Our Best Singles of 1993 list continues with a collection of #1 hits, breakthrough hits, and should’ve been hits. Kicking things off is the debut single from one of the decade’s most successful vocal groups.
“Goodbye Says it All”
Written by Bobby Fischer, Charlie Black and Johnny MacRae
#9 – SG | #31 – BF
BlackHawk enjoyed a nice run of hits from their debut album, including this kiss-off song. Lead singer Henry Paul was best known for his work in the Southern Rock band The Outlaws, but his distinctive voice adapted well to mainstream country, too. “Goodbye” showed off the great harmonies from the trio (Paul, Dave Robbins and the late Van Stephenson), and it also proved the adage that nothing good has ever written been down in lipstick (Patty Loveless’ “She Drew a Broken Heart” is Exhibit B). – Sam Gazdziak
The combined efforts of nine women and three men form the upper echelon of our Best Albums list from 1993. This embarrassment of riches showcases just how much great music there was to choose from that year, especially given how many of the genre’s biggest and most acclaimed stars – Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Pam Tillis, just to name a few – were between albums that year.
It was also a strong and diverse enough year that despite some overall consensus among the lists of all of the writers, each one of us has a different album at #1 on our personal lists.
Enjoy the second half of our list, and look for the Singles list to kick off next weekend.
#1 – JK | #3 – SG
In jumping to a major label, Uncle Tupelo was supposed to give alt-country its Nirvana; though that didn’t happen, the critical acclaim and indie following that Anodyne earned served as an impetus for the nascent alt-country scene.
An album that’s both legitimately great and historically important in equal measure, Anodyne proved that alt-country was commercially viable as a refuge for artists and fans who felt at-odds with the increasingly slick mainstream country of the early 1990s. Borne of long-simmering conflicts between co-frontmen Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar, Anodyne is a sprawling and ambitious album that finds Uncle Tupelo at their most fully-realized as a band.
Drawing heavily from country-rock, folk, and traditional styles, it’s easy to hear the band’s lingering influence on both contemporary Americana and on modern country acts like Miranda Lambert and Eric Church. – Jonathan Keefe
Recommended Tracks: “Acuff-Rose,” “The Long Cut,” “Chickamunga”
Back in the day, we used to do iPod checks. Seemed so current at the time!
Now, we’re gonna ask you to go to Spotify or your phone or whatever, and just let us know what you’re listening to the most.
Two Daily Top Fives Today: Your five most played songs from a 2015 album, and your most played country songs of all time.
Here are my lists, sticking to one song per artist:
Some of the most interesting country covers are ones where the artist doing the cover is of a different gender than the artist that recorded the original.
What are your five favorite “gender swap” covers?
Here’s my list:
- Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, “Pancho & Lefty” (Original Artist: Emmylou Harris)
- Sammi Smith, “Help Me Make it Through the Night” (Kris Kristofferson)
- Patty Loveless, “When the Fallen Angels Fly” (Billy Joe Shaver)
- Merle Haggard, “No Time to Cry” (Iris Dement)
- Reba McEntire, “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands” (Lee Greenwood)
Regular posts, including single reviews, will begin again tomorrow.
In the meantime, today’s Daily Top Five is perfect for the day in question.
What are your five favorite country songs about being a dad?
It can be the experience of being the father or being the child, or just songs that you like that don’t bear much relation to your actual relationship with your father or your child.
Here’s my list:
- Sawyer Brown, “The Walk”
- Reba McEntire, “The Greatest Man I Never Knew”
- Alan Jackson, “Drive (For Daddy Gene)”
- Loretta Lynn, “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like My Daddy”
- Doug Supernaw, “I Don’t Call Him Daddy”
UPDATE: Check out the impeccably researched work of Deb B, also known as Windmills, over at MJ’s Big Blog:
Country Radio & The Anti-Female Female Myth: A Data-Based Look
Via Terri Clark’s Twitter, this gem from radio consultant Keith Hill:
This One’s Not For The Girls: Finally, Hill cautions against playing too many females. And playing them back to back, he says, is a no-no. “If you want to make ratings in Country radio, take females out,” he asserts. “The reason is mainstream Country radio generates more quarter hours from female listeners at the rate of 70 to 75%, and women like male artists. I’m basing that not only on music tests from over the years, but more than 300 client radio stations. The expectation is we’re principally a male format with a smaller female component. I’ve got about 40 music databases in front of me and the percentage of females in the one with the most is 19%. Trust me, I play great female records and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”
Tossed salad imagery aside, in what other professional setting would such blatant gender discrimination be openly advocated? The breathtaking condescension toward female listeners in country music is nothing new, but it’s been more than twenty years since any such case could be supported by sales numbers.
Suggested by longtime reader and commenter Jonathan Pappalardo:
What are the five most essential albums in your collection?
I love this question!
Here’s my list:
- Dixie Chicks, Home
- Reba McEntire, For My Broken Heart
- Patty Loveless, When Fallen Angels Fly
- Trisha Yearwood, Hearts in Armor
- Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like a Wheel
Was going to try to do some equal opportunity attempt and squeeze in an album by a male act. But even without repeating artists, the next seven or eight would still be female artists.
So here are my five most essential albums by male artists, for the record
- Johnny Cash, American III: Solitary Man
- Dwight Yoakam, Gone
- Todd Snider, The Devil You Know
- Willie Nelson, Phases and Stages
- Alan Jackson, Like Red on a Rose
From reader Kuzco, today’s Top Five is songs that made you cry.
Here are my Top Five Tear Jerkers:
- Lori McKenna, “Still Down Here”
- Alan Jackson, “Blue Ridge Mountain Song”
- Collin Raye, “Love, Me”
- Reba McEntire, “If I Had Only Known”
- Sugarland, “Very Last Country Song”
From reader and longtime commenter bob:
Top Five Songs with “Gone” in the Title.
Here’s my list:
- “Long Time Gone” – Dixie Chicks
- “You’re Gone” – Diamond Rio
- “Already Gone” – Sugarland
- “Consider Me Gone” – Reba McEntire
- “Can’t Be Really Gone” – Tim McGraw
Today’s Daily Top Five was suggested by reader caj:
What are your favorite story songs?
Here are mine:
- The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (Vicki Lawrence, Reba McEntire)
- Independence Day (Martina McBride)
- He Stopped Loving Her Today (George Jones)
- Three Wooden Crosses (Randy Travis)
- Lucille (Kenny Rogers)