100 Greatest Country Songs of the 1990s – Part 2
The countdown of the 100 Greatest Country songs of the 1990s continues with numbers 80 to 61…
100 Greatest Songs of the ’90s – 80 to 61
80) It’s Your Love – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were the biggest story in country music in the mid-’90s. The two toured together, fell in love, got married and had a family. It’s a fairy tale love story. At the beginning of the romance was the song It’s Your Love. Fans fell in love with the couple as they sang about how much they loved each other. The song was a major hit and raised the status of McGraw and Hill – already big stars. The two have continued recording the occasional duet, but none has quite reached the level of success of It’s Your Love. As a duo, it may be there signature song and it certainly was a big part of the ’90s in country music.
79) We Danced Anyway – Deana Carter
After the major success of her debut single Strawberry Wine, girl next door Deana Carter followed up with another smash hit We Danced Anyway. The song was about throwing caution to the wind when it comes to love. Fans loved the song and continued buying Carter’s debut album by the millions. Carter would continue her string of success with more hits from the album, but We Danced Anyway is still one that is played the most on country radio.
78) Nobody Knows – Kevin Sharp
Kevin Sharp took a popular R&B song and put a little country in it with Nobody Knows. The song was a big hit for Tony Rich and later became a big hit for Kevin Sharp. The song made Sharp a success. It kicked off a gold album for Sharp. He was able to follow it up with a few more hit singles. Nobody Knows is another great example of how good songs can be played to any music audience. As Willie Nelson says, “There are two kinds of music – good and bad.” Nobody Knows falls into the ‘good’ category.
77) Buy Me A Rose – Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers’ career has been up and down for over 40 years now. During his biggest run in the late ’70s and early ’80s Kenny was selling more records than anyone in music. His Greatest Hits album sold in excess of 12 million copies in the US alone. However, by the end of the ’90s there was little attention paid to Kenny. In October of 1999, however, Rogers self-released the song Buy Me A Rose. The song reached number one the following spring (we included it it here due to the release date and because it was climbing the charts in ’99). Kenny was back on top of the charts and making fans love the music he was making.
76) Too Much Fun – Darlye Singletary
There were a lot of fun songs in the ’90s and Daryle Singletary’s 1995 hit Too Much Fun was aptly named. The song was a top five hit that year and established Singletary as a rising star. Singletary had the voice of a country traditionalist. He had a few top five hits over his career and Too Much Fun became his signature song. It’s still played on radio today when fans need a little excuse to go a little overboard every now and then.
75) Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident) – John Michael Montgomery
John Michael Montgomery had fans gasping for air as they tried to keep up with the rip-roaring hit song Sold. In 1995, JMM was on top of the country world. He could have been just another hat act with three names in the mid-’90s, but he churned out hits at a rapid pace and sold millions of records. Sold is still a fan favorite today. JMM is still able to keep fans on their toes with the ultra-fast chorus as he sings about picking up a woman at the local county auction.
74) You’re Easy on the Eyes – Terri Clark
Canadian country singer Terri Clark had herself a ton of success in the ’90s. She racked up multiple number one hits, a few awards, and millions of albums sold. In 1998 she had one of her biggest hits with You’re Easy On The Eyes. The song shot all the way up to #1 on the charts. Terri’s success continued in the US for a few more years. Today she’s still recording and touring and finding big success in her home country.
73) What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am – Lee Roy Parnell
Lee Roy Parnell was trying to have success in the early ’90s with a few unsuccessful singles. Parnell found his success in 1992 with the hit single What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am. The song climbed all the way to #2 on the charts. Parnell followed the success with more hit singles over the next few years. His style was unique at the time. He played slide guitar better than anyone and had a voice that was distinctive on radio. His best songs are still heard on radio today. Perhaps the most popular is What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am.
72) One Way Ticket (Because I Can) – LeAnn Rimes
LeAnn Rimes was a major success in the ’90s. Her debut album sold millions of copies on the success of the first single Blue. Her first number one hit came later as her third single One Way Ticket (Because I Can). The song was a huge hit on country radio. Rimes has gone on to have success in both pop and country music. Still young and in her twenties, Rimes seems to be driven to continue having success in country music. She’s preparing new music with her cover of a John Anderson classic.
71) Guys Do It All The Time – Mindy McCready
Mindy McCready had her first and only #1 hit with Guys Do It All The Time. Her second single off her multi-platinum album Ten Thousand Angels became her signature song. Guys Do It All The Time became an anthem for women in the mid-90s. The song is about ladies going out and having a good time using the excuse that…
70) Wild Angels – Martina McBride
Martina was coming into her own as a rising country star in the mid-90s. In 1995-96 she had her first number one hit with Wild Angels. The song featured Martina’s soaring vocals. Women and girls were singing along at the top of their lungs. It’s one of Martina’s best songs in a collection that features many fan favorites. The song is still popular on country radio and during Martina’s concerts today.
69) Running Out of Reasons to Run – Rick Trevino
Rick Trevino is back on the countdown with his biggest hit Running Out of Reasons To Run. The song climbed all the way to #1 and remains Trevino’s only top country hit to date. The single came off Rick’s hit album Learning As You Go. The song was a big hit and you can still hear it on radio today. It’s a classic sing along song that is a favorite of many country music fans.
68) That Ain’t My Truck – Rhett Akins
As far as success on the charts, That Ain’t My Truck wasn’t Rhett Akins biggest hit, but in terms of lasting effect, it certainly is Rhett’s signature song. The song tells the tale of a guy that drives past his girlfriend’s house only to notice that another guy’s truck is parked in the driveway. He realizes that the girl he loves is probably not interested as much in their future as he is. It’s a sad song, but one fans could relate to. The song is extremely catchy and sometimes that’s what it takes for a song to have the longevity of That Ain’t My Truck.
67) Goodbye Says It All – Blackhawk
People often to think about Blackhawk when they think about the best bands in the history of country music, but perhaps they should. The trio had a huge run of success in the ’90s. They racked up hit after hit. The collection of songs they cut and released weren’t just hits, they became timeless classics that are still favorites of many today. Goodbye Says It All was a huge hit for the guys. It’s still a favorite today. Guitarist Van Stephenson died in 2001 of complications with skin cancer. The other two guys still tour and record today. Their impact is still felt with hits like Goodbye Says It All.
66) Livin’ On Love – Alan Jackson
Besides Garth Brooks, it’s hard to find any country artist that had more success in the ’90s than Alan Jackson. It seemed like Jackson was consistently in the top five on the country charts for about 8-10 years during the great decade. Jackson sang songs about love and life as a guy from a small town in the southern US. Fans loved Jackson’s easy going nature and his smooth delivery. Livin’ On Love was a story about Jackson’s parents. The song was full of great melodies and lyrics most fans could connect with. When people don’t have much their only choice is to live with the love of each other.
65) Cafe On The Corner – Sawyer Brown
Sawyer Brown found a lot of success during the ’80s after their win on the popular talent show Star Search. The guys entered the second phase of their career in the ’90s with more big hits. In 1992, they released Cafe On The Corner. The song is about the struggling nature some folks run into with work during their later careers. The song is timely given today’s happenings in the economy. it’s a fan favorite hit. The guys are still a major tour draw each season and lead singer Mark Miller races from end to end of the stage singing their many hits.
64) Pickup Man – Joe Diffie
Joe Diffie was a major success in the early and mid-90s. He is now known most for his tongue-in-cheek songs. He racked up major hits and could easily have more than one signature song, but his 1994 #1 smash hit Pickup Man is perhaps his most well-known song. The double meaning song became an anthem for all the guys in the crowd that love their trucks. It’s a fun song and still gets requested on a consistent basis today. Diffie is still recording and touring today. He hasn’t had a hit in America for a few years, but never count this talented Oklahoman out.
63) Callin’ On Baton Rouge – Garth Brooks
It’s fairly obvious that the biggest success in country music in the ’90s was Garth Brooks. He has sold more records than any artist in any genre except for The Beatles, Michael Jackson and perhaps Elvis. Garth single-handedly lifted every artist in his wake as he charted albums simultaneously at the top of the Billboard 200. Ask Garth Brooks what the reason for his success was and he’d probably tell you that it was a result of the songs he was fortunate to record. A huge hit for Garth was Callin’ Baton Rouge. the song was written by the great country songwriter Dennis Linde. Callin’ Baton Rouge is one of the most played Garth Brooks songs on the radio still today.
62) State of Mind – Clint Black
By 1994, Clint Black was a huge star in country music. He had broken out as the initial leader of the Class of ’89. Garth Brooks later overtook everybody from that class, but Black’s success continued. In ’94 he released State of Mind. The song was a #2 hit on the charts and became a signature hit for Black. He said he had written the song quite some time before its release. The song is unique. Black always brought a lot of harmonica to his records and State of Mind features a great intro with Black playing the harmonica. It’s a classic song from one of the best artists in country music.
61) He Thinks He’ll Keep Her – Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter’s 1992 album Come On Come On was a major success. The album spawned six hit singles and sold over 4 million copies. The 5th single from the album was the #2 hit He Thinks He’ll Keep Her. Mary Chapin Carpenter has always been known for her clever and smart lyrics about the beauty and power of women. This song was no different. The song was crafted with a great melody and is one of Mary’s signature songs. It’s an anthem for great women everywhere.