While we’re all fans of country music here, many of us enjoy other styles as well, be it rock, rap, jazz, classical or R&B. Sometimes, the songs from those genres would be perfect fits for country artists. I’m going to match up a few, and I invite you to do the same in the comments.
I’ll start with John Lennon, the guy who is responsible for 80% of the Beatles songs I love and the only one that I enjoy the solo work of, too. I was going to recommend “Working Class Hero”, but Green Day’s cover of that acoustic number revealed a pulsating rock edge underneath it. I don’t know if “Jealous Guy” could be a country hit, but I could imagine Keith Urban knocking it out of the ballpark.
When reviewing Up!, Chris Willman described Twain’s sound as “Abba Gold without all the melancholy.” I’d like to see Twain tackle the divorce epic “The Winner Takes it All”, which is one of the most nakedly vulnerable songs I’ve ever heard in any genre. “I apologize,” the woman left for another sings, “if it makes you feel bad, seeing me so tense, no self-confidence. But you see, the winner takes it all.”
When Elton John performed “Turn the Lights Out When You Leave” on the CMA Awards, it was already a country song. As good as his performance of it is, this one is begging for a revival by Toby Keith, who would give a kiss-off like this better than any other recording artist I can think of.