“Let There Be Cowgirls” = “Got My Country On,” Part 2
George Strait > Chris Cagle
Written by Chris Cagle and Kim Tribble
Listen: Let There Be Cowgirls
This was the decade that brought back the single. Not that it ever fully went away, as radio still played the promotional ones and video outlets the filmed ones. But actual commercial singles had gone the way of the dodo, until the digital revolution suddenly made them practical again. Why buy the whole album when you can just get the song that you want?
The devastation this has brought to record company bottom lines was probably unavoidable anyway, given the realities of post-Napster society. But technology has its perks. Now you can buy the songs on this list with a click of the mouse!
And what a list it is: 201 singles that run the gamut, from genuine hits that topped the charts to songs spun only by renegade DJs working the night shift. Here’s how we compiled it: four Country Universe writers ranked their personal favorite 100 singles, with an inverted point system applied (#1 on a list meant 100 points, while #100 on the list meant 1 point.) The songs were then ranked by number of total points, greatest to least. Ties were broken by the number of lists the song appeared on, then by highest individual ranking.
There was more consensus than usual for CU, and we all agreed on one thing: this list was a heck of a lot of fun to compile. We hope you enjoy it, too!
The 201 Greatest Singles of the Decade, Part 1: #201-#181
“I Run To You”
There’s a palpable intensity to this song that grips me every time I listen to it. Love isn’t always characterized by peacefulness, and the song’s pulsing production perfectly conveys the urgency, desperation and passion that often accompanies it. – Tara Seetharam Continue reading
However, it doesn’t come together as a fully realized piece of work. Despite all of the individually worthy pieces, they just don’t fit correctly. The end result is a single that threatens to be more than a generic country single but doesn’t quite become one.
Written by George Dulaney, Tom Shapiro & Neil Thrasher
Listen: Never Ever Gone
Buy: Never Ever Gone
Overall, Chris Cagle’s latest single, “No Love Songs”, is a fun song that has an amusing chorus. Moreover, Cagle seems as though he is enjoying himself. It cannot, however, be overlooked that this song has some problems: somewhat silly lyrics and a pointless narrative.
We find the storyteller and a sad guy at a bar. After some drinks, the man suddenly stands up on the bar stool and insists: “…play me something about drinkin’, one about cheatin’, a few about losin’, lyin’ and a-leavin’/Something where somebody did somebody wrong and play it all night long/But don’t play me no love song/Don’t play me no love song.”
The other problem with this song is the choice to speak the verses rather than sing them. In songs such as “Convoy” (C.W. McCall), “I’ll Go On Loving You” (Alan Jackson), “Getcha Some” and “I Wanna Talk About Me” (Toby Keith) and “This Cowboy’s Hat” (Chris LeDoux), among others, the talking adds to the substance of the songs. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine those songs without the narrations. However, in this song, the spoken narration sounds out of place and, ultimately, seems like a random choice.
Written by George Teren & Craig Wiseman
Listen: No Love Songs
Buy: No Love Songs
Chris Cagle, “What Kinda Gone”
I was smiling from the very first verse. Packed with personality and more spins on the word “gone” than you’d think you could fit in one song. Touching on my criticism of the Flynnville Train single, here’s what I mean about making me care. I have sympathy for the guy in this song, even if it’s all his fault in the end. I haven’t heard anything from Cagle in a while. The time away has done him good.
Listen: What Kinda Gone
Buy: What Kinda Gone