Garth Brooks broke out from the Class of ’89 as he took the entire country music genre to new heights. From the traditional sound he helped bring back to life to the rock-influenced stage show, Brooks was a sensation among the normally quiet country music world. His records sold in the millions and his fans all over the world flocked to see him live. His live performances were like nothing country music fans had ever seen.
Along with the new influence of rock in country, Garth Brooks increased the size of the country music audience. He was the reason a new crop of hat acts and female sensations came to prominence in the ’90s and the records everybody was selling made country music the recognized most popular genre in music.
Brooks’ albums were debuting on the top of every genre chart and he was selling more tickets than anybody else in the history of music. His influence is undeniable and the songs that took him to the top are listed her in Part 4 of the series.
Now let’s take a look at the next ten in the countdown…
20) Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You in?)
Putting together the remarkable George Jones and the high flying Garth Brooks, Beer Run became a fan favorite in 2001. If not for the tragedy of the fall in 2001 the fun nature of this song may have carried it higher on the charts. The song stalled in the 20’s on the singles charts, but the impact reached many fans. It’s still a favorite today for Friday evenings as the good working folks of America rush home from their offices, lumber yards, construction sites, and truck driving stations.
A little relaxation with a cool beverage on the weekend is a feeling that can’t be beat in America.
19) To Make You Feel My Love
A Bob Dylan cover, Garth’s version of To Make You Feel My Love was a big hit on the country charts. Brooks’ version was recorded for the soundtrack Hope Floats. The song was nominated for awards and it added another solid ballad to the Garth Brooks collection. A fan favorite and an intimate song for Garth, this song will continue to be a staple whenever he plays live.
18) The Beaches of Cheyenne
The album Fresh Horses sold a ton of records by normal standards, but by Garth standards it was a disappointment. The Beaches of Cheyenne was the third single off the album and became a solid #1 hit on the country charts. A rolling melody with steel guitars and easy going flow, the song tells the story of another rodeo cowboy. Garth could always sing the rodeo songs well and this was no different. The song captures an emotion that connected with many country fans that are cowboys in dream. And most songs that include Wyoming are hits in the country world. It’s a solid hit that plays well on radio even today.
17) Callin’ Baton Rouge
The great Dennis Linde wrote this classic country song. Recorded by others previously including The Oak Ridge Boys, Callin’ Baton Rouge became a huge hit for Garth Brooks in 1994. It was the final hit single from his huge album In Pieces. The song is uptempo and gets the crowd revved up at every one of Brooks’ live shows. The fiddle solo at the beginning of the song is unforgettable and Brooks pours his charm into every lyric. A great song. A great songwriter. And a great vocal laid down by the great Garth Brooks.
Everybody knows the chorus and sings along when the song comes on the truck radio.
16) What She’s Doing Now
Every guy likely asks himself this question from time to time as he makes his way through life. A slow ballad from Brooks, What She’s Doing Now is a classic tune that takes a melancholy approach to loved had and lost in every man’s life. The song sees a man torn apart by the love he lost. Perhaps we all look back on our lives at times and wonder if the choices we’ve made in the past could have been made a little more wisely while having a different outcome on who we are today.
The song can also be a reminder to the few lucky ones that have found the love of their life that they are truly lucky to know what their loved one is doing now.
A cover of a Billy Joel tune, Brooks’ version of Shameless is a classic Garth Brooks song. The second single release off Ropin’ The Wind, the song went straight to number one on the country charts and became another huge and memorable hit for Brooks. His favorite gal Trisha Yearwood sang background vocals on the track and the story goes that the two didn’t get along during the recording session. Brooks kept egging Yearwood to really put some sass on the track while Yearwood got annoyed with Brooks’ demanding nature. Despite the tension, the song became a way for Brooks to venture into the soul of country music while taking his career to higher levels of success.
14) We Shall Be Free
Not Garth’s biggest hit on the charts, We Shall Be Free had a huge impact on people at the tail of ’92 during with the backdrop of the LA Riots. The lyrics are hopeful and Brooks puts all of his emotion into the song to deliver a challenge to the American people. The song is about tolerance and faith. When we can tolerate what each of us does with their own lives and when we have faith in each other to strive for success…that is when we will truly be free.
13) The Thunder Rolls
The fourth and final single released from the huge album No Fences, The Thunder Rolls entered the country chart with huge buzz. The song debuted in the top 30, a record at the time, and ultimately reached the top of the charts. The music video for the song followed the song’s story of an enraged woman killing her man after he comes home with the scent of another woman on him. The video was banned from most TV stations due to its violent nature, but that couldn’t stop the fans from loving it. The song covers an all too common theme in the world and it connected with a large audience. The buzz took Brooks to new levels of success.
12) Two Pina Coladas
The album Sevens came out after the relatively disappointing album Fresh Horses. The album saw Brooks bring back some fun to his music. Two Pina Coladas became a big hit from the album. The Jimmy Buffett sounding track was fun for the summer on the beach and the chorus was easy to sing along with as fans loved that Brooks was giving them some great, catchy music.
11) Longneck Bottle
The first release off Sevens, the song Longneck Bottle became an unstoppable hit on the country charts in 1997. Country star from the ’80s Steve Wariner co-wrote, played, and sang on the track with Brooks. It was a duet that brought a country legend back to the top of the charts in Wariner. The song was fun, catchy, and unique. Longneck Bottle became one of the most played songs on the radio in ’97 and it brought Brooks back to the top of the country world.
And continue leaving your stories, memories, and love for Garth in the comments.