The River's Badge

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sorry ~ My Mistake ~ I Said 1994, When I Meant 1995

I wrote a whole long thesis a few days ago about how 1994 was a bad year in country music, and lo and behold, as I found various music videos from that year, I realized I was completely insane.  1994 was actually a good year.  What I meant was, 1995.

As the picture above shows, 1995 was apparently the year of "Friends", and some other things, but the pictures are too small to really identify.  Looks like maybe Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock, so I guess we're still partying like it's 1995.

But country music in 1995 was not a party.

And I can prove it.

In scanning the list of hit songs from 1995, the first thing that strikes me is, I don't even recognize most of these titles.  And let me tell you, I was still a pretty big country fan during that time.  So, because most of my memory is still quite intact, the fact is that there were very few memorable hit singles released in 1995.

And even the old standbys, you know, the good guys, were releasing some pretty awful songs.

For example, Collin Raye.  I love Collin Raye as a balladeer.  As they say, stick with what you know.  Because I really dislike this song:



Then there was this next song that was a big hit, and I just hated it.  I don't necessarily have a rational reason for hating it, but music is like that.  I will say, however, that the lyrics seem to be about some old guy leering at a young girl, and really??  Well, that's very family-friendly.

David Lee Murphy:



And here's ol' Tim McGraw again.  I will say that, unlike 1994, at least ol' Tim emerged from the pity party that was "Don't Take The Girl", and amped things up a bit.  However, this song, although catchy!  Is still rather grating, after about 100 10 listens.



John Michael Montgomery had "I Can Love You Like That".  Poor John Michael.  Tagged with the unfortunate reputation of not being able to sing on-key without autotune.  I'm not reporting that to be mean.  I can't sing on-key most of the time, either.  But I'm not a recording artist, now, am I?

This next video is not "I Can Love You Like That", because I can't find it, but it really doesn't matter.  All his songs were pretty much the same; covers of boy band hits, and why he felt this was a good career move, I do not know.



Remember Tracy Byrd?  That's okay.  That's why I'm here ~ to remind you.

Like the David Lee Murphy song, I always had a distaste for Tracy.  That sounds mean.  And it's nothing I can put my finger on, actually.  I'm sure he's a great guy, and he's a good friend of Mark Chesnutt, and I love Mark Chesnutt.  I guess it is that he always came across to me as disingenuous.  He recorded these songs that he thought would make him a star (and they did for awhile), but it was so fakey; artificial.  Hence, "The Keeper of the Stars":



Alan Jackson is better than this.  Better than this corny novelty song.  That's what I mean about 1995.  These guys weren't playing their "A" game.  Nobody remembers this song, nor should they:



So, that's about it.  I do slightly remember some of the other titles, but I'm not really interested enough to search out videos for them.  1995 was rather a blase year.

Some hokey ballads, some hokey novelty songs.  Some boy-band covers.  Kind of shameful, for country music.

But, you know, all is not lost.

Because there were some good songs. 

And I could always rely on George Strait:



From the ridiculous to the sublime; that was Alan Jackson in 1995.  Bless you, Bob McDill.  I love the sarcasm; or is it irony?  And now were are in 2012, and be careful what you predict.........



What's not to love about Diamond Rio?



Not sure what became of the Mavericks, but they should still be around, making music.  Although now, it wouldn't be considered "country" music, of course.



One could pretty much share any video from Mark Chesnutt, and not go wrong.  Let me tell you, Mark ranks right up there.  I don't know why he's been pushed aside, but I also don't know why Gene Watson was pushed aside, either.  It's an enduring mystery.  We live in a disposable society?  We throw away the good stuff in order to experience a new crop of crap?



You may not remember George Ducas; he had one, maybe two albums.  Again, there is no accounting for taste, because this guy should still be a big star.  Watch and listen to "Lipstick Promises":



If you think David Ball was just about thinkin' problems, well, he wasn't.  He also had a follow-up hit, and I like it, because it's country, and I miss country:



I haven't featured Pam Tillis in awhile.  Remember, Pam was huge in the nineties, deservedly so.



I like this Clint Black song.  It's the country equivalent to the omnipresent list of "essential summer songs".




I say, thank goodness for CMT in the nineties.  Because, without CMT, I would never find these songs, and they're worth finding.  Lari White had another good song, this time in 1995, and it was this one:



And now we get to the superstar of the 1990's.  No, it wasn't Garth Brooks.  And you thought it was!  Ah, but you forget!  I doubt that Garth sits home at night, at his kitchen table, nursing an iced tea, ruminating about how some woman outshone him in the 1990's.  But there it is.

And here it is:



And, oh, did I forget to mention her name?  It's Shania Twain:



I leave 1995 behind, but not without this song, by Vince Gill.  



In summation, 1995 had its bad, and it had its really, really good.  As do all years.

I enjoy reliving those times, and while I am quick to disparage, I always come back to the really, really good.  Because that's just me.  I like the good.

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