Over the last decade, Jackson has sold over 30 million records not by twisting from image to image; sound to sound, but by taking a fresh, honest approach to the music he grew up with. The result has awarded him overwhelming praise from radio, media, industry and fans of all walks of country: new and old, raw and refined. His tenth Arista/Nashville release, When Somebody Loves You
, (in stores 11/7/00), will only serve to bolster this appreciation.
"Since he emerged as part of the country renaissance of 1989, Mr. Jackson has acted as Nashville's conscience" the New York Times recently said of his career to date. Never the result of grandstanding or fashionable turns, this 'conscience' is rather a measure of his actions and recordings. "That's the kind of music I do and that's what I like. If they quit playin' me and quit buying it but I'm still making records, I'll still make this same type."When Somebody Loves You
illustrates this commitment. A blend of unmistakable tradition and contemporary relevance, his songs describe modest country life or provide modern-era backdrops to classic arrangements as naturally as they reinvigorate the sweeping country love ballad and hit with tongue-in-cheek lyricism.
Though he strives for a certain musical consistency , he also acknowledges the shifts in content and mood of When Somebody Loves You
from it's predecessors. "I guess the last album I made not the cover-song album, Under the Influence
, but High Mileage was a little on the dark side. [Laughs] I love that album, but some of it's a little heavy. Of course, some of my life was a little dark at that time, and that's probably why it ended up that way. I guess this one reflects a little more of what I feel today."
Alan Jackson remains in the throes of an ongoing professional crescendo. His last release, Under the Influence
, proved that a collection of country standards could still bypass commercial trends and compliment the whole of the format. Forecasted as more of a personal tribute to some of his heroes, the album sold over 1.5 million copies, and spurned a Top Five and Number One single. Alongside this, his musical integrity has earned him respect as a vanguard of the genre without short-sighting him as the poster boy of the past.
During 1999's Country Music Association (CMA) awards show, Alan surprised everyone by performing George Jones' hit "Choices" after the production refused to give Jones ample time to sing it himself. His teaming up with George Strait to record the single 'Murder On Music Row" was plainspoken with comment about the state of the industry, yet was awarded a Country Music Association (CMA) award for Vocal Event of the Year. Consequent acknowledgment of his tact, opinion and actions have come from sources as disparate as Rolling Stone, die hard country fans and even legends like Jones himself.
Alan's first impressions of Music City were a tiny basement apartment and a genre whose radio prerequisites had almost nothing to do with his own writing. "In '85 when I came up from Georgia, radio was sort of like it is now: there was more pop-type country, and there wasn't a lot of hardcore stuff. There was hardly anybody new. Skaggs had been out for a couple years, and I loved it, but it was more bluegrass-country." Alan adds, "But then Randy Travis came along. Right when I moved to town his first single hit and that was the first young guy doin' real country music. I loved it. I mean that's why I came to town--to do that." Soon after, Jackson was hired as a songwriter by Glen Campbell's publishing company and from there, things simply took off: in 1989-90 Alan became Arista/Nashville's first country artist, a commercial success, the Academy of Country Music's 1990 'Top New Male Vocalist' and a proud new father at the same time.
The ensuing decade has been one of continued success for Jackson. His first nine albums have collectively sold over 30 million copies. He has won over sixty major industry awards for his performances, recording and songwriting. (When Somebody Loves You
showcases five new songs penned by Jackson.) Thousands of loyal fans flock to his every show. Most importantly, his private life with high-school sweetheart Denise and his three daughters remains his top priority and reward.
"Flatt & Scruggs, Haggard, fishin,' trucks, a dog..." He jokes about some of the lyrics of the new album. "You know, I guess there's everything country here except Momma and the train." Everything indeed: identity, unabashed rural culture, a range of emotion and a healthy dose of consistency.
-From the Alan Jackson offical site
--- from the official Alan Jackson website