Friday, 7 September 2012

My Top Ten Alabama Songs

The second stop on my USA tour (following Memphis) brings me to the deep south of Alabama. Never before have I compiled a Top Ten where so many of the songs are so inextricably linked...

Special mention goes to Alabama Shakes, Alabama 3 and, of course, The Blind Boys of Alabama.

10. Jim White - Alabama Chrome

According to the Urban Dictionary, "alabama chrome" is slang for duct tape. Make of that what you will.

9. The Drive-By Truckers - The Three Great Alabama Icons

The Truckers tell the story of the controversial relationship between the songs at #3 and #1 on this chart, along with a potted history of the deep south itself.

See also The Boys From Alabama, an 18 certificate remake of Dukes of Hazzard.

I wouldn't piss off the Boys from Alabama if I was you

8. Brad Paisley - Old Alabama

Alabama was also the name of a classic country rock band of the 70s and 80s. Here they're reunited by my favourite contemporary country artist for a tribute song, singing lyrics from one of their biggest records, Mountain Men.

7. Old Crow Medicine Show - Alabama High-Test

They're gonna put me in the slammer
If they catch me with that Alabama high-test

6. Kid Rock - All Summer Long

Recalling his youth in northern Michigan (936 miles away from Alabama), Kid Rock shamelessly pilfers our #1 song, Bryan Adams' Summer of '69 and a howling hit by this next gentleman...

5. Warren Zevon - Play It All Night Long

Which dead band's song is Warren playing all night long? (Hint: it's not Kid Rock's.)

The youtube version I'm linking to is a little wobbly, but it's the best version I could find.

4. The Doors - Alabama Song

Written by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht back in 1927, this has been recorded umpteen times since, most notably by Jim Morrison (above) and David Bowie. I think the Doors version just wins it for me.

3. Neil Young - Alabama

Grumpy old northern Neil never had much love for the south, venting his spleen on the segregationist states both here and in Southern Man. Some good did come out of this whole situation though - Neil's angry rants led to the creation of our #1 track. No prizes if you haven't already guessed what that's going to be.

2. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Home

Alabama, Arkansas
I do love my ma and pa...
Not the way that I do love you

Maybe it's not strictly an Alabama song (Mr. Sharpe and the Zeroes are from L.A.), but that opening lyrics always points me in that direction.

1. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama

Well I hope Neil Young will remember
A southern man don't need him around anyhow!

There have been various theories put forth over the years about the politics espoused by the Skyn' in this song. Go listen to #9 for more about that. For me, this is just one of the greatest rock guitar songs ever, a track that always makes me want to "turn it up"...

So... which one's your Alabama slammer?


  1. Sweet Home Alabama is in my all time top 10, so I'm a hippity hoppity happy bunny

  2. Then my work here is done... for today.

  3. The Doors. Definitely The Doors.


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