23 Of The Best Country Songs Of The 90s

The 1990s were a great decade for country music. A new generation of artists emerged, bridging the gap between traditional and contemporary sounds.

The result was a more diverse and exciting genre that was able to appeal to a broader range of listeners.

90s country music also had a significant impact on the way the genre is structured today. Artists like Garth Brooks and Shania Twain introduced pop and rock elements into their music, paving the way for the meteoric rise of crossover artists like Taylor Swift.

But which songs ruled the airwaves of that time? Here are 23 of the best country songs of the 90s.

1. “Chattahoochee” by Alan Jackson

Chattahoochee is a song by Alan Jackson. It was released in 1992 from Jackson’s album A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ’bout Love).

The song became one of Jackson’s biggest hits, spending seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

Alan Jackson and Jim McBride wrote Chattahoochee. Jackson said that the song’s inspiration came from his childhood growing up on the Chattahoochee River in Georgia.

The song is about fishing, swimming, and enjoying life on the river.

2. “Independence Day” by Martina McBride

“Independence Day” was co-written and recorded by Martina McBride. Its release date was in May 1993 being the lead single from her album Wild Night.

The song became McBride’s first Number One hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart, a position it held for two weeks in August 1994.

The song tells the story of a woman’s reflection on her life, interspersed with flashbacks to key events such as the day she married her husband and the day her father died.

The song was inspired by actual events in McBride’s life, including her wedding day and the death of her father-in-law.

3. “The Dance” by Garth Brooks

The Dance is a song by Garth Brooks that was released in 1990. The song was a huge commercial success, selling more than two million copies and spending six weeks at the top of the country charts.

The song is about making the most of life, even when things are tough. The lyrics are inspired by the idea that we only have one life to live, so we should make the most of it.

The song has been described as an anthem for anyone who has ever faced adversity.

4. “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks & Dunn

Boot Scootin’ Boogie was released in 1991 as part of Brooks & Dunn’s debut album, Brand New Man.

The song was an instant hit, spending eight weeks at the top of the country charts and selling more than two million copies.

But what is the song actually about? According to co-writer Ronnie Dunn, the song is a “tribute to line dancing” and was inspired by a trip to a honky-tonk in Los Angeles.

However, some fans have interpreted the lyrics as a commentary on the changing face of country music.

5. “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain

Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” quickly became a country music classic after its release in 1997.

The song is a celebration of enduring Love, and its positive message resonated with fans worldwide.

“You’re Still the One” spent twenty-seven weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including six weeks at number one.

In addition, the song won Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song.

6. “She’s in Love With the Boy” by Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood’s song “She’s in Love With the Boy” was a huge hit when it was released in 1991, spending five weeks at the top of the country charts and selling more than two million copies.

The song is written from the perspective of a young girl watching her best friend fall in Love for the first time.

The girl is happy for her friend but also jealous, knowing she will never experience that kind of first Love herself.

Yearwood said she was inspired to write the song after seeing her daughter experience the same.

7. “Strawberry Wine” by Deana Carter

Deana Carter’s 1996 hit single “Strawberry Wine” was a massive success, spending six weeks at number one on the country charts and selling more than two million copies.

The song is a nostalgia-tinged tale of young Love, inspired by Carter’s memories of picking strawberries with her first crush.

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of summertime innocence, and the simple yet catchy melody helped to make the song a radio favorite.

In addition to its commercial success, “Strawberry Wine” also earned Carter a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

8. “This Kiss” by Faith Hill

This Kiss by Faith Hill was released in 1998 and quickly became a huge hit, selling over a million copies in the United States.

The song spent six weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, making it one of the most successful country singles of all time.

This Kiss is a catchy, upbeat love song that celebrates life’s simple pleasures, like holding hands and stealing kisses.

The song was co-written by Faith Hill and her then-husband, country singer Tim McGraw.

The couple met while recording a duet for Faith’s debut album, and they were married just a few months later.

9. “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill

“Go Rest High on That Mountain” is a song written by Vince Gill and Pat Alger. It was released in 1994 as a single from Gill’s album When I Call Your Name.

The song was a huge success, spending seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Country charts and selling over two million copies. 

The song is about the death of Gill’s brother.

In an interview, Gill said that he was inspired to write the song after attending his brother’s funeral and seeing how much peace and comfort his Faith had brought him in the face of death. 

10. “Check Yes or No” by George Strait

George Strait’s song “Check Yes or No” was a massive hit when it was released in 1995, spending six weeks at the top of the Billboard charts and selling more than two million copies.

The song is a simple love story, told from the perspective of a young man who is asking his girlfriend’s father for permission to marry her.

The inspiration for the song came from Strait’s own experience growing up in rural Texas, where such traditions were still commonplace.

In an interview, Strait said he wanted to write a song that would capture the innocence and simplicity of young Love.

11. “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes

How Do I Live is a country song written by Diane Warren and recorded by LeAnn Rimes.

The song was released in 1997 and became a huge hit, spending a record-breaking 69 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

In addition, the song sold more than three million copies in the United States and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

How Do I Live is a ballad about the fear of losing someone you love. The lyrics express the narrator’s anguish at the thought of living without her partner, and she asks how she would survive if he were to leave her.

12. “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks

The song “Friends in Low Places” was written by country music artist Garth Brooks and released in 1990.

The song was inspired by Brooks’ own experience of being unemployed and having to rely on the kindness of friends.

The song became a massive hit, selling over six million copies and spending four weeks at number one on the country music charts.

The song’s success helped launch Brooks’ career and established him as one of the most popular country music artists of all time.

13. “Blue Clear Sky” by George Strait

George Strait’s song “Blue Clear Sky” was a huge hit when it was released in 1996, spending six weeks at the top of the country charts and selling more than two million copies.

The song is about a man looking back on a failed relationship and wondering what might have been.

He reflects on all the things he and his former lover used to do together and how those memories are now just “clear blue skies” in his rearview mirror.

The song was inspired by Strait’s divorce, which had occurred a few years earlier. He has said that writing the song helped him to process his feelings about the end of his marriage.

14. “I Like It I Love It” by Tim McGraw

“I Like It. I Love It” is a song co-written and recorded by Tim McGraw. It was released in May 1995 as the lead single from his album All I Want.

The song was written by Mark Collie, Craig Wiseman, and Jerry Cupit. “I Like It. I Love It” became McGraw’s fifth single to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and spent eight weeks at that position.

In addition, it peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is up-tempo in which the narrator describes his feelings of Love for a woman, using various metaphors to explain how “addicted” he is to her.

As of July 2013, “I Like It. I Love It” has sold 1.4 million copies in the United States.

15. “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” was one of the most popular songs of the 1990s. “Achy Breaky Heart” was released in 1992 and quickly became a massive hit, selling over four million copies in the United States.

The song spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and helped to launch Billy Ray Cyrus’ career.

The song is about a broken heart; the inspiration came from Billy Ray’s life experiences.

He has said that he wrote the song after suffering from a broken heart himself and that he was able to relate to the pain and heartache that comes with a breakup.

16. “Meet in the Middle” by Diamond Rio

“Meet in the Middle” is a song performed by the country group Diamond Rio. It was released in 1991 as the lead single from their self-titled debut album.

The song was a commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Country charts and selling over two million copies.

The song is about two lovers who meet in the middle of a long-distance relationship. The idea for the song came to lead singer Marty Roe while he was on a cross-country flight.

He began writing the song on a napkin and finished it upon landing. The music has been praised for its simple, direct lyrics and catchy melody.

17. “Dust On The Bottle” by David Lee Murphy

When Dust On The Bottle was released in 1994, it quickly became a country music sensation.

The catchy tune spent six weeks at number one on the Billboard charts and went on to sell more than two million copies. But what is the story behind the song?

According to Murphy, the idea for the song came to him while he was driving down a dirt road in Mississippi.

He was struck by how the dust being kicked up by his tires looked like a cloud of champagne bubbles.

From there, he started thinking about all the good times he’d had while drinking champagne, and the song just fell into place.

18. “I Swear” by John Michael Montgomery

“I Swear” is a song done by John Michael Montgomery in May 1994 as the lead single from his album Kickin’ It Up.

Gary Baker and Frank J. Myers wrote the song. “I Swear” peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and became a crossover hit, reaching number one on the Hot 100 chart; it is Montgomery’s only single to get number one on both charts.

The song sold 2.5 million copies in the United States and became Montgomery’s most successful single.

19. “Fancy” by Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire’s song “Fancy” was a huge hit when it was released in 1990. The song spent five weeks at number one on the Country charts and was certified Platinum by the RIAA.

In total, the song sold more than two million copies. “Fancy” was written by Bobbie Gentry, who is best known for her 1967 hit “Ode to Billie Joe.”

Gentry’s Southern Gothic style of songwriting was a perfect match for McEntire’s powerful voice. “Fancy” tells the story of a young woman from a poor background who yearns for a better life.

The lyrics describe her rise to success and the excesses and dangers that come with it.

20. “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain

Any Man of Mine was released in 1995 as the lead single from Shania Twain’s The Woman in Me album.

The song was an instant hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Country charts and becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.

To date, Any Man of Mine has sold more than five million copies worldwide and spent a total of six weeks at number one on the Country charts.

21. “Every Light In The House Is On” by Trace Adkins

When country music singer Trace Adkins released his song “Every Light In The House Is On” in 1996, he had no idea it would become such a huge success.

The song quickly rose to the top of the country music charts, eventually becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.

In total, the song sold more than two million copies and spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard charts.

For Adkins, the song’s success was a dream come true. “Every Light In The House Is On” remains one of his most iconic songs and is still cherished by fans worldwide.

22. “Strawberry Wine” by Deana Carter

When Deana Carter released her debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This? in 1996, she had no way of knowing that the lead single would become one of the most successful country songs of all time.

“Strawberry Wine” was a smash hit, spending six weeks at number one on the Billboard Country charts and selling more than four million copies.

The song’s popularity helped to catapult Carter to stardom, and she would go on to win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1997.

Nearly 25 years later, “Strawberry Wine” remains a country classic, and its timeless appeal continues to generate new fans for Deana Carter.

23. “What Part of No” by Lorrie Morgan

“What Part of No” is a song co-written by Lorrie Morgan and Rich Alves.

It was released in October 1992 as the second single from her album War Paint. The song was her second number one hit on the Billboard country charts.

“What Part of No” spent one week at number one and seventeen weeks within the top ten.

In addition, the song peaked at number forty-four on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Morgan’s only solo Top 40 hit on that chart to date.

Summing Up Our List Of 90s Country Songs

Looking at these country music hits from the 90s, it is no doubt they were highly successful commercially and artistically.

Some of the decade’s biggest hits came from country artists, and many of these songs are still beloved by fans today.

The 90s was a golden era for country music, and its influence can still be felt in the genre today.

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Written by Laura Macmillan
Laura has over 12 years experience teaching both classical and jazz saxophone and clarinet. She now resides in California where she works as a session and live performer.