The video below is a time capsule that transports us to a golden age of country music when steel guitar twang and heartfelt lyrics of a good old-fashioned love song ruled supreme.
Set in the early 1990s, it depicts a time when cowboy hats were fashionable and line dancing was popular. Against this setting, Alan Jackson’s video for “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” depicts a simpler, more innocent era.
The early 1990s were a transitional period in American music, with grunge and hip-hop making inroads on the pop charts. But it was still business as usual in the country world.
Jackson was one of the scene’s hottest stars, and “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” was one of his biggest singles. The song, which portrays the story of a young man pursuing his ambitions of glory in Nashville, struck a chord with listeners who had similar goals.
With views of Jackson driving his pickup truck down country roads, playing guitar on the front porch, and singing on stage in front of adoring crowds, the video brilliantly portrays the essence of the song.
It’s a straightforward premise, but it succeeds because it feels genuine. There’s no flash or glam here, just a dedicated artist doing what he loves.
As a fan of Americana and nostalgia, I was intrigued by this video. It harkens back to a time when country music was more about substance than image.
When a song like “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” became a hit because it spoke to people’s hearts rather than because it had a catchy melody or a sleek music video. And when an artist like Alan Jackson can achieve superstardom without jeopardizing his ethics.
Of course, there’s a reason why the song is a classic. It’s a superb example of the kind of story-driven songwriting that has made country music so popular, written by Jackson and Jim McBride. It provides a vivid image of a young man with big goals and a lot of heart, from the opening lines (“Daddy won a radio, tuned it to a country show”) to the heartbreaking chorus (“Chasin’ that neon rainbow, livin’ that honky-tonk dream”).
However, most fans may be unaware that “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” was not originally planned to be a single. It was only one of the songs on Jackson’s debut album, “Here in the Real World.” When it was released as a single in 1990, it was an instant hit, hitting #2 on the country charts and solidifying Jackson’s image as a rising star.
So, why should you tell your friends about this video? Because it takes us back to a simpler time in music when songs were made from the heart and musicians could become famous without surrendering their authenticity. Because it’s an opportunity to revisit a time when country music reigned supreme. And, well, it’s just a really good tune.