Country Music Albums You Need to Listen To

Some people grow up listening to country music. For others, country music is more of an acquired taste. Country music runs the gamut from folksy acoustic ballads to musical anthems with rock and roll undertones. Whether you’re new to country music or are a long-time fan, be sure to give these country music albums a nice, thorough listen:

Hank Williams: 40 Greatest Hits

Released in 1990, this collection celebrates one of country music’s most well-known and beloved singer-songwriters. Though Williams died young at the age of 29, he managed to shape country music as we know it. In his short life, Williams managed to record 35 singles that would ultimately rank in Billboard Country & Western’s top 10 singles, including 11 hits that managed to reach number one. Classics featured on the album include “Honky Tonk Blues,” “Ramblin’ Man,” and “Move It On Over.”

Patsy Cline: 12 Greatest Hits

Released in 1967, this album makes it clear why Patsy Cline was such a legend in her time. Before her tragic death at age 30, Cline graced the country music scene with her remarkable voice and classic delivery. Amazingly, many of Cline’s top hits fared just as well on the pop charts as they did on the country music charts, making her one of the first country artists to successfully cross over into the pop music field. In 1973, 10 years after her death, Cline became the first female solo artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her Greatest Hits album features some of her most well-known tunes, including “I Fall To Pieces” and “You’re Stronger Than Me.”

Johnny Cash: The Essential Johnny Cash

Released in 2002 to commemorate Cash’s 70th birthday, this album is a true testament to the legend that is Johnny Cash. Known for his unmistakable voice and unique vocal style, Cash transformed the country music scene throughout his long, rewarding career. Though much of his music does have a somber undertone, Cash had a way of touching his audience like few other musicians could. And he managed to win the hearts of so many despite his frequent outlaw status. Songs on this collection include “Ring of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “A Boy Named Sue.”

Shania Twain: Come On Over

Released in 1997, Come On Over was the best-selling country music album of the 1990s. In fact, the album helped Twain solidify her position as the Queen of Country-Pop. Though some criticized Twain for her particular style of music, it’s hard to argue that fact that she remains one of the most influential country artists of all time. In fact, Twain is known to have inspired modern crossover female performers like Taylor Swift. The album features the feminist anthem “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and the classic love song “You’re Still the One.”

Of course, these are just a few of the best country music albums ever released. Even if country music isn’t your thing, once you give these a listen, there’s a good chance you’ll be hooked.