Alone Again (album)
|Studio album by George Jones|
|George Jones chronology|
After the disappointing chart performance of his last two albums (1975's Memories of Us and 1976's The Battle), Jones bounced back with Alone Again, which got to number 9 on the Billboard albums chart, propelled by the success of the hit single "Her Name Is", which rose to number 3. In the liner notes to the Jones compilation Anniversary - 10 Years of Hits, producer Billy Sherrill admits the song is about Tammy Wynette, whom Jones had divorced the year before. Ironically, interest in the couple was more intense than ever, so much so that two singles released by Epic, "Golden Ring" and "Near You", shot to number one. In his 1996 autobiography, Jones made no apologies about exploiting his personal woes: "The press had made my personal life so public so frequently for so long that I didn't care what people knew, didn't know, or thought they knew about me. If folks bought my records because they thought I was breaking down, which I happened to be, then so be it."
Recording and composition
Jones wrote the opening track "A Drunk Can't Be a Man" with Peanut Montgomery, again playing up to his bad reputation. The line "He goes from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde..." seems to be a reference to how many people described the change that came over Jones's personality when drunk. The pair also wrote the comical "Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me", but most of the material was provided by songwriter Jodie Emerson, who had contributed songs to the Jones's previous two recordings. The hit single "Her Name Is", a novelty about forbidden love, was written by Bobby Braddock, who would later co-write Jones's biggest hit "He Stopped Loving Her Today". Producer Billy Sherrill features a clavinet on the solo break of "Her Name Is", an unusual instrument for country music. For the most part, however, the album is an austere return to the singer's honky tonk roots, the strident cadences of steel guitars and twin fiddles replacing the multi-tracked strings and violins with which Sherrill had weighed down Jones's early releases on Epic.
Newsweek called Alone Again "a jaunty unassuming country masterpiece." AllMusic writes: "As always, Jones sings from the heart and from his own real life experiences dealing with the aftermath of his failed marriage. Despite a generally depressive mood, George pulls off one of his greatest novelty songs, "Her Name Is...," one of only a handful of hits he managed during his mid-70s slump." Jones biographer Bob Allen singles out "A Drunk Can't Be A Man" for particular praise, writing in George Jones: The Life and Times of a Honky Tonk Legend that it "was as painful and precise an autobiographical confession as he'd ever had a hand in writing...he imbued it with the stone-cold conviction and embitteredness of a man who is afraid to look over his shoulder, afraid to admit that his demons are gaining ground on him." In the album's original liner notes, Don Cusic of Record World wrote, "...people have wondered 'What is country music?' I have always answered that question by suggesting they listen to Hank Williams or George Jones. Those that took my suggestion KNEW what country music was." In 2013 Uncut deemed it "Another belter from Jones' mid-70s binge of tears-in-your-beer barstool soliloquies."
- "A Drunk Can't Be a Man" (George Jones, Earl Montgomery)
- "Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me" (George Jones, Earl Montgomery)
- "Stand on My Own Two Knees" (Jan Crutchfield, Roger Bowling)
- "You're the Best Living" (Jodie Emerson)
- "Over Something Good" (Jodie Emerson)
- "Her Name Is" (Bobby Braddock)
- "I'm All She's Got" (Jodie Emerson)
- "She Needs Me" (Earl Montgomery, Jodie Emerson)
- "Right Now I'd Come Back and Melt in Her Arms" (Jodie Emerson)
- "Diary of My Mind" (Sadie M. Starks, John Starks)
Album – Billboard (North America)
Singles - Billboard (North America)
|1976||Her Name Is...||Country Singles||3|