An Alternate Take on the Decade’s Best Country Albums
The 9513, Country Universe and (no doubt) other websites and publications are busy finalizing and publishing their Best Albums of the Decade lists. It is, of course an impossible task as there are hundreds of country and bluegrass albums issued each year, amounting to thousands of albums released during the last decade. When we add to that all of the pseudo-country albums (alt-country, Americana, etc.), the number is staggering.
I have listened to only a fraction of those thousands of albums. Some I never had the opportunity to hear, some I avoided because I did not like the singer’s voice (I’d rather hear a good singer sing a mediocre song than hear a mediocre singer sing a good song) and others I may have heard but they left so little impression that I forgot that I heard them. The 9513 took nominations from its various contributors and put together a list of about 250 albums, to which the individual contributor could add and rank additional titles. My own personal top 100 probably includes 25 or so titles that garnered little consideration from the rest of the staff.
This is to be expected since I am The 9513’s oldest contributor. Moreover, I grew up listening to traditional country music, with Hank and Lefty and Ernest Tubb playing on Dad’s record player. I also developed a taste for big band jazz, pop standards and Irish (not Celtic) folk music. My interest in rock ended when rock ‘n roll degenerated into heavy metal, acid rock, punk, etc–I can barely stand Marshall Tucker, and bands such as Lynryd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Kansas and Uncle Tupelo leave me cold. Certainly, this musical background influences my current tastes and preferences.
This is my personal list of the Top 30 country albums of the decade. To read The 9513’s collaborative Top 100 list, click here.
Paul’s Top 30 Country Albums of the Decade
30. Precious Memories (2006) – Alan Jackson
29. Buckin’ Around (2007) – Jann Browne
28. Cherryholmes (2004) – Cherryholmes
27. Mountain Soul (2001) – Patty Loveless
26. That Lonesome Song (2008) – Jamey Johnson
25. That’s Why I Sing This Way (2005) – Daryle Singletary
24. Roots, Vol. 1 (2001) – Merle Haggard
23. Last Of The Breed (2007) – Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard
22. Dwight Sings Buck (2007) – Dwight Yoakum
21. Come On Back (2005) – Jimmie Dale Gilmore
20. American Shadows: Songs of Moon Mullican (2008) – Cornell Hurd Band
19. Coal (2008) – Kathy Mattea
18. Tough All Over (2005) – Gary Allan
17. American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002) – Johnny Cash
16. Drive (2002) – Alan Jackson
15. Naked Willie (2009) – Willie Nelson
14. Kashmere Gardens Mud (2007) – Johnny Bush
13. 5th Gear (2007) – Brad Paisley
12. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) – Various Artists
11. In A Perfect World (2007) – Gene Watson
10. Good Thing Going (2007) – Rhonda Vincent
9. Here Come The Teardrops (2006) – Amber Digby
8. Jumpn’ Time (2007) – Time Jumpers
7. Willie and the Wheel (2009) – Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel
6. Kickin’ Out the Fotlights… Again (2006) – George Jones & Merle Haggard
5. Thanks a Lot (2004) – John England and the Western Swingers
4. Prisoner of Love (2000) – Ray Price
3. Time (2002) – Ray Price
2. You Don’t Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker (2006) – Willie Nelson
1. A Taste of the Truth (2009) – Gene Watson
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- Ken Morton, Jr.: The inferiority complex of the CMA never ceases to amaze me.
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