The Best of 1994: The Ballot

1994 Country WeeklyAs part of our tenth anniversary, the staff of Country Universe decided to celebrate a year that came ten years before our decade-old website: 1994.   What can we say? We always look forward to looking backward!
Over the next few days, we’ll reveal our choices for the forty best singles and twenty best albums of 1994.   We considered all charted singles and albums for inclusion on our list, along with additional selections that didn’t chart but are of notable critical and/or historical significance.

Today, we’re sharing the ballot:  the 264 singles and 98 albums that were considered for this list.  Take a look and share your wish lists in the comments, then check back over the coming days as we reveal our staff picks.

THE BALLOT:

Best Singles of 1994

Artist Title
Aaron Neville & Trisha Yearwood I Fall to Pieces
Aaron Tippin Honky-Tonk Superman
Aaron Tippin I Got it Honest
Aaron Tippin Whole Lotta Love on the Line
Alabama T.L.C. A.S.A.P.
Alabama We Can’t Love Like This Anymore
Alan Jackson (Who Says) You Can’t Have it All
Alan Jackson Gone Country
Alan Jackson Livin’ on Love
Alan Jackson Summertime Blues
Andy Childs Simple Life
Archer/Park We Got a Lot in Common
Archer/Park Where There’s Smoke
Bellamy Brothers Not
Billy Dean Cowboy Band
Billy Dean Men Will Be Boys
Billy Dean Once in a While
Billy Ray Cyrus Storm in the Heartland
Billy Ray Cyrus Talk Some
Billy Ray Cyrus Words by Heart
BlackHawk Down in Flames
BlackHawk Every Once in a While
BlackHawk I Sure Can Smell the Rain
Bobbie Cryner You Could Steal Me
Boy Howdy They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore
Boy Howdy True to His Word
Brooks & Dunn I’ll Never Forgive my Heart
Brooks & Dunn She’s Not the Cheatin’ Kind
Brooks & Dunn That Ain’t No Way to Go
Brother Phelps Eagle Over Angel
Brother Phelps Ever-Changing Woman
Bryan Austin Is it Just Me
Bryan Austin Radio Active
Bryan White Eugene You Genius
Bryan White Look at Me Now
Carlene Carter I Love You ‘Cause I Want to
Carlene Carter Something Already Gone
Charlie Floyd Good Girls Go to Heaven
Chely Wright He’s a Good Ole Boy
Chely Wright Till I was Loved by You
Chris LeDoux Honky Tonk World
Clay Walker Dreaming With my Eyes Wide Open
Clay Walker If I Could Make a Living
Clay Walker Where Do I Fit in the Picture
Clint Black A Good Run of Bad Luck
Clint Black Half the Man
Clint Black Untanglin’ My Mind
Clint Black Wherever You Go
Collin Raye Little Rock
Collin Raye Man of My Word
Collin Raye My Kind of Girl
Confederate Railroad Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind
Confederate Railroad Elvis and Andy
Confederate Railroad Summer in Dixie
Dan Seals All Fired Up
Daron Norwood Cowboys Don’t Cry
Daron Norwood If I Ever Love Again
David Ball Thinkin’ Problem
David Ball When the Thought of You Catches Up with Me
David Lee Murphy Fish ain’t Bitin’
David Lee Murphy Just Once
Davis Daniel I Miss Her Missing Me
Davis Daniel William and Mary
Dawn Sears Runaway Train
Deborah Allen Break These Chains
Deborah Allen Wrong Side of Love
Diamond Rio Love a Little Stronger
Diamond Rio Night is Fallin’ in My Heart
Dolly Parton PMS Blues
Dolly Parton To Daddy
Don Cox All Over Town
Doug Stone Addicted to a Dollar
Doug Stone Little Houses
Doug Stone More Love
Doug Supernaw Red and Rio Grande
Doug Supernaw State Fair
Doug Supernaw You Never Even Call me by My Name
Dwight Yoakam Pocket of a Clown
Dwight Yoakam Try Not to Look So Pretty
Eagles The Girl From Yesterday
Emmylou Harris Crescent City
Emmylou Harris Thanks to You
Evangeline Let’s Go Spend Your Money Honey
Faith Hill But I Will
Faith Hill Piece of My Heart
Faith Hill Take Me as I am
Garth Brooks Callin’ Baton Rouge
Garth Brooks One Night a Day
Garth Brooks The Red Strokes
George Ducas Lipstick Promises
George Ducas Teardrops
George Jones w/Alan Jackson A Good Year for the Roses
George Jones w/Sammy Kershaw Never Bit a Bullet Like This
George Strait Lovebug
George Strait The Big One
George Strait The Man in Love with You
George Strait You Can’t Make a Heart Love Somebody
Gibson/Miller Band Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys
Gibson/Miller Band Red, White, and Blue Collar
Gibson/Miller Band Stone Cold Country
Hal Ketchum (Tonight we Just Might) Fall in Love Again
Hal Ketchum That’s What I Get (For Losin’ You)
Hank Williams Jr. I ain’t Goin’ Peacefully
James House A Real Good Way to Wind Up Lonesome
James House Little by Little
Jed Zepplin Working Man Blues
Jeff Allen Lonelyville
Jeff Foxworthy Redneck Stomp
Jesse Hunter Born Ready
Jesse Hunter By the Way She’s Lookin’
Jesse Hunter Long Legged Hannah (From Butte, Montana)
Joe Diffie In My Own Backyard
Joe Diffie Pickup Man
Joe Diffie Third Rock From the Sun
John & Audrey Wiggins Falling Out of Love
John & Audrey Wiggins Has Anybody Seen Amy
John & Audrey Wiggins She’s in the Bedroom Crying
John Anderson Bend it Until it Breaks
John Anderson Country ‘Til I Die
John Anderson I Wish I Could Have Been There
John Berry What’s in it For Me
John Berry You and Only You
John Berry Your Love Amazes Me
John Michael Montgomery Be My Baby Tonight
John Michael Montgomery If You’ve Got Love
John Michael Montgomery Rope the Moon
Johnny Cash Delia’s Gone
Jon Randall This Heart
Joy Lynn White Wild Love
Kathy Mattea Maybe She’s Human
Kathy Mattea Nobody’s Gonna Rain on Our Parade
Kathy Mattea Walking Away a Winner
Ken Mellons I Can Bring Her Back
Ken Mellons Jukebox Junkie
Ken Mellons Lookin’ in the Same Direction
Kenny Chesney The Tin Man
Lari White Now I Know
Lari White That’s My Baby
Larry Stewart Heart Like a Hurricane
Larry Stewart Losing Your Love
Lee Roy Parnell I’m Holding My Own
Lee Roy Parnell Take These Chains From My Heart (w/Ronnie Dunn)
Lee Roy Parnell The Power of Love
Linda Davis Company Time
Linda Davis Love Didn’t Do it
Lisa Brokop Give Me a Ring Sometime
Lisa Brokop Take That
Little Texas Amy’s Back in Austin
Little Texas Kick a Little
Little Texas My Love
Little Texas Stop on a Dime
Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette and Kitty Wells It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Lorrie Morgan Heart Over Mind
Lorrie Morgan If You Came Back From Heaven
Lorrie Morgan My Night to Howl
Marc Beeson A Wing and a Prayer
Mark Chesnutt Goin’ Through the Big D
Mark Chesnutt She Dreams
Mark Chesnutt Woman, Sensuous Woman
Mark Collie Hard Lovin’ Woman
Mark Collie It is No Secret
Martina McBride Heart Trouble
Martina McBride Independence Day
Martina McBride Life #9
Marty Stuart Kiss Me, I’m Gone
Marty Stuart Love and Luck
Marty Stuart That’s What Love’s About
Mary Chapin Carpenter I Take My Chances
Mary Chapin Carpenter Shut Up and Kiss Me
Mary Chapin Carpenter Tender When I Want to Be
Merle Haggard In My Next Life
Michelle Wright One Good Man
Mike Henderson Hillbilly Jitters
Neal McCoy For a Change
Neal McCoy The City Put the Country Back in Me
Neal McCoy Wink
Orrall & Wright If You Could Say What I’m Thinking
Orrall & Wright She Loves Me Like She Means It
Pam Tillis Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)
Pam Tillis Spilled Perfume
Pam Tillis When You Walk in the Room
Patty Loveless Here I am
Patty Loveless How Can I Help You Say Goodbye
Patty Loveless I Try to Think About Elvis
Radney Foster Closing Time
Radney Foster Labor of Love
Radney Foster The Running Kind
Randy Travis Before You Kill us All
Randy Travis This is Me
Randy Travis Whisper My Name
Reba McEntire She Thinks His Name was John
Reba McEntire Till You Love Me
Reba McEntire Why Haven’t I Heard From You
Rednex Cotton Eye Joe
Restless Heart Baby Needs New Shoes
Rhett Akins What They’re Talkin’ About
Rick Trevino Doctor Time
Rick Trevino Honky Tonk Crowd
Rick Trevino She Can’t Say I Didn’t Cry
Ricky Lynn Gregg Get a Little Closer
Ricky Van Shelton Where Was I
Ricky Van Shelton Wherever She Is
Robin Lee When Love Comes Callin’
Rodney Crowell Big Heart
Rodney Crowell Let the Picture Paint Itself
Sammy Kershaw Christmas Time’s a-Comin’
Sammy Kershaw I Can’t Reach Her Anymore
Sammy Kershaw National Working Woman’s Holiday
Sammy Kershaw Southbound
Sammy Kershaw Third Rate Romance
Sawyer Brown Hard to Say
Sawyer Brown Outskirts of Town
Sawyer Brown This Time
Shenandoah I’ll Go Down Loving You
Shenandoah If Bubba Can Dance (I Can too)
Shenandoah w/Alison Krauss Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart
Steve Wariner Drive
Steve Wariner It Won’t be Over You
Suzy Bogguss Souvenirs
Suzy Bogguss You Wouldn’t Say That to a Stranger
Tammy Wynette w/Wynonna Girl Thang
Tanya Tucker Hangin’ in
Tanya Tucker We Don’t Have to Do This
Tanya Tucker You Just Watch Me
Terry McBride & The Ride Been There
Terry McBride & The Ride High Hopes and Empty Pockets
The Mavericks O What a Thrill
The Mavericks There Goes My Heart
The Mavericks What a Crying Shame
The Tractors Baby Likes to Rock it
The Tractors Santa Claus Boogie
The Tractors Tryin’ to Get to New Orleans
Tim McGraw Don’t Take the Girl
Tim McGraw Down on the Farm
Tim McGraw Indian Outlaw
Tim McGraw Not a Moment too Soon
Toby Keith Upstairs Downtown
Toby Keith Who’s That Man
Toby Keith Wish I Didn’t Know Now
Tracy Byrd Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous
Tracy Byrd The First Step
Tracy Byrd Watermelon Crawl
Tracy Lawrence As Any Fool Can See
Tracy Lawrence I See it Now
Tracy Lawrence If the Good Die Young
Tracy Lawrence Renegades, Rebels, and Rogues
Travis Tritt Between an Old Memory and Me
Travis Tritt Foolish Pride
Travis Tritt Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof
Trisha Yearwood Better Your Heart than Mine
Trisha Yearwood It Wasn’t his Child
Trisha Yearwood XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)
Twister Alley Young Love
Victoria Shaw Cry Wolf
Victoria Shaw Tears Dry
Vince Gill Tryin’ to Get Over You
Vince Gill What the Cowgirls Do
Vince Gill When Love Finds You
Vince Gill Whenever You Come Around
Wade Hayes Old Enough to Know Better
Western Flyer She Should’ve Been Mine
Western Flyer Western Flyer
Wynonna Girls with Guitars
Wynonna Rock Bottom

Best Albums of 1994

Aaron Tippin Lookin’ Back at Myself
Alan Jackson Who I am
Alison Krauss/Cox Family I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
Billy Dean Men’ll Be Boys
Billy Ray Cyrus Storm in the Heartland
BlackHawk BlackHawk
Blue Rodeo Five Days in July
Bob Woodruff Dreams & Saturday Nights
Boy Howdy She’d Give Anything
Brooks & Dunn Waitin’ on Sundown
Chely Wright Woman in the Moon
Chet Atkins & Suzy Bogguss Simpatico
Chris LeDoux Haywire
Clay Walker If I Could Make a Living
Clint Black One Emotion
Collin Raye extremes
Confederate Railroad Notorious
Corb Lund Modern Pain
Dave Alvin King of California
David Ball Thinkin’ Problem
David Lee Murphy Out with a Bang
Dawn Sears Nothin’ But Good
Diamond Rio Love a Little Stronger
Dolly Parton Heartsongs: Live From Home
Doug Supernaw Deep Thoughts From a Shallow Mind
George Ducas George Ducas
George Jones The Bradley Barn Sessions
George Strait Lead On
Giant Sand Gum
Grant Lee Buffalo Mighty Joe Moon
Hal Ketchum Every Little Word
Hank Flamingo Hank Flamingo
Iris Dement My Life
Jamie O’Hara Rise Above It
Jesse Hunter A Man Like Me
Jim Lauderdale Pretty Close to the Truth
Joe Diffie Third Rock From the Sun
John Anderson Country ‘Til I Die
John Berry John Berry
John Michael Montgomery Kickin’ it Up
Johnny Cash American Recordings
Joy Lynn White Wild Love
Kathy Mattea Walking Away a Winner
Ken Mellons Ken Mellons
Kenny Chesney In My Wildest Dreams
Kentucky Headhunters Electric Barnyard
Lambchop I Hope You’re Sitting Down
Lari White Wishes
Linda Davis Shoot For the Moon
Little Texas Kick a Little
Lorrie Morgan War Paint
Lyle Lovett I Love Everybody
Mark Chesnutt What a Way to Live
Mark Collie Unleashed
Marty Brown Cryin’, Lovin’, Leavin’
Marty Stuart Love and Luck
Mary Chapin Carpenter Stones in the Road
Merle Haggard 1994
Mike Henderson Country Music Made Me Do It
Nanci Griffith Flyer
Neal McCoy No Doubt About It
Old 97’s Hitchike to Rhome
Palace Brothers Palace Brothers
Pam Tillis Sweetheart’s Dance
Patty Loveless When Fallen Angels Fly
Radney Foster Labor of Love
Randy Travis This is Me
Reba McEntire Read My Mind
Richard Buckner Bloomed
Rick Trevino Rick Trevino
Ricky Van Shelton Love and Honor
Robert Earl Keen Gringo Honeymoon
Rodney Crowell Let the Picture Paint Itself
Sammy Kershaw Feelin’ Good Train
Smoke Heaven on a Popsicle Stick
Soundtrack The Cowboy Way
Soundtrack Maverick
The Bottle Rockets The Brooklyn Side
The Mavericks What a Crying Shame
The Tractors The Tractors
The Walkabouts Setting the Woods on Fire
Tim McGraw Not a Moment Too Soon
Toby Keith Boomtown
Todd Snider Songs for the Daily Planet
Townes Van Zandt No Deeper Blue
Tracy Byrd No Ordinary Man
Tracy Lawrence I See it Now
Travis Tritt Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof
Trisha Yearwood The Sweetest Gift
Various Artists Keith Whitley: A Tribute Album
Various Artists Mama’s Hungry Eyes (Haggard Tribute)
Various Artists Rhythm, Country & Blues
Various Artists Tulare Dust: Merle Haggard Tribute
Various Artists Red Hot + Country
Vince Gill When Love Finds You
Waylon Jennings Waymore’s Blues (Part II)
Willie Nelson Moonlight Becomes You
Willie Nelson Healing Hands of Time

25 Comments

  1. I’m too young to remember this era (wasn’t even born yet), but “Little Rock”, “Independence Day”, “Callin Baton Rouge”, and each of MCC’s singles are personal favorites.

    Looking forward to this feature!

  2. I’m a new reader of the website (and in fact have only been listening to country music for about a year) but I just wanted to say how much I love your site. It has been an excellent resource in helping me to navigate unfamiliar territory and I have discovered so much wonderful music because of all of you at CU! Thanks!

    I’m looking forward to this feature. Looking over the ballot, I have my fingers crossed that Patty Loveless places high on both the albums and songs lists. “When Fallen Angels Fly” and the corresponding singles are some of her strongest work of the ’90s and deserved classics. Go Patty!

  3. I was having a lot of fun going through both lists saying, “Yes, I know them or I know of them,” in my head. Especially the songs. It would amazing to hear those songs on the radio again. Probably shock the regulars into thinking their station is broken or under attack.

  4. This should be pretty cool. I always look forward to when you guys cover retro material, particularly from the 1980s or 1990s. It takes me back to my childhood, from which some great music was released.

    However, while perusing this list…I have to talk about a few of my favorite trainwrecks that were mentioned. I’m not sure if you guys are planning on covering the worst from 1994, but some of these songs bring back comical memories.

    Honky Tonk Superman (Aaron Tippin) – Seeing this on the list made me revisit the video, which I hadn’t seen in years. Complete with a an extra hammy Reba McEntire playing a bar owner, and Tippin flying off of a chandelier and punching a guy through a bass drum….it’s pretty ridiculous. Still…at least it’s ridiculous enough to be memorable, and it’s rather harmless.

    T.L.C.A.S.A.P (Alabama) – I love these guys…but, this is bad…really bad. There were some real headscratchers that they released as singles in the 1990s (see “Say I”, for another example).

    Talk Some (Billy Ray Cyrus) – I remember Cyrus performing this song at an awards show, and whoever presented him was hyping this as being written by the same people who penned “Achy Breaky Heart”. Regardless of your feeling on that song…”Achy Breaky” was at least catchy. I have no idea what “Talk Some” was supposed to be, and I don’t think the writers did either.

    Little Houses (Doug Stone) – I’ve been coming to this website long enough to know of Kevin’s dislike of Doug Stone, and much of it is deserved. I do like some of his songs (“Pine Box”, “Warning Signs”, “I Never Knew Love”). But, his vocal here, particularly on the chorus…just grates on me. He just seems to be giving the wimpiest delivery possible. The song itself is pretty saccharine too, but I might be able to handle it by another artist…the combo of Stone and the tune is just way, way too much.

    My Night to Howl – (Lorrie Morgan) – Even after 20 years, the image of Lorrie Morgan purring like a cat, and howling at the moon on the top of a city building will never be erased from my retinas. This is one of those cases where the song/video was so ridiculous that I think it temporarily harmed her career (although she would recover later in the decade).

    Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts. I look forward to reading the staff picks.

    (Also, I may be late to the party here…but congratulations to the people on this website for making it to ten years. I may not agree with every viewpoint expressed here, but I do appreciate the hard work that’s always been put into CU. It’s introduced me to new artists/music, and given me some enjoyment over the years. Thanks for taking the time to do this.)

  5. Hag’s “In My Next Life wasn’t a big hit but it was a terrific single . Ditto for the Wiggins’ “Has Anybody Seen Amy”

  6. Some great songs here, can’t wait for the main event. Big ones like “Independence Day”, “Little Rock” and the Alan Jackson singles of course stand out here, but I also see some great lesser-known gems, like “Has Anybody Seen Amy”, “In My Next Life”, and “Walking Away a Winner.”

    But I think the winner for me would have to be “Here I Am.” Smart, subtle, heartbroken country at its absolute best. And IMO the best vocal performance by one of the very best singers.

    And, congratulations on ten great years. This site has great writers with diverse tastes and a real passion for the music. I always love the lists you guys put together. I always get introduced to some great new (to me) music through them and I’m really looking forward to these.

  7. I did know 1994 was a great year, but didn’t know just how great – wow, that is some list. I cound at least 80 songs that feature on my iDevice playlist and about 50 more that should. Picking favorites here is dang near impossible, but if I were to try “Independence Day” and “Whisper My Name” would make the top of the list, followed by “Little Rock”, “Callin’ Baton Rouge”, “Down in Flames” and “Nobody’s Gonna Rain on Our Parade”.
    And from the “I can’t believe I’m saying this category”: Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Words By Heart”. Say what you want about the man and his oeuvre (not to mention his voice which normally annoys the heck out of me), “Words By Heart” is a great song with a brilliant hook.

  8. This should be interesting. Seeing “Simpatico” on the albums list reminded me of the only show I ever saw at Carnegie Hall, Suzy Bogguss, Chet Atkins and Mark O’Connor on October 21, 1994. I still have the ticket stubbs. I always liked the lines “tickets torn in half, memories in bits and pieces” from “Traces”, a 1969 soft rock hit by Dennis Yost and the Classics IV.

    I was surprised that there are over 20 artists on the singles list who I never heard of.

  9. Shannon,
    Yours is the very best compliment you could give us!! Welcome to country music and it sounds like you’re off to a great start!

    Bob,
    That sounds like a wonderful concert!

    It was fun to go back and purposefully listen to these 1994 singles and albums. I’ll have to say that while I love 1994, 1993 is the year that I fell in love with country music and those singles are my very favorite.

  10. There are great songs on that list that I still listen to. But I have to say that Clint Black’s ” Untanglin’ My Mind” is his best song. I love that song. And the two songs from Emmylou Harris are from her album ” A Cowgirl’s Prayer” which I always thought was excellent gospel album if heard in that way. And “Delia’s Gone” is a masterpiece, and the great return of Johnny Cash.

  11. Whoa, talk about a real blast from the past.

    20 years later I still wonder how Billy Dean achieved stardom. He was pretty much the Keith Urban of his day, only without the overhyped guitar skills.

  12. What a great feature. I very much looking forward to reading your teams thoughts and comments.
    Looking at the list I love seeing the songs. What a great year! Some fun diddy songs and some very lyrically and sonically developed songs.
    The songs that really stick out to me are:
    She thinks his name was john – reba
    Here I am – patty loveless
    Xxx’s and Ooo’s – Trisha yearwood
    I take my chances – Mary Chapin carpenter
    Independence Day – Martina mcbride
    Gone country – Alan Jackson

  13. In leu of listing every keeper from this list, I’ll mention three that might get over looked, criminally:

    Trisha Yearwood – “It Wasn’t His Child”
    Eagles – “The Girl From Yesterday”
    Faith Hill – “But I Will”

    The Eagles song is my favorite of the new recordings from Hell Freezes Over and Trisha’s recording is often cast aside because it came from a Christmas album. If it had been on one of her main studio records, it would’ve had far more attention. Faith Hill’s ballad bombed at radio, but proved she is as good at conveying neo-traditional leaning country music as she is at delivering big pop ballads.

    Yes, I’ll also admit an affection towards Mark Collie’s “Hard Lovin’ Woman” but that’s a childhood thing from hearing it on my local country station around that time, when I was six/seven years old.

    I look forward to the album list especially to see which recordings I don’t own that I’ve overlooked. If I’ve paid enough attention to CU over the years, that shouldn’t be too many. Hopefully! Forty best singles…I’ll always love CU countdown list the best.

    “Independence Day” was #2 on the CU 400 Greatest Singles of the 90s list (which I’ve OBSESSED over since it was first posted) so I wonder if opinion will change when looking at the singular year.

  14. Pistolero,
    I actually think Keith Urban oozes with talent; he just isn’t doing what I personally like with it. I still quite enjoy his first three mainstream albums and even some of his fourth. As for Billy Dean, I’d never compare the two, though I do like some of his songs.

  15. Eh, to each his own, as they say. It just has always struck me that Urban’s guitar skills were blown out of proportion solely to justify his place in country music. And I just never found his music to have much identity or character. Not that I think all pop country is bad, but I’d much rather listen to someone like Earl

  16. And that’s where Billy Dean comes in. Much like Keith Urban, Dean’s music always by and large came across to me with such a mishmash of influences to the point that it was not really recognizable as country music or anything else. Pretty much the only one of his songs that I even remotely liked was his cover of “Saturday Night” from the Common Thread Eagles tribute.

  17. My top 12 singles out of this list:

    Collin Raye, Little Rock
    Patty Loveless, How Can I Help You Say Goodbye
    Travis Tritt, Foolish Pride
    Collin Raye, Man Of My Word
    Dwight Yoakam, Try Not To Look So Pretty
    John Anderson, I Wish I Could Have Been There
    Pam Tillis, Spilled Perfume
    Ken Mellons, I Can Bring Her Back
    George Strait, You Can’t Make A Heart Love Somebody
    Randy Travis, This Is Me
    Alan Jackson, You Can’t Have It All
    Bobbie Cryner, You Could Steal Me

    There were some pretty awful songs in 1994 too (e.g. Indian Outlaw), but even the worst is better than far too much of today’s music. That’s a really depressing thought.

  18. There were probably 80 songs or so on that list that I’d be more than happy to hear pop up on my shuffle, but I suppose a list of my favorites would be more meaningful if I narrowed it down to 20 or so. And, as stated above more than once, so many of the eligible songs that were not ones I particularly enjoyed in 1994, are infinitely more listenable than the “best” of what FM country radio has to offer in 2014.

    Alan Jackson – (Who Says) You Can’t Have it All
    Billy Dean – Once in a While
    Billy Ray Cyrus – Words by Heart
    BlackHawk – Every Once in a While
    Brooks & Dunn – That Ain’t No Way to Go
    Carlene Carter – Something Already Gone
    Clay Walker – Dreaming With my Eyes Wide Open
    Collin Raye – Little Rock
    Diamond Rio – Night Is Fallin’ in My Heart
    Emmylou Harris – Crescent City
    Joe Diffie – In My Own Backyard
    John & Audrey Wiggins – Has Anybody Seen Amy
    John Anderson – Bend it Until it Breaks
    Kathy Mattea – Walking Away a Winner
    Lari White – Now I Know
    Lorrie Morgan – My Night to Howl
    Michelle Wright – One Good Man
    Pam Tillis – Spilled Perfume
    Patty Loveless – Here I Am
    Randy Travis – Before You Kill us All
    Randy Travis – Whisper My Name
    Sawyer Brown – Outskirts of Town
    Travis Tritt – Between an Old Memory and Me
    Vince Gill – Tryin’ to Get Over You

    From that list, “Here I Am” is probably #1 for me.

    “Mi Vida Loca”, “Shut Up and Kiss Me”, “I Try to Think About Elvis”, “Why Haven’t I Heard from You” and “The Big One”are actually among my least favorite entries in the discographies of Tillis, Carpenter, Loveless, McEntire and Strait, respectively.

    There were more than a few songs annoyed me that year too: “Kick a Little”, “Jukebox Junkie”, “The Tin Man”, “Be My Baby Tonight”, “Pickup Man”, “Third Rock from the Sun”, “Elvis and Andy”, “Eugene You Genius”, “Redneck Stomp”, “Long Legged Hannah (From Butte, Montana)”, “Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof”, “If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)” “National Working Woman’s Holiday” and the Tracy Byrd entries were, in my opinion, among the worst.

    As far as albums, there are a few that I still play from time to time these days: the entries from McEntire, Gill, Loveless, Tillis, Morgan, Mattea, Lari White and, to a lesser extent, Strait and Travis.

  19. Well, I feel I need to take this opportunity to talk about The Mavericks, my favorite band.

    “What A Crying Shame” was the first Mavericks album I bought and it remains one of my favorite albums of the mid-90s. My favorite single they released in 1994 is “O What a Thrill.” I just love the classic pop standard vibe of the song and Raul Malo’s incredible vocals. Raul Malo is one of the greatest voices of his generation in any style of music.

    The mid-90s were the only period of time that The Mavericks had any presence on radio, even though they never made the Top 10. I’ve often wondered what impact it would’ve had if they, a band with Latin influences and a Latino lead singer, had become major mainstream stars.

    I’ve always believed country could be beautifully mixed with many Latin styles and I wish more artists would try to mix the two.

    Anyways, I just needed to share my love of The Mavericks and Raul Malo.

  20. Here are my top singles in no particular order :
    Aaron Neville & Trisha Yearwood- I Fall to Pieces
    BlackHawk -Every Once in a While
    Bryan White- Look at Me Now
    Clay Walker- Dreaming With my Eyes Wide Open
    Clay Walker- Where Do I Fit in the Picture
    Collin Raye- Little Rock
    Daron Norwood- Cowboys Don’t Cry
    Faith Hill- Piece of My Heart
    Faith Hill- Take Me as I am
    John Michael Montgomery- Be My Baby Tonight
    Ken Mellons- Jukebox Junkie
    Lari White- Now I Know
    Lisa Brokop- Take That
    Lorrie Morgan- If You Came Back From Heaven
    Martina McBride- Independence Day
    Mary Chapin Carpenter- Shut Up and Kiss Me
    Pam Tillis- Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)
    Pam Tillis- Spilled Perfume
    Patty Loveless- How Can I Help You Say Goodbye
    Patty Loveless- Here I am
    Reba McEntire- She Thinks His Name was John
    Rhett Akins- What They’re Talkin’ About
    Rick Trevino- Honky Tonk Crowd
    Rick Trevino- She Can’t Say I Didn’t Cry
    Sammy Kershaw- Third Rate Romance
    Suzy Bogguss- Souvenirs
    Tanya Tucker- You Just Watch Me
    Tanya Tucker- Hangin’ in
    The Mavericks- There Goes My Heart
    Tim McGraw- Don’t Take the Girl
    Tim McGraw- Not a Moment too Soon
    Trisha Yearwood- Better Your Heart than Mine
    Trisha Yearwood- XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)
    Trisha Yearwood- It Wasn’t his Child
    Vince Gill- Tryin’ to Get Over You
    Vince Gill- When Love Finds You
    Wynonna- Girls with Guitars

    Here are my top albums from that year :
    Chet Atkins & Suzy Bogguss- Simpatico
    Clay Walker- If I Could Make a Living
    John Michael Montgomery – Kickin’ it Up
    Lorrie Morgan-War Paint
    Mary Chapin Carpenter-Stones in the Road
    Pam Tillis- Sweetheart’s Dance
    Patty Loveless- When Fallen Angels Fly
    Reba McEntire-Read My Mind
    Rick Trevino- Rick Trevino
    The Mavericks- What a Crying Shame
    Tim McGraw- Not a Moment Too Soon
    Trisha Yearwood- The Sweetest Gift
    Various Artists -Rhythm, Country & Blues
    Vince Gill- When Love Finds You

  21. The album part is easy…loved me some Mavericks, and that album was solid from top to bottom. As for the singles, there’s too many solid ones. Here’s the 10 that stood out:

    Alan Jackson/”Livin’ On Love”
    Clay Walker/”Where Do I Fit In the Picture”
    Kathy Mattea/”Walking Away a Winner”
    Tracy Lawrence/”I See It Now”
    Toby Keith/”Wish I Didn’t Know Now”
    Mavericks/”O What a Thrill”
    Reba/”Til You Loved Me”
    Patty Loveless/”Here I Am”
    Brooks & Dunn/”That Ain’t No Way to Go”
    and of course Martina/”Independence Day”

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