The Closer You Get (song)

"The Closer You Get"
Single by Alabama
from the album The Closer You Get...
B-side "You Turn Me On"
Released April 29, 1983 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded 1982
Genre Country
Length 3:35 (single edit)
4:33 (album version)
Label RCA
Writer(s) J.P. Pennington, Mark Gray
Producer(s) Harold Shedd and Alabama
Alabama singles chronology
"Dixieland Delight"
"The Closer You Get"
"Lady Down on Love"
Music video
"The Closer You Get" at

"The Closer You Get" is a song recorded by American country music band Alabama. It was released in April 1983 as the title track and second single from Alabama's album The Closer You Get....

About the song

"The Closer You Get" was written in 1980 by J.P. Pennington and Mark Gray, members of Exile. However, the song was not immediately recorded by Alabama. Two earlier versions were released as singles - the first by Exile (which failed to gain much attention) and singer Don King, whose version reached No. 27 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in October 1981.[1] In addition, Rita Coolidge recorded the song for her 1981 album, Heartbreak Radio, and released her version as a single.[2]

Alabama's version differed substantially from King's acoustic version. According to country music writer Tom Roland, the song featured "distorted guitars, a more elaborate arrangement and an altered vocal sound."[3]

The end result was Alabama's 10th No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.[4] In addition, "The Closer You Get" registered enough airplay on Top 40 radio stations to peak at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100.[5]

A music video was filmed for the song, and has aired on CMT and Great American Country.

Single and album edits

The single version is a minute shorter than the original album version; the first verse and the second refrain is deleted from the single. The single edit is included on many of Alabama's compilation albums, including Greatest Hits Vol. II and For the Record. The full album version can be found on the RCA Award Winners compilation released in 1993.

Chart performance

Chart (1983) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 38
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[8] 9
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1


  1. Roland, Tom, "The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits" (Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1991 (ISBN 0-82-307553-2)), p. 349-350
  2. Allmusic — Heartbreak Radio by Rita Coolidge
  3. Roland.
  4. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 18.
  5. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 22.
  6. "Alabama – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alabama.
  7. "Alabama – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Alabama.
  8. "Alabama – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Alabama.

See also

Preceded by
"Highway 40 Blues"
by Ricky Skaggs
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

July 16, 1983
Succeeded by
"Pancho and Lefty"
by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

July 30, 1983
Preceded by
"Love Will Turn You Around"
by Kenny Rogers
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single of the year

Succeeded by
"The Lady Takes the Cowboy Everytime"
by Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers

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