Friends in Low Places - Reception


"Friends in Low Places" entered the Billboard country chart on August 18, 1990. It took only eight weeks to reach #1, where it stayed for four weeks, making it one of the biggest hits of the year.

By then, the song was already causing a stir. Brooks told a reporter from USA Today in October 1990, when the song was still at its chart peak, that he had received letters from high school students saying that they wanted to use "Friends in Low Places" as their "class song," only to have it opposed by their principals because the song is about escaping into drinking. Brooks agreed with the principals, saying, "We've had a lot of fun with that song, but it's nothing to base your values on."

In April 1991, Brooks' recording won the 1990 Academy of Country Music award for Single of the Year, and on October 2, 1991, it won the same honor from the Country Music Association.

It made the Top 40 on the British music charts in 1995 as a double-sided reissue hit with "The Dance". The song also appeared on Brooks' 1994 compilation The Hits. It earned the #6 position on the CMT 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music broadcast and the #1 spot on the network's 40 Greatest Drinking Songs: Morning After.

Starting in 2008, "Friends in Low Places" became the traditional sing-along song during the sixth inning at Kansas City Royals home games at Kauffman Stadium. Garth Brooks has recorded dozens of different introductions to be played on the jumbotron before the start of the song.

In a 2009 essay on Brooks, Chuck Klosterman reflected on the song's success. Brooks, he argued, had filled a void in popular culture left by Bruce Springsteen during the 1990s:

...e made songs that satisfied all the same needs as Bruce's did, except with a little less sincerity and a little better understanding of who his audience was. "Friends in Low Places" was as effective as pop music ever gets: It's a depressing song that makes you feel better. Singing along with that song was like drunkenly laughing at a rich person and knowing that you were right ... It's a song that makes me want to get drunk out of spite. Garth told stories about blue-collar people who felt good about what their bad life symbolized ...

Read more about this topic:  Friends In Low Places

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