Alabama Farewell Tour Starts To Take Shape

The members of veteran country act Alabama will wave goodbye to their fans next year with a farewell tour that will kick off on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas. The full schedule has not yet been unveiled

The members of veteran country act Alabama will wave goodbye to their fans next year with a farewell tour that will kick off on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas. The full schedule has not yet been unveiled, but among its myriad appearances, the band is expected to perform during Texas' 71st annual RodeoHouston event in February.

Ringing in 2003, the American Farewell Tour will officially get underway at Las Vegas' Aladdin casino, although it seems the rest of the jaunt will come a little further into the year. Tickets for the Dec. 31 show are set to go on sale Sept. 28 via Ticketmaster; once announced, the balance of the dates will go on sale in February, with Country Weekly magazine acting as the "official information source" for the tour.

The tour will coincide with RCA's release of Alabama's 24th album, "In the Mood: The Love Songs." Due Feb. 4, the 23-track compilation boasts two newly recorded songs: "I'm in the Mood" and a cover of Mike & The Mechanics' "The Living Years." The set also features a host of classics from the band's catalog, including "Feels So Right," "Love in the First Degree," and "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You," which features boy band 'N Sync providing backing vocals.

As previously reported, Alabama surprised its fans and the music industry by announcing farewell tour plans in May at the Academy of Country Music Awards. At the time, group member Randy Owen said that the he and his fellow Alabamians --Teddy Gentry, Jeff Cook, and Mark Herndon -- came to the retirement decision "after long thought and thinking very deeply," and explained that they wanted to make such a move "while we still care very deeply about one another."

Established as a bar band in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Alabama has sold more than 66 million albums, according to the label, and has scored more than 25 No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. In 1989, Alabama was named country music artist of the '80s by the Academy of Country Music and Billboard. The Recording Industry Association of America later named the act country group of the century.

The band's last RCA studio album, 2001's "When It All Goes South," debuted at No. 4 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and No. 37 on The Billboard 200.

Alabama is in the midst of a summer tour that will wind down Sept. 28 in Maryland Heights, Mo. The group has a handful of October shows planned at its own Alabama Theatre in Myrtle Beach, and a pair of early December dates on its itinerary prior to the New Year's Eve gig in Las Vegas.

Here is the "In the Mood: The Love Songs" track listing:

"In the Mood"
"The Living Years"
"When We Make Love"
"Touch Me When We're Dancing"
"Feels So Right"
"How Do You Fall in Love"
"Fallin' Again"
"Lady Down on Love"
"The Closer You Get"
"If I Had You"
"We Can't Love Like This Anymore"
"Then Again"
"Here We Are"
"Face to Face"
"Take Me Down"
"In Pictures"
"Close Enough to Perfect"
"Forever's As Far As I'll Go"
"Love In the First Degree"
"There's No Way"
"God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You" (featuring 'N Sync)
"Nothing Comes Close"
"Once Upon a Lifetime"

Here is Alabama's current tour schedule:

Aug. 29: Syracuse, N.Y. (New York State Fair)
Aug. 30: Allentown, Pa. (Allentown Fair)
Aug. 31: Manchester, Vt. (Riley Summer Music)
Sept. 6: Atlantic City, N.J. (Tropicana Casino)
Sept. 7: York, Pa. (York Fair)
Sept. 8: Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun Casino)
Sept. 14-15: Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Alabama Theatre)
Sept. 21: Centreville, Mich. (St. Joseph Co. Fair)
Sept. 27: Bonner Springs, Kan. (Verizon Wireless Amphitheater)
Sept. 28: Maryland Heights, Mo. (UMB Bank Pavilion)
Oct. 23-25: Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Alabama Theatre)
Dec. 6: Biloxi, Miss. (Grand Casino Biloxi)
Dec. 7: Robinsonville, Miss. (Grand Casino Tunica)
Dec. 31: Las Vegas (Aladdin Casino)

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