Among the greatest new traditionalists of the eighties, John Anderson is one of the best. That he managed to resurrect his career during the nineties boom, while most of his peers from a decade earlier were shown the door, is a testament to his talent and the timeless quality of his music.
His distinctive voice made him one of the last great stylists of country music, a singer you could identify after hearing him sing the first line. I recommend delving deep into his catalog, and here are the ten tracks that you should start with.
“She Just Started Liking Cheatin’ Songs” from the 1980 album John Anderson
One of Anderson’s breakthrough songs finds him concerned over his lover’s new fondness for cheating songs. “I’m not sure if it’s the cheatin’ she likes, or just the melody,” he worries.
“I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday” from the 1981 album John Anderson 2
A classic song celebrating untapped potential, courtesy of songwriting legend Billy Joe Shaver.
“I Just Came Home to Count the Memories” from the 1981 album I Just Came Home to Count the Memories
This haunting ballad of a broken home evokes memories of George Jones classics like “The Grand Tour,” complete with melancholy strings.