CMN’s Top 14 Songs Of 2014
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It’s hard to believe, but 2014 is quickly reaching its end and that means it’s time to announce the Country Music Nation Top 14 songs of the year! The following songs are not ranked in any particular order, and there are no real qualifications or litmus tests involved in being on this list – except for quality! If you want the most played songs or the highest selling singles, there are definitely charts for that, but these are the songs that we deem the best of the entire year.
So without further ado…Here we go:
1. I’m Not Gonna Miss You – Glen Campbell: 2014 came with the bittersweet farewell from the “Rhinestone Cowboy,” whose battle with Alzheimer’s was the focus of a documentary centering around his final tour and corresponding struggles. This last song is as poignant and meaningful as any song written or recorded this year in any genre. It touched our hearts and is especially meaningful for anyone who has been affected by this awful disease.
2. Mom – Garth Brooks: After years of retirement and playing Vegas, 2014 was a big year for Garth Brooks. He retunred to the stage and began a sold-out World Tour around the country, launched his own digital music service, and released an album which just topped the Country album charts. From that new album came his most powerful song in two decades. The moving single has brought multiple audiences to tears. We look forward to more songs like this from Brooks in the coming years.
3. Old Rugged Cross – Craig Wayne Boyd: When Blake Shelton tapped Craig Wayne Boyd to become a member of his team, magic happened. With a style that reminded us of Travis Tritt, Craig became a sensation, but we’d like to think he won The Voice the night he sang the classic hymn The Old Rugged Cross. The performance went viral and Craig ended up beating the odds and winning the competition for Team Blake once again!
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4. There’s No Country Here – Melody Williamson: Ever since we shared this video, Melody’s song has become one of the most popular posts we have ever shared. Melody is a young teenager from Tennessee and she made one of the statements of the year. To an industry that is now dominated by Hick Hop and Bro Country, she firmly states, “Who told Music Row we want to listen to this crap?” We agree completely.
5. Home – Dolly Parton: It was a big year for Dolly Parton as well. The Country icon went on a successful world tour and released the album Blue Smoke. While we could have selected the bluegrass-tinted title track, we have to give the nod to this one. The fact that this song didn’t become a hit is a travesty. It even sounded like it belonged on Country radio and it breaks our hearts that such a wonderful song like this couldn’t make it.
6. Girl In A Country Song – Maddie & Tae: The biggest hit on our list made history (as the duo became the first girl group with a Country #1 since 2006). It’s also the best and most creative video (no wonder it has over 15 million views!). Name checking Conway Twitty and George Strait, it’s a very clever protest song that spits in the wind of the Bro-Country and the treatment of women in that arena. We can’t applaud these talented young ladies loudly enough.
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7. Me & Conway – Jeff Bates: Speaking of Conway Twitty, the legend was honored with a tribute album this year (spoiler alert – it graces our Top Albums list). You might remember Jeff Bates for hits like Love Song in the early 2000’s. His voice has been compared to Twitty’s and we definitely agree those comparisons are valid. The title track to his album beautifully celebrates Conway Twitty, and Bates certainly has a way with words.
8. All That’s Left – Miranda Lambert & The Time Jumpers: Who said that Miranda Lambert can’t swing? Buried on her Platinum album are great songs like this. Lambert teamed up with Vince Gill and his band of Nashville cats and the result is glorious!
9. Summer Number Seventeen – Ronnie Milsap: Ronnie was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year and it was certainly about time. He also released a new album of 50’s and 60’s covers. The title track is one of the best on the disc and has us appreciating Lost in The Fifties Tonight all over again.
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10. Ring Of Fire – Home Free: Ever since winning NBC’s The Sing Off, this Country Acapella group has become quite the sensation. It was hard to choose between this song and their cover of Josh Turner’s Your Man, but we can’t get enough of their version of Johnny Cash’s 1963 smash. The video below is appropriately set around a camp fire.
11. Meanwhile Back At Mama’s – Tim McGraw & Faith Hill: Tim McGraw went back to his roots and his songs moved away from modern beat tracks to creating wonderful pictures in our minds. The surprise performances of the song with Faith at the ACM awards and CMA Music Fest should have been enough to quiet the rumor mills on this sweet couple’s supposed impending divorce (or maybe it was their passionate on-stage kiss).
12. Band of Brothers – Willie Nelson: Willie can’t buy a hit right now but he keeps churning out quality music (with no regard to those he might offend in the process). Despite no single chart success, his albums continue to sell extremely well and land him near the top of the Country charts. If he keeps recording songs like this, Willie will be selling albums for many years to come!
13. Gentle On My Mind – The Band Perry: This song was also featured in the new Glen Campbell documentary, I’ll Be Me. New life is breathed into Campbell’s 1967 Top 30 hit, and it’s so good that it really deserves to be a hit all over again.
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14. Jesus And Jones – NuBlu (Featuring Sam Moore): The tributes keep coming for the great George Jones. This one might be the most unique and definitely one of the most beautiful. The world of bluegrass crosses with a Soul music legend to honor The Possum. Truly well done.
So did your favorite song make our list? We’re looking forward to a brand new year of fantastic music in 2015, and our hope is that more on our list next year actually get some decent radio airplay and become the hits they deserve to be.
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