As we near the end of 2017, it’s only fitting that One Country shares a few of those classic, end of the year lists. Like you, we are kind of bored with the typical end of the year lists, so we’re putting our own spin on a few!
While the year’s biggest hit was also a hit on the pop charts, Sam Hunt’s undeniable run with “Body Like A Back Road,” can’t be denied, even if it’s not really my cup of tea. The best country songs of 2017 features old favorites, but more than one newcomer on the scene.
18 Best Country Music Songs of 2017:
18. “Body Like A Back Road”
“Body Like A Back Road” spent an unprecedented 34 weeks at the top of Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart without an album rollout or music video. People from all walks of life gobbled up Sam Hunt’s song up and 10 months later– still no sophomore album announcement or another single in sight. Now, that’s what I call a powerful song.
17. “You Look Good”
Without any doubt in the world, Lady Antebellum’s “You Look Good” was the most underrated song of the year. Somehow, it only cracked the Top 10 on the charts, but this fun, funky, sexy track is going to live in on in their catalog for decades. The live version is even better.
16. “When It Rains It Pours”
Luke Combs is a ’90s country throwback artist in all of the best ways. This down-on-your-luck tune is catchy as hell and was the newcomer’s second No. 1 hit. He sounds like Brooks & Dunn, but looks like your best friend from high school.
15. “Greatest Love Story”
I was slow to get on the LANCO train, but watch out world– they’re coming. “Greatest Love Story” might be one of the most relatable tunes out there today, even if you didn’t end up reuniting with your high school sweetheart– there’s always hope, right?
14. “The Bull”
Kip Moore’s last two albums, The Wild Ones and Slowheart are full of earworms that are going to outlast most chart-toppers from this era. And one his best, “The Bull” is a look at what it’s like to keep on keepin’ on. Which Moore obviously plans to keep doing.
13. “It Ain’t My Fault”
Old school country outlaws met up with Southern rock legends to create this toe-tappin’ night out full of hook-ups, tequila and fights. It’s a filthy tune. In the good way.
12. “Marry Me”
Thomas Rhett’s “Marry Me” is the saddest song he’s ever released, because it’s a look at what would’ve happened if he hadn’t told his wife Lauren how he feels. He delivers it with such conviction you almost think it almost happened.
11. “My Old Man”
Zac Brown Band returned to their roots on this one and delivered a family masterpiece. If you’ve got a good old man, there’s no way this one didn’t absolutely punch in you the gut. The strings will bring you tears just as quickly as the lyrics will.
10. “Heartache On The Dance Floor”
“Dirt On My Boots” is a jam, but Jon Pardi’s “Heartache On The Dance” cuts a real groove. Really, the difference in why one is on this list and the other isn’t? ‘Dirt’ probably could’ve been delivered by a number of guys in Nashville. Only Pardi could sing ‘Heartache’.
9. “I Hate Love Songs”
Kelsea Ballerini teamed up with Nashville wizard Shane McAnally to deliver this one and country music aficionados could probably hear that within the first few lines. However, Ballerini’s own finishing touches and real-life relationships turned this one into a song that’s going to be relatable for years to come.
8. “When Someone Stops Loving You”
Everyone knows Little Big Town doesn’t have a lead singer. It’s just that Karen Fairchild is so good it often makes sense for her to take the reins. However, her husband Jimi Westbrook’s delivery on “When Someone Stops Loving You” is so raw it also seems like the two got divorced. (And that probably would be making the evening news.)
7. “Broken Halos”
Unfortunately, this song became all too real this year after several events rocked our nation. However, it was one of the best songs of the year before it became an anthem to play after tragedy.
6. “Drinkin’ Problem”
Old school country music and old school country music lyrics made Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem” the Dwight Yoakam meets Brandy Clark song you’ve been wanting to hear on country music radio for the last 10 years.
5. “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega”
If you still can’t pronounce Dahlonega, you aren’t alone. Ashley McBryde’s raspy delivery on the stripped-down tune is pretty perfect.
4. “Every Little Thing”
Carly Pearce released “Every Little Thing” without a record deal and eventually took it to No. 1. It’s a slow-burning ballad that wasn’t supposed to work as a debut single for a female, but boy did it.
3. “Tin Man”
Good gosh, Miranda Lambert, talk about a sad song. Lambert’s delivered sad songs before, but “Tin Man” is the most vulnerable song she’s ever released. Even better– it’s literally just an acoustic guitar and Lambert’s voice. The rawness is right there for all the world to see and hear.
It’s been 2 years since Cam released her brilliant debut album, Untamed, and “Diane” cannot be tamed either. Told from the other side of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” Cam definitely evokes some ’70s vibes on this one. The layering of her vocals mixed with the charging melody makes it one of those upper mixed with a downer things– which is bad at a party, but good for country music.
1. “If We Were Vampires”
Is Jason Isbell country? I don’t know and he doesn’t either, I just know this song is better than most of the songs on Top 40 radio you heard this year. And who knew you could celebrate love by thinking of vampires?
Other songs that almost made the cut:
“Beat Up Bible” // Little Big Town
“Halloween” // Walker Hayes
“All On Me” // Devin Dawson