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Alabama

For the Record – 1998 (RCA)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Alabama

Alabama first hit number one in 1980, and while other artists have come and gone, the group has continued to produce one radio-friendly hit after another. Many of those songs, like "Feels So Right," "Mountain Music" and "If You're Gonna Play in Texas," have become country music classics while others, like "Touch Me When We're Dancing" and "Face to Face," have been all but forgotten. But they're all on this two-disc set in chronological order, from the 1st number-one, "Tennessee River," to the 41st, "Sad Lookin' Moon."

What's most striking is the realization that Alabama's basic sound, a crowd-pleasing blend of pop, rock and country, and lyrical leanings, like small-town life and love, really haven't changed much over the past two decades.

The album also features three new songs, the fiddle-driven clunker "Five O'Clock 500," the breezy upbeat rocker "Keepin' Up," and the pretty ballad "How Do You Fall in Love." These CDs will evoke memories in any long-time country fan, and for a new fan they're a good introduction to country's supergroup.