Rolling Stone Top 100 Country

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