On This Day: Alabama Releases ‘Take Me Down’ in 1982

by Emily Morgan

On this day, nearly 40 years ago, southern rock band, Alabama, released their song, “Take Me Down. The band released it on May 6, 1982, as the second single from their sixth studio album, Mountain Music. However, the song has its original ties with another band. Mark Gray and J.P. Pennington, band members from Exile, wrote and recorded the song in 1980. 

However, their single version failed to become a major hit, although it reached No. 102 on the “US Bubbling Under” chart and No. 11 in South Africa. Despite this, the song’s popularity would completely change when Alabama released the track — becoming the group’s seventh No. 1 hit on the country chart. Moreso, it became a crossover hit, finding success on the pop charts, reaching No. 18 on the Billboard “Hot 100.”

Alabama Changes up Radio Version of ‘Take Me Down’

Fans may not know that the single edit to “Take Me Down,” released for retail and radio, is over a minute shorter than the full-length album version. The single version also got rid of the second refrain. The song immediately proceeds from the second verse into the bridge. It also excludes an earlier fade during the ending harmony part. 

Additionally, Mountain Music became a crossover success and is known as the band’s most successful albums. The album ranked as an album on both country and pop charts and produced singles successful in different markets. 

Later on, in 1998, the Recording Industry Association of American certified the album 5× Platinum. It peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and No. 14 on the Billboard 200.

The album also gave fans the title track of “Mountain Music,” which combines Southern rock and bluegrass. According to critics, it has been described as “a modern country classic” as well as a song that “practically defined what country groups have strived to accomplish.”

According to the band’s frontman, Randy Owen, “Mountain Music” took three years to write, and he wanted to put his childhood experiences into his songwriting. “Mountain Music” quickly became the groups’ sixth No. 1 song on the “Hot Country Singles” chart. The same week the song charted, the Academy of Country Music named the group the Top Vocal Group and Entertainer of the Year.

Mountain Music also gave fans “Close Enough to Perfect.” The song was written by Carl Chambers and recorded by the group. The band released it in August 1982 as the third single from the album. “Close Enough to Perfect” became Alabama’s eighth No. 1 song.