't release refries like many peers to cash in on the
"I imagine there's probably not many songwriters out there that didn't
feel they needed to write something about it," he said, "I felt
the same way. I wanted to write something, but I didn't want to write
some patriotic song. When I wrote this song I was reluctant about playing
it. I played it for my wife but I didn't know if I wanted to record it."
History repeated when Jackson, who duetted with George Strait on the Larry
Cordle-Larry Shell parody Murder On Music Row on the CMA Awards the previous
year, defied decorum and did a five minute song.
"It's a meaningful song and if it would help people feel like there
was somebody else who had the same feelings as they did, I wanted the
song to be heard," he said.
Not only heard but read into the congressional record by a Georgia legislator
and quoted in church sermons and religious classes in schools.
stays true to his roots on an album featuring nine originals and also
consumes his passion for cars from the title track Drive (for
Daddy Gene), Designated Drinker (also with Strait) and First Love.
"My daddy died a few years ago, and I wanted to write something
for him," Jackson said of the title track.
"I tried a couple of times, and I always ended up writing some
sad dying song. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to write something
nice. Daddy didn't say much, but really gave me is my love for cars,
and this whole song is a bunch of facts, really."
In the first
verse of Drive, Jackson explains how his father used to let him
steer their old plywood boat. In the second verse, he tells of climbing
behind the wheel of an old Ford truck and feeling like Mario Andretti
when his dad let him drive. In the third verse, he sings of being grown
and letting his daughters drive an old jeep across the pasture of his
First Love is a cute eulogy to a car, disguised as an ode to an older
The object of Jackson's affection is a white 1955 Thunderbird that he
sold when he and wife Denise were newly wed and needed money for a house.
A few years ago Denise (with whom the singer had a well publicised rift)
tracked the car down, bought it back and surprised him with it as a gift.
"That car was such an important piece of my life. I worked from the
time I was 12 years old, saving money to buy my first car," Jackson
recalled, "I bought that car when I was 15. To have had that car
anyway and then to get it back, the whole story is pretty neat."
But Drive is not all cars and crises - he cut Irene Kelley/Mark Irwin
tune A Little Bluer Than That after hearing Kelley perform it at
the Grand Ole Opry one night.
And the love songs veer from the humour of Work in Progress to
the regret of The Sounds, triumph of When Love Comes Around, solace
of Bring On The Night and self explanatory Once In A Lifetime
HITS AND BONUS DISC
singer, discovered by expatriate Australasian publisher and promoter
Barry Coburn, is riding a new wave with his latest compilation that
has attained triple platinum status.
Jackson has released a bonus eight track disc Some Other Stuff with
his Greatest Hits 11 (Arista-BMG).
The singer includes latest smash duet with Jimmy Buffett - It's
5 O'Clock Somewhere - and Kieran Kane tune I'll Go On Loving
You among the 18 hits.
the bonus disc features alternate cuts diverse as Job Description
and The Sounds.
It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere with Jimmy Buffett on the 2003 CMA Awards
show in Nashville.
The video is on Nu Country TV.
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