To me, this would be an impossibly difficult list to compile, sort and rank.
Firstly, because country music is so dadgum vast and old, where in the H-E-L-L do you even begin to begin?
Secondly, I find it astoundingly challenging to compare the various eras of country music. “El Paso” by Marty Robbins is a fantastic tale with an up-to-the-task musical sound-scape.
But how does it rank compared to “Guitars, Cadillacs” with the best string-bending intro in county music history (IMHO), which came out nearly 30 years later?
And finally, how to pick which song from a specific artist when there are dozens? “He Stopped Loving Her Today” at #4 is heartbreaking and solemnly great, but “A Good Year for the Roses“, which is differently heartbreaking, spectacularly illustrates the agony of shattered and discarded love. I personally would rate “Roses” higher than “Loving” and “Roses” does not even appear in the top 100.
I do love that the Paisley makes-you-think’er: “Welcome to the Future” was on the list.
When I first heard it, and subsequently numerous times after that, I got goose bumps. And Lucinda Williams did “Passionate Kisses” before Mary Chapin Carpenter—wha? I f*cking LOVE the more rustic feel of the Williams version!!! Notable omissions in my opinion: “Ruby” by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, “Kids of the Baby Boom” by the Bellamy Brothers & “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” by Frizzell & West. Also, “Coward of the County” beats “The Gambler” all day long – just my $0.02. Cool list to ponder though…I have a lot of “oldies” country yet to hear for the first time – that makes me happy!
© 2014 – ∞ B. Charles Donley