This feature is back upon popular request.  Today, we’ll look back at the top twenty country singles from sixteen years ago.  For the writers of this site, the nineties are considered a golden age in country music.  In 1992, the genre was nearing its commercial peak, and some of the greatest artists of that era were coming into their own.    However, there was still quite a bit of chaff among the wheat.

Top 20 Country Songs
August 15, 1992

“You and Forever and Me”
Little Texas

This is the prototypical early nineties country ballad, one part Alabama and two parts Restless Heart.   There was always a faceless quality to the harmonies of Little Texas, and there’s nothing particularly distinctive about their material here, either.  C

“Two-Timin’ Me”
The Remingtons

There’s a quaint charm to this single, by a band that never quite made an impact. But in the end, it’s pretty forgettable.  B-

“Warning Labels'”
Doug Stone

He’s mostly remembered for his horrendously sappy love songs, but when he put his impressive vocal chops to work on a honky-tonk number, the results were fantastic.  Ironically, it’s most of his other work that should carry warning labels, particularly for diabetics. This one’s a winner.  B+

“I Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way”
Aaron Tippin

Nobody did working class anthems better than Aaron Tippin.   Given that nobody’s doing them at all anymore, at least on country radio, this is even more welcome listening now than it was back then.  A

“Five O’Clock World”
Hal Ketchum

Leave it to Ketchum to transform this pop hit into blue-eyed country soul.  His vocal on the chorus is otherworldly.  A-

“Could’ve Been Me”
Billy Ray Cyrus

He wasn’t the one-hit wonder he’s often remembered to be, and his follow-up to “Achy Breaky Heart” was a much better record.  B+

“I Saw the Light”

The singles off of Wynonna’s debut solo album struck a perfect balance between smart material and radio-friendly production. This is one of her biggest and most charming hits. A

“A Woman Loves”
Steve Wariner

Sweet, simple and honest.  All the hallmarks of a good Steve Wariner record.  B

“I Still Believe in You”
Vince Gill

A masterpiece ballad.  It won the CMA for Song of the Year, and deservedly so.   A+

“What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am”
Lee Roy Parnell

It’s amazing how effectively Nashville smoothed the edges of Lee Roy Parnell’s music to make it palatable to country radio.  It’s a solid song, but the muted production doesn’t serve it well.  B.

“Billy the Kid”
Billy Dean

Dean’s autobiographical trip down memory lane manages to be cute without cloying.   B+

“Runnin’ Behind”
Tracy Lawrence

This gem from his debut album is a great example of how a song can be conventional and radio-friendly, but still an enjoyable listen.  He’s one of the best B-listers country music ever had.  B+

“The River”
Garth Brooks

It’s an inspirational classic that I never found that inspiring, but I love the production and Garth’s vocal on it.  B

“This One’s Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time)”
Marty Stuart & Travis Tritt

Good things always happened when these two paired up.  Stuart’s the stronger force on this one, and he grounds it in traditional country.  B+

“If Your Heart Ain’t Busy Tonight”
Tanya Tucker

Those trying to make the case that Tucker’s later hits weren’t nearly as compelling as those from her early days can use this as Exhibit A.  B-

“I’ll Think of Something”
Mark Chesnutt

Chesnutt’s searing take on this Hank Jr. classic is one of his strongest performances ever, a honky-tonk tour de force that would make Jones and Haggard proud.  A+

“I Feel Lucky”
Mary Chapin Carpenter

Oh, for the days when something this intelligent could find a home on country radio.  Carpenter’s wry sense of humor makes this a winning single, and won her a second Grammy and a surprise victory at the CMA’s for Female Vocalist..   A

“Take a Little Trip”

They held on to their slot at radio much longer than most of their eighties counterparts by freshening up their sound to keep up with changing times.   This single’s a good example of that.  B+

“We Tell Ourselves”
Clint Black

This was one of Black’s best singles ever, a ferocious performance that he tears into with all he’s got.  The instrumental work that closes it is nothing short of astounding.  A+

“Boot Scootin’ Boogie”
Brooks & Dunn

It was originally the b-side to their debut smash “Brand New Man”, but when it was sent to radio, it became a monster hit.  For better or worse, the groove that was first introduced with this single has been part of their sound ever since.  B