Our Top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums list looks back at the career of one of southern rock’s most legendary artists. Although calling Charlie Daniels just a southern rock artist is probably to defining a term as the man and his band crossed so many musical genres in rock and roll such as both southern and country rock, bluegrass, blues and even gospel music. The man could play so many instruments but he was most famous for his fabulous fiddle playing. That fiddle playing became known worldwide back in 1976 when it was heavily featured in one of the biggest hits of his career entitled “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”
Charlie Daniels was born in Wilmington, North Carolina in the 1930s. Being born in a place that serves for some as a sort of crossroads between the North and the South, the man was influenced by so many styles of music growing up in the state of North Carolina. Charlie Daniels got his feet wet in the music industry as a session player in the 1960s working with such legendary artists as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. He would co-write a song entitled “It Hurts Me” that would be recorded by the King we knew as Elvis Presley. With all the friends and connections he was making in the music industry, there was no doubt that with his sensational talents that Charlie Daniels himself was a star in the making.
Charlie Daniels released his first album entitled Charlie Daniels in 1971. The album contained our favorite Charlie Daniels song of all time in the album’s opening side closing number called “Trudy.” From that point on Charlie Daniels and his band he would form called The Charlie Daniels Band would become on of rock and roll”s most loved acts. He was a pioneer along with The Allman Brothers in taking a southern sound to the masses. Along with Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws and the Marshall Tucker Band The Charlie Daniels Band defined the southern rock genre that was so well loved in the 1970s. Sadly, Charlie Daniels passed away in 2020.
The Charlie Daniels Band released thirty studio albums during the groups career. Along with this his studio albums, Charlie Daniels and his band released eight live albums as well as a handful of compilations. Our Top 10 Charlie Daniels Band albums list should serve as just a starting point for fans looking to get into the group we all knew as The Charlie Daniels Band.
# 10 – Full Moon
We open up our top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums List with the group’s 1980 album entitled Full Moon. The music scene was changing dramatically in 1980 as new wave music was setting the tone on many levels. Still the Charlie Daniels Band managed to get some pretty big air time with their single “In America. The album was also very successful as it served as the follow up to their biggest selling album of all time in Million Mile Reflections. The album Full Moon hit number eleven on the US Billboard Top 200 Albums Charts.
# 9 – Midnight Wind
Continuing with our top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums List we move on to the sensational album entitled Midnight Wind. The jam band live aspect of the Charlie Daniels Band cleary shines on this very underrated Charlie Daniels Band album. One can very easily hear how much of the Allman Brothers Band influence filtered into the group’s persona. Just about every southern rock band in the 1970s were inspired by The Allman Brothers. The album was released in 1977.
# 8 – Songs From the Longleaf Pines
In the number eight spot on our top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums List we present the album entitled Songs From the Longleaf Pines. This is not your typical Charlie Daniels Band Album that you will find on this list or any other. Yet, there was something really special about this record in which Charlie Daniels defines his bluegrass roots on this one more than any other record he ever released. It all works so wonderfully well. The album was released in 2005.
# 7 – Saddle Tramp
In the number seven position on our top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums List is the album entitled Saddle Tramp. The Charlie Daniels Band was on a roll in the mid 1970s releasing brilliant album after brilliant albums. Saddle Tramp was one of them. The album has also been commonly referred to as the The Charlie Daniels Band jam album because of the eleven minute title cut that was placed as the second song on side one. It was an unusual spot to place such an extended track as those epic jams songs are usually reserved for the final spot on an album.
The band was making a statement with the way they set up the album. The Saddle Tramp album was released in 1976. The album hit number thirty five on the US Billboard Top 200 Albums Charts. The album also broke into the top 10 of the US Billboard Top Country Album Charts peaking at number seven.
# 6 – Live! also known as The Live Record
Landing in the number six spot on our top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums List we present the album entitled Live!. The Charlie Daniels Band released many live albums throughout their career but the one they released in 2oo1 captured their exciting raucous live sound on CD better than any of their previous live releases. This one is a good as it gets. The album featured Charlie Daniels on guitar, fiddle and vocals, Bruce Ray Brown on guitar, Chris Wormer on guitar, Mark Matejka on guitar, Charles Hayward on bass, Pat McDonald on drums, Joel “Taz” DiGregorio on keyboards and Julian King on trumpet.
# 5 – Te John, Grease, & Wolfman
At the halfway point on our top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums List is the jubilant, high-spirited album entitled Te John, Grease, & Wolfman. Charlie Daniels second album release may also be his most underrated. The band rocks hard on this smoking southern rock boogie album. The album was released in 1972. The band consisted of only four members at the time including Charlie Daniels on guitar, fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Taz “Grease” DiGregorio on keys, Earl “Te John” Grigsby on bass and Jeff “Wolfman” Myer on drums. And now you know the meaning of the album title.
# 4 – Million Mile Reflections
At the number four spot on our top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums List we present the album entitled Million Mile Reflections. Charlie Daniels’ tenth album would become his biggest selling album of his career. It would also become the band’s highest charting album they ever released. The album soared all the way to number one on the US Billboard Top 200 Albums Charts. Much of that success was due to the popularity and sales of the album’s mega hit single “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”
# 3 – Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels debut album simply titled Charlie Daniels has always been thought of as one of his best. For many Charlie Daniels Band fans, it has remained their favorite album. The album was released in 1971. Charlie Daniels defined a shining moment in rock and roll history because no one sounded like he did on this brilliant LP from 1971. There were so many standout tracks on the album including “Trudy,” and “Georgia,” which would be later recorded again for the Fire On The Mountain LP. Other killer cuts included the songs “Long Long Way (Back Home)” “Great Big Bunches of Love” and “Thirty-Nine Miles From Mobile.”
# 2 – Nightrider
As we get close to the number one spot on our Charlie Daniels Band Albums list we highlight the scorching album entitled Nightrider. The album was released in 1975. Nightrider served as the follow up to the legendary Fire On The Mountain album. While Nightrider did not sell as many copies as Fire on The Mountain, it did become the first Charlie Daniels Band album to also break into the US Billboard Country Charts. More importantly though, the Nightrider album featured some of the band’s best playing they ever laid down on vinyl. The album hit number fifty seven on the US Billboard Top 200 Albums Charts. The album also broke onto the US Billboard Country Albums Charts peaking at number twenty seven.
# 1 – Fire On The Mountain
We wrap up our top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums List with the album entitled Fire On The Mountain. Just staring at the cover of this album brings back so many memories of growing up on Long Island as a tenneger in the 1970s and listening to this album almost every day. This was a career defining album by the Charlie Daniels Band and easily one of the best southern rock albums ever released. The album featured new versions of Trudy and Georgia which would become standout songs live. The crowds went nuts when Charlie Daniels Band played “Trudy.” This may not have been the band’s biggest selling albums or their highest charting album, but take it from a fan who lived during those times, Fire On The Mountain was everyone’s favorite.
The album Fire On The Mountain was released in 1974. Standout tracks included “Long Haired Country Boy,” “Trudy” and the great cut “The South’s Gonna Do It” which featured The Allman Brothers Band guitarist and songwriter Dickey Betts on guitar. The phenomenal Fire On The Mountain album hit number thirty eight on the US Billboard Top 200 Albums Charts. It was the first Charlie Daniels Band album to go platinum in sales.
Top 10 Charlie Daniels Band Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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