One of the golden decades of modern country music was indisputably the 1990s. On top of being a wonderful time for the females in the genre, it’s also one that turned out some of the most memorable hit songs and artists. With huge tours from ’90s artists like Shania Twain and Garth Brooks sweeping the nation, we thought it was about time we took a look back at the decade and get lost once again in the memories of this amazing music. So, step back in time with us and reminisce about the good ‘ol days of the ’90s.
These are the 12 songs that defined country music in the 1990s!
Garth Brooks – “Friends In Low Places”
The moment this song comes on at a bar, the crowd goes wild. There has always been something magical about Brooks, but this track put his name on the map outside of country music listeners. It was definitely a game changer in his historical career, spending three weeks in the #1 spot in 1990.
Deana Carter – “Strawberry Wine”
It doesn’t matter who you are, when “Strawberry Wine” comes on, there’s something about it that takes you back to your first real love. The track was Deana’s first #1, as well as a debut single, in what was definitely a heyday of women in country music. Needless to say, we miss those days like “Strawberry Wine.”
Tim McGraw – “I Like It, I Love It”
McGraw’s career took off in the ’90s and he’s never looked back, but this 1995 (and 3rd #1 hit for the star), is a fan favorite. There was just something so special about “I Like It, I Love It” that no artist has ever been able to recapture. It takes just a few notes of this popular tune at one of McGraw’s shows to make the crowd go wild.
Toby Keith – “Should’ve Been A Cowboy”
As his first #1, this was the track that put Keith on the map back in 1993, starting an incredible career for this future superstar. From that steel guitar to the cute story that weaves its way through the lyrics, this song represents just about everything we miss about country music.
Leann Rimes – “Blue”
Released in 1996, this was the career making song for the little girl with the big voice. Most of us will never forget the first time we saw Rimes belting this out with such ease, many even naming her the new Patsy Cline. Rimes went on to have a pretty successful career and a dedicated following, and remains one of the best vocalists on the country music market.
George Strait – “Check Yes or No”
Another sweet song that tells the story of a young romance, this was one of George’s biggest hits of the 90’s, hitting #1 in 1996. While he’d already had a career spanning over a decade, this track proved he was (and would remain), one of the genre’s most consistent hitmakers.
Trisha Yearwood / Leann Rimes – “How Do I Live”
One of the top selling country music singles of all time (Rimes version, anyway), this song was all over the radio charts back in 1997. Both versions of the single peaked at #2 and were nominated for a GRAMMY (though neither won), but that didn’t stop it from being one of the most memorable songs of all time.
Dixie Chicks – “Wide Open Spaces”
Though it was their second #1 single in 1998, it remains one of their most famous, and for good reason. For all those teens heading off to college or young men and women leaving home for the first time, it’s both relatable and incredibly catchy. The Chicks went on to have a wildly successful career with some truly exceptional music, but “Wide Open Spaces” is still a fan fav.
Shania Twain – “Man, I Feel Like A Woman”
Shania remains one of the best selling female country artists of all time with her album, “Come On Over.” There were twelve (YES, 1-2) singles released to country radio off of this record breaking CD, but this was the one that stands out the most, and gets covered in karaoke bars more than any other song on earth (that’s not scientific fact, but it’s probably true). It was the independent female anthem of the ’90s and it still holds true.
Alan Jackson – “Don’t Rock The Jukebox”
This feel good track had everyone in bars across America doing the two step during their line dancing lessons. It was a #1 hit for Jackson in 1991 and was probably remains one of his most popular singles of the decade. How can you not love this sound?
Brooks & Dunn – “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”
They need no introduction, because Brooks & Dunn remain one of the biggest duos the genre has ever seen. In fact, this single was their fourth consecutive #1 off their debut album, a clear sign that they were going to be huge stars whether they were ready for it or not. Nothing on country radio these days could compare to this rockin’ track.
Vince Gill – “I Still Believe In You”
You can’t have a ’90s list without the unbelievable Vince Gill. Back in 1992, this was his first #1 single and the start of a very successful career that made Gill a legend in the genre. The heartbreaking ballad washed in phenomenal vocals became something of a signature throughout the rest of his career. Needless to say, nobody is complaining.
Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!