Cheap Seats (album)
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|Studio album by Alabama|
|Released||October 12, 1993|
|Label||RCA Nashville #66296-2|
Larry Michael Lee
Cheap Seats is the fifteenth studio album by the American country music band Alabama, released in 1993 on RCA Nashville. It produced the singles "Reckless", "T.L.C. A.S.A.P." and "The Cheap Seats". Of these, "Reckless" was the band's final Number One hit on the Billboard country charts, and "The Cheap Seats" was the band's first single in fourteen years to miss Top Ten of the charts. Alabama produced the album along with Josh Leo and Larry Michael Lee, except for "Angels Among Us", which bassist Teddy Gentry produced.
The album produced three singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts. First was "Reckless", which became the band's thirty-second and final Number One hit on that chart. After it came the number seven "T.L.C. A.S.A.P.", written by Gary Baker and Frank J. Myers, who then comprised the duo Baker & Myers. The album's title track was the final single release; it was co-written by Randy Sharp and Marcus Hummon, who also played harmonica on it. With a number thirteen peak, it became the band's first single to miss the country top ten since "My Home's in Alabama" in 1980. Of the three singles from this album, only "The Cheap Seats" was made into a music video.
"Angels Among Us" was also recorded by Becky Hobbs, its co-writer, on her 1994 album The Boots I Came to Town In. Alabama's rendition entered the country charts twice from unsolicited airplay: first at number 54 in 1994, and later at number 28 in January 1995 (after "We Can't Love Like This Anymore", the first single from the band's Greatest Hits Volume 3). "Angels Among Us" also reached number 22 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 in January 1996. "Katy Brought My Guitar Back Today" was later recorded by Rhett Akins on his 1995 first album A Thousand Memories. Al Anderson, then a member of the band NRBQ, co-wrote "A Better Word for Love", which NRBQ recorded on its 1994 album Message for the Mess Age.
Dan Cooper gave the album three stars out of five in his Allmusic review. He called the title track "way cute" and cited "A Better Word for Love" as a "quiet, morning [sic] love song". Tom Roland gave an identical star rating in New Country magazine, citing it as an "excellent example of a band that still has a chemistry holding it together" and "[n]othing monumental here, just a good, solid Alabama album". He also cited the title track as a standout for "avoiding the now-stale Dixie tributes".
- "Still Goin' Strong" (Rick Bowles, Josh Leo) - 3:00
- "T.L.C. A.S.A.P." (Gary Baker, Frank J. Myers) - 3:31
- "Katy Brought My Guitar Back Today" (Mickey Cates, John Jarrard) - 3:09
- "On This Side of the Moon" (Mark Alan Springer) - 3:28
- "The Cheap Seats" (Marcus Hummon, Randy Sharp) - 3:53
- "Reckless" (Michael Clark, Jeff Stevens) - 3:15
- "That Feeling" (Greg Fowler, Teddy Gentry, Ronnie Rogers) - 3:21
- "This Love's on Me" (P. J. Kimberlin, Ken Randolph, Jeff Cook, Rocky Lawrence) - 3:02
- "Clear Water Blues" (Fowler, Gentry, Rogers) - 4:05
- "A Better Word for Love" (Al Anderson, Gary Nicholson) - 3:43
- "Angels Among Us" (Don Goodman, Becky Hobbs) - 4:09
As listed in liner notes.
- Jeff Cook – lead guitar, fiddle, vocals
- Teddy Gentry – bass guitar (all tracks except "This Love's on Me"), vocals
- Mark Herndon – drums, percussion, vocals
- Randy Owen – rhythm guitar, vocals
Lead vocals by Randy Owen on all tracks, except Teddy Gentry on "Clear Water Blues" and Jeff Cook on "This Love's on Me".
- Sam Bush – fiddle, mandolin
- Mark Casstevens – acoustic guitar
- Bill Cuomo – piano, keyboards, Hammond B-3 organ
- Jim Horn – saxophone on "Still Goin' Strong"
- Dann Huff – electric guitar
- Bill Hullett – acoustic guitar
- Marcus Hummon – harmonica on "The Cheap Seats"
- Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson – harmonica on "Clear Water Blues"
- Craig Krampf – drums, percussion
- Bernie Leadon – acoustic guitar, banjo
- Josh Leo – electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- George Marinelli – electric guitar
- Carl Marsh – synthesizer strings
- Jim Nelson – saxophone on "This Love's on Me"
- Larry Paxton – bass guitar on "This Love's on Me"
- Charles Rose – trombone
- Brent Rowan – electric guitar
- Biff Watson – acoustic guitar
- John Willis – electric guitar, acoustic guitar; talk box guitar on "Clear Water Blues"; electric sitar on "This Love's on Me"
Choir on "Angels Among Us": Sanctuary Choir & Young Musicians Choir of First Baptist Church, Fort Payne, Alabama.
|U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums||16|
|U.S. Billboard 200||76|
|Canadian RPM Country Albums||4|