10 Best Country Songs of the 90’s

When thinking of the 10 best country songs of the 90's, it's easy to drift off and think about other pop culture hallmarks of the decade such as Hammer pants and Beavis and Butthead. So, after we mulled over Zack and Kelly's breakup and wondered "Did Dylan really die in that explosion?," we put this list together.

This list will, no doubt, anger and befuddle many die-hard country music fans but we put this list together with the casual music listener in mind. Here's what we think are the best 10 country songs of the '90s.

  1. "The Dance" – Garth Brooks: Get used to seeing Mr. Brooks' name on this list as it appears three times. While previous single "Friends in Low Places" was the track that brought Brooks into the spotlight, this is the song that will remain in our collective consciousness. This song succeeds on two levels. The lyrics can be interpreted as the story of the end of a romantic relationship as well as a tribute to fallen heroes of the past; as evidenced by the video featuring such luminaries as Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. 
  2. "Chattahoochee" – Alan Jackson:  Perhaps no country song sums up the awkward coming-of-age teenage years as this tune penned by Jackson and co-writer Jim McBride. While the song is about Jackson's youth spent growing up near the Chattahoochee River, anyone can relate to the lyrics that describe late Summer nights with friends and the nervous excitement of the early days of flirting with the opposite sex. 

  3. "Independence Day" – Martina McBride: With a huge voice, Martina McBride captured everyone's attention with this song from 1994  that shines a light on the subject of domestic violence. The message of the song is an important one but wouldn't have reached nearly as many people without the booming vocals of McBride.

  4. "Two of a Kind (Workin' on a Full House)" – Garth Brooks: Brooks' second appearance on this list of the 10 best country songs of the '90s showed the purists that he's part of the club. The third single of his "Friends in Low Places" debut album, Brooks silenced critics with this traditional honky-tonk number as it shot straight to number one. 

  5. "Any Man of Mine" – Shania Twain: No song on this list stretches the boundaries of what is considered country music quite like this song. Set to a "We Will Rock You" styled backbeat with fiddle accompaniment, "Any Man" had a swagger and attitude that struck a chord with many female listeners. And for guys, well, you remember the video.

  6. "Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)" – Travis Tritt: For those of us that have gone through the aggravation of being dumped only to have them come back crawling, Tritt authored the perfect response with this 1991 single.

  7. "Strawberry Wine" – Deana Carter: While "Chattahoochee" was a song describing the coming-of-age story of a boy, "Strawaberry Wine" could be considered the female perspective of those awkward, yet memorable, times. The debut single for Carter family legacy Deana, "Strawberry Wine" was a staple at weddings and school dances throughout the decade.

  8. "Better Class of Losers" – Randy Travis: This song signified a passing of the torch for country music superstars in the early '90s as it was Travis' last big hit as artists such as Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson began to take over the airwaves. This traditional country tune is dripping with sarcasm and points to a much simpler time in the genre's history.

  9. "Sold! The Grundy County Auction" – John Michael Montgomery: Before radio stations overplayed it until we were all sick, "Sold!" was considered a very clever country song that stood outside the box and showcased some serious vocal gymnastics from Montgomery as he sang the chorus in a scat-styled auctioneer's voice. 

  10. "Unanswered Prayers" – Garth Brooks: For anyone that wonders why this song is considered one of the 10 best country songs of the '90s, all you have to do is watch footage of Brooks singing this song in concert, alone with an acoustic guitar, and an entire stadium's worth of people singing it back to him. 'Nuff said.

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