I am a music freak first and foremost. When I was a kid I spent every penny I ever got going to the record store and buying music. One of my first jobs was in a record store, which happened about the same time I got my first credit card...bad combination. I remember payday rolling around and me figuring out how much money I still owed my boss for all my purchases. I have a huge collection of all kinds of music.

When it comes to country music, this history is full of great albums. We could go back to Buck Owens, Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and more that shape the history of country but that list would be too tough. I decided to list the five albums every country music fan should own that have been released in the last 25 years. I know there will be lots of arguments on this but I feel very strongly about these five. Every one who has loved country music in the last 25 years should own these records. Here we go, in no particular order.

 

warner bros

Big & Rich - Horse of a Different Color- This was a ground breaking album. It blew open the door for a new sound in country. The harmonies are still breathtaking on this album. Songs like "Holy Water", "Wild West Show", "Big Time" and of course "Save a Horse" paved the way for a new stomping country sound.


MCA Nashville

Gary Allan - Smoke Rings in the Dark - One of the coolest albums ever. He created a new throwback kind of sound with this one. He reinvented country cool. This one has the title cut as well as "Lovin' You Against My Will", "Right Where I Need to Be" a cool remake of the classic "Runaway" and much much more. This is one of the all time coolest sounding albums. Every cut just sets a mood. A true masterpiece.


Geffen

George Strait - Pure Country - George has put out so many great albums but if you don't have "Pure Country" you are missing out on George in his prime. The movie is still one of my favs and the scene where he sings "I Cross My Heart" is still one of the best song scenes in a movie ever. This includes "Heartland", "Baby Your Baby", "Overnight Male" and more


Capitol Records

Eric Church - Chief - This is the most recent of the releases to make my list. Eric released one of the best ever with this one. This album took him to a new level. He began selling out every venue he played after the success of this one. It has "Springsteen", "Creepin'", and the rest of the cuts are guaranteed to keep your feet stomping.


Reprise/WEA

Dwight Yoakam - This Time - This 1993 release was in my CD player for several years. I am huge Dwight fan and have enjoyed all of his albums but this is his finest work. "This Time" is jammed with hits like "Fast As You", "Pocket of a Clown" and "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere" this is a an absolute country classic.