‘90s country music is still there today. Covers of these well-known songs frequently appear on our feeds, regardless of the genre the performer is from.
This list of the top country songs from the 1990s makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Simple songwriting, catchy melodies, a sudden swing toward pop music, and mullets are all present, and they all make for a pleasant trip down memory lane.
Since no one is currently enrolling in a college course on 1990s country music, we’ll merely present these 50 songs as the best the decade had to offer. It’s likely that this list of outstanding 1990s country songs also serves as a primer for comprehending the decade. Only one song each from Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Brooks & Dunn (the three undisputed ’90s hitmakers) may be found here since lesser-known vocalists like Daryle Singletary, Rick Trevino, and Joe Diffie are equally significant in establishing what ’90s country music fans stood for.
About 1996 saw the major transition in pop music, which was driven by male bands like Lonestar and female artists like Shania Twain and Faith Hill. 1990s singles by the Dixie Chicks, Dwight Yoakam, and Trace Adkins break up a familiar homogeny. While several of the biggest performers of today (like Tim McGraw) began their careers in the 1990s, comparing Brad Paisley in 1999 to Brad Paisley in 2019 is like comparing a boy to a man!
To learn more about a decade determined to make a comeback in 21st-century America, press play on the playlist and scroll down our list of Essential ’90s ’90s country music.
The Top Country Music from the 1990s
Should’ve Been a Cowboy by Toby Keith
’90s country music Of course, the most popular song in country music throughout the 1990s is included on this list of important 1990s country songs. Should’ve Been a Cowboy by Toby Keith has a peculiarly timeless quality to it. Fans liked the interesting personalities he mentions, despite the plot not being the most general.
“No One Else on Earth” by Wynonna
She always ends her shows with this huge 1992 hit for Wynonna. A timeless classic with clear vocals, a clear message, and horns! This song epitomizes the 1990s for many people.
“Thank God for You,” by Sawyer Brown
’90s country music Watch Sawyer Brown’s “Thank God for You” music video as a favor to yourself; you can thank us later. The plot has a date rape vibe to it from a contemporary perspective, but the group decides to perform music and sing instead of taking advantage of the two attractive women sitting in his warehouse apartment. The push-broom pattern is well-known. At the conclusion, Mark Miller pays tribute to Michael Jackson.
“Amazed” by Lonestar
’90s country music We’re counting Lonestar’s biggest hit because it was released just a few weeks before the 1990s came to an end. It was a huge crossover with “Amazed.” A country song that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart is actually quite uncommon.
“Single White Female” MCA Chely Wright
The Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain, two musical icons from the late 1990s and early 2000s, nurtured themes of female empowerment that were emphasized in Chely Wright’s biggest success. A woman musters the guts to approach a lonely man in the pop-friendly country love ballad.
“Pickup Man” Joe Diffie
’90s country music It’s vital Joe Diffie, who is also a crucial 1990s country music performer. Looking back, it’s obvious that the statement “all it takes to pick a woman up (metaphorically) is a pickup truck” has pre-bro country undertones.
Texas-born Rick Trevino, aka “Bobbie Ann Mason,” The most significant of Rick Trevino’s 1990s singles is “Bobbie Ann Mason.” The simple, catchy song, which is done with a little attitude, is about a high school crush. The organic production is completed with percussion, keyboard, and guitar licks. The synth was not a thing in the 1990s.
“Indian Outlaw” by Tim McGraw
’90s country music Racially insensitive claims are frequently made about McGraw’s first number-one single. It’s challenging to evaluate a song by contemporary standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that nothing similar would ever make it to the radio in the modern era. To put it mildly, “Indian Outlaw” reflects a less politically correct era in rural America.
“Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie” by Michael Peterson
’90s country music Despite being a two-hit wonder in the late 1990s, Michael Peterson’s most well-known song is this blend of pop production and twang. He starts the chorus with, “I want to drink from your loving cup.” People used to say that twenty years ago!
“Passionate Kisses” by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Columbia Records
’90s country music “Passionate Kisses” by Mary Chapin Carpenter was nominated for one of Carpenter’s five Grammy Awards. The fast-paced country song had a ton of crossover potential, building on Wynonna’s and other female artists’ successes from the previous year. Even today, this music still sounds new.
“Too Much Fun” by Daryle Singletary
’90s country music “Too Much Fun” is country singer Daryle Singletary’s longest-lasting popular song from the 1990s, while not being a chart-topper. In his song, he sings, “Too much fun, what’s that imply / It’s like too much money, there’s no such thing.” Even while country music in the middle of the 1990s tended to sound bluer collar, it wasn’t frightened of extravagance.
“I Try to Think About Elvis,” by Patty Loveless
Great 1990s country musician Patty Loveless has several tracks that may have made our list of must-haves. Although it isn’t her biggest financial success, “I Try to Think About Elvis” is so distinctive that we chose it over songs like “Blame It on Your Heart.”
“What’s It to You” by Clay Walker
The structure of Clay Walker’s first single was typical of the 1990s. Country males produced short, catchy love songs in under three minutes while grinning. Modern country radio is more varied, whether you like it or not.
“Maybe It Was Memphis” by Pam Tillis
Pam Tillis’ contribution to this indispensable 1990s country playlist is known more for its lyrical content today, despite being considered pop-friendly. She also has killer vocals! It is lovely.
“Meet In the Middle” by Diamond Rio
This rather endearing country love song has been around for about 30 years! This song is one of Diamond Rio’s best, and one of the best of the 1990s. An enduring singalong.
The song “She’s in Love with the Boy” by Trisha Yearwood
Both the song and the music video for Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s In Love With the Boy” are crucial. With enormous hair, big mustaches, innocent themes, and catchy melodies, it is distinctly the 1990s. You have no heart if you don’t enjoy this song.
“Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks
since, well, duh! This is the tune that makes Garth Brooks THE essential ’90s country performer.
“This Kiss” by Faith Hill
Women presented their music very differently in the early and late 1990s, which is surprising. With Hill leading the way, country music abruptly veered to the left and began to sound more like pop.
“Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus
Within the first five seconds of the song, you immediately think of country music from the 1990s. Billy Ray Cyrus is defined by this mega-hit, much as his mullet-defined country style (for better or worse).
“Sold (The Grundy County Fair Incident)” by John Michael Montgomery
This rather innocent love story from 1995 wouldn’t fly in the present world. The most boisterous song by John Michael Montgomery features a woman and an auction. Even though it’s not what it seems to be, explaining that in the age of social media will be challenging.
“Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks
This song has been hailed as one of the all-time greats by CMT and the RIAA. The Dixie Chicks told a universal tale of a girl leaving her home to pursue her dreams, and their organic instrumentation stood out at a period when every other female group was zigging in the direction of pop. Ironically, this song also had a huge crossover success.
“Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” by Travis Tritt
You know, back in the early 1990s, calls had to be made on pay phones in public and cost $.25. Even though the lyric’s twist is quite great, this is why the song was so well-liked. In the early 1990s, when Tritt performed this song, fans would hurl quarters at him from the audience, frequently striking him.
How Do I Live by LeAnn Rimes
LeAnn Rimes’ rendition dominated pop genres, while Trisha Yearwood’s was a country smash. Both versions were excellent, but we chose the one by the younger artist to show how country music continued to publicly dance with a wider audience in the late 1990s.
Alibis, a Tracy Lawrence song
At a period when lovers of country music were becoming more open to various genres, Tracy Lawrence was a neo-traditionalist. It speaks to the caliber of his voice and song selection that he flourished with tunes like “Alibis.” This outstanding early 1990s country song is still relevant today, almost 30 years later.
“Small Town Saturday Night” by Hal Ketchum
A fantastic country song’s ascent up the country airplay charts was not greatly aided by a $50 music video. Ketchum condenses a good tale into less than three minutes. The content he offers to “Small Town Saturday Night” is impossible to detest.