Nowadays, the definition of country music has been left open to interpretation. With many sub-genres spawning over the last few decades, one thing remains true; you know real country when you hear it.
For some, it’s been a disappointing last couple of decades. For others, newer artists such as Morgan Wallen or Zach Bryan have been what’s made them a country music fan, considering both stars have incredible streaming numbers and seemingly break records monthly.
Although critics and fans have been expressing their frustration with country music changing and evolving for generations, pop music heavily infiltrated the genre in the early to mid 2010’s, almost at a point to where you wouldn’t even be able to tell it was a “country” song if it weren’t for the twang and dirt road references.
Make no mistake, the beginning of what many call the “bro-country” era was energizing and popular for a reason. Over time, however, it became overly generic, in a way that felt as if it were almost a parody of the music before it, and most devastatingly, it lead us to the god awful snap track era.
No matter your current thoughts on the state of the genre, there’s still a lot of great Country music out there in 2023, as well as the old remarkable classics a lot of fans still appreciate to this day.
Back in 2014, Rolling Stone dropped their list of the 100 greatest country songs of all time. Today, I’m going to highlight the top twenty-five. And make no mistake, these songs have and will continue to stand the test of time, unlike most of what radio has played for the past decade.