Top 10 Outlaws Songs

The Outlaws Songs

Photo: By Carl Lender [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most underrated Southern rock bands in classic rock history is The Outlaws. However, in the 1970s, the band was a massive favorite among Southern rock fans. The band also had a few crossover hits that brought them national attention. Young people may not be as familiar with The Outlaws as they are with The Allman Brothers Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd, but that by no means defines the band any less important. The Outlaws were a great Southern rock band that released album after album of brilliantly written and performed Southern rock classics.

The origins of the band go back to the late 1960s. From 1967 to 1974, the band went through numerous name changes and musician lineups. It was in 1974 when The Outlaws began opening up for Lynyrd Skynyrd, that they received their big musical break. Legendary record executive Clive Davis was in the audience and instantly signed them to his new label, Arista Records. The Outlaws would become the first band signed to Arista. From that point on, the band would become one of the most loved southern rock bands of the decade.

From 1975 to 2102, the band would release 12 studio albums. The Outlaws have also released a string of live albums. The 1978 two-record set Bring It Back Alive is one of the greatest live rock and roll records ever released. Their latest live record was recently released in 2016, entitled Legacy Live. If you don’t know the Outlaws, we hope this Outlaws Songs list turns you onto them. And if you were a big fan, let us know which ones we should have listed that we did not have room for.

# 10 – Gunsmoke

There is no better way to start our Top 10 Outlaws songs list than with a song that shows off the dueling guitar work of this great band. While we love the lead vocals and brilliant harmonies on this one, it’s the tremendous dual guitar solo that occurs halfway through the song that sealed the deal for us on The Outlaws song “Gunsmoke.” And let’s not forget the great guitar work at the song’s end.

# 9 –  Song For You

“A Song For You” was released on The Outlaws debut album The Outlaws in 1975. It appeared as the second track on the album behind “There Goes Another Love Song,” making for a great one-two opening song punch. Founding member Hughie Thomasson sang lead vocals on the song.

# 8 –  Cry Some More

The Outlaws’ song “Cry Some More” was released on their 1979 album Playing To Win. Southern Rock still enjoyed great success in the late 70s and proved a great alternative to the countless disco songs and new wave music that dominated FM and AM radio at the end of the decade. Bands like The Outlaws, Charlie Daniels Band, and the Marshall Tucker Band filled arenas across the county and continued to grow fans in what we now call the Classic Rock Era.

# 7 –  Freeborn Man

“Freeborn Man” is one of The Outlaws’ most progressive songs. A great hook, excellent rhythmic guitar playing, and sweet Eagles-style vocals cemented this one as a fan favorite. The rhythm change in the middle of the song echoed the instrumental style of The Allman Brothers Band classic “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” The song was released on The Outlaws’ classic album Lady In Waiting.

# 6 –  Dregs Fall To The Wicked

The Outlaws song “Dregs Fall To The Wicked” was probably one of the band’s heaviest songs ever recorded. Some tremendous dark and blistering guitar solos augmented the song’s minor key verses. The song was released on their great 1994 album Diablo Canyon. The record featured guest performances by pianist Billy Powell and guitarist Gary Rossington. Both musicians were members of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd Band. Right in the middle of the Seattle Invasion and popular grunge movement, The Outlaws released one of the best Southern Rock albums of the decade.

# 5 –  Breaker-Breaker

Nothing is better than a great Southern Rock song starting with some beautiful acapella vocal harmonies. The song shifted into a sweet, acoustically strummed pop county-styled arrangement that fit perfectly on AM and FM 1970s radio. The song was issued on the band’s second album, Lady In Waiting, released in May 1976.

# 4 –  Hurry Sundown

The second this one began, you knew it was the Outlaws. The band had a distinct dual guitar sound that separated them from some of the other Southern Rock bands at the time. Listen to the song’s opening guitar riffs that have become so iconic. This is the stuff that 1970s Southern Rock fans fell in love with. A fantastic chorus that has since become one of the most memorable the band has ever composed. The song was released on their 1977 album Hurry Sundown.

# 3 –  Ghost Riders in the Sky

Just think about what a brilliant title “Ghost Riders In The Sky” was. The band followed up the title with a masterpiece inspired by multiple musical genres. The song’s beautiful acoustic guitar opening segued into one of the classic rock era’s most iconic guitar lines ever. The song “Ghost Riders in the Sky” was released on the band’s Ghost Riders album. The album was issued in 1980.

# 2 –  There Goes Another Love Song

“There Goes Another Loves Song” is a tune that is simply pop county rock perfection. Ideally, it’s hard to capture all those genres in one song, but The Outlaws did it on this one. This great track was released on the band’s debut album released in 1975 entitled The Outlaws. The song opened the album and was the lead-off single that introduced the rock and roll world to the band The Outlaws.

# 1 –  Green Grass and High Tides Forever

The 1970s were the decade of the extended southern rock jam. Don’t get us wrong, there were extended rock jams in all rock formats. However, something about the Southern rock extended jam resonated powerfully on FM radio. The Allman Brothers Band had many, but their most famous, it could be argued, was “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.”  There can be no arguing about the popularity of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird, perhaps the most famous live recording of all time. And then there is the Outlaws’ brilliant extended jam song “Green Grass and High Tides Forever.” Songs like that, simply define what 1970’s rock was all about.

Updated December 26, 2023

An Essential Look At The Outlaws Top 10 Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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  1. Avatar Bobby Gaskins January 12, 2022
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