Our Top 10 John Hiatt songs looks back at the songs of one of the most fabulous singer songwriters of the classic rock era. John Hiatt is an artist known for both a catalog of great albums of original music featuring his down home vocal chops and fantastic guitar playing. John Hiatt is also known as a songwriter in which many of his songs have been covered by other popular artists who have had big hits with his material. John Hiatt released his first album in 1974 entitled Hangin Around The Observatory. The music industry took instant notice of his songs right away as one of the tracks on the album titled “Sure As I’m Sitting Here,” was covered by Three Dog Night who were one of the hottest bands in the world in the early to mid 1970s. From that point on, rock artists and their managers kept an eye on the music of John Hiatt looking to find their next big hit.
From his debut album in 1974 up unto the present day in 2020, John Hiatt has released twenty two studio albums and two live albums. His latest studio album was released in 2018 entitled The Eclipse Sessions. During his recording career, John Hiatt has also released over thirty singles. He has also appeared on dozens of recordings as a guest artist. As a nine time Grammy Award Nominee, John Hiatt stands as one of the most celebrated songwriters of the past forty five years. Our top 10 John Hiatt songs list presents ten of our favorite John Hiatt songs that we have listened to over the past four decades.
# 10 – Take Off Your Uniform
We open up our top 10 John Hiatt songs list with the new wave inspired track “Take Off Your Uniform.” The song was released on the album Slug Line. The LP was released in 1979 during the peak of new wave when artists like Elvis Costello, The Cars, Blondie and many more were celebrating great success on a mass cultural level.
# 9 – Angel Eyes
As we continue our top 10 John Hiatt songs list we turn to one of those great John Hiatt songs that found super success covered by another artists. Blues rock artist Jeff Healey recorded a version of John Hiatt’s “Angel Eyes,” in 1988 and had the biggest hit of his career with the song as it became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. John Hiatt never released the song as a single on his own.
# 8 – Cry Love
The great John Hiatt released the song “Cry Love,” on his spectacular album Walk On. The album was released in 1995. The album featured guest appearances by Bonnie Raitt and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers great keyboardist Benmont Tench.
# 7 – Riding With The King
“Riding With The King,” has always been one of our favorite John Hiatt songs and titles. The song also served as the title track to his 1983 album Riding With The King. The song opened up side two of the record which was produced by Nick Lowe who only produced the albums second side. Nick Lowe also played bass on the track as well as contributing background vocals. The song also featured the great Paul Carrack on keyboards and backing vocals. The song was later covered by Eric Clapton and B.B King.
# 6 – Memphis In The Meantime
How could you not love the great gritty groove on this awesome John Hiatt songs entitled Memphis in the Meantime. The song was released on the album Bring The Family. The record was released in 1987. The band sounds great on this one. And what a band it was. The album featured once gain Nick Lowe on bass plus the legendary Jim Keltner on drums. The record also featured a gust appearance by guitar God Ry Cooder.
# 5 – Drive South
The John Hiatt song “Drive South,” was released on the album Slow Turning. The song opened up the John Hiatt album. Country singer Suzy Bogguss covered the song in 1992. The singer almost had a number one single with the song as it went all the way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 County charts.
# 4 – Walk On
“Walk On,” was the title track to his great 1998 album Walk On. The album broke the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 200 album charts. Three singles were released from the record. However, “Walk On,” was not one of them. Nonetheless we think it was the best track on the record and one of the best John Hiatt songs ever released.
# 3 – Thing Called Love
As we get closer to the number one spot on this top 10 John Hiatt songs list we turn to one of the most successful songs John Hiatt ever composed. Thanks to Bonnie Raitt’s killer version of this fantastic John Hiatt song, “Thing Called Love,” Mr. John Hiatt had the biggest hit of his career with this one at least from a commercial and financial standpoint. The song was featured on Bonnie Raitt’s Grammy Award winning album Nick Of Time. It was also released as the album’s first single. The album went 5x Platinum. That’s a lot of money in royalties,
# 2 – Perfectly Good Guitar
Talk about a perfect title! John Hiatt’s “Perfectly Good Guitar,” was the title track to his Perfectly Good Guitar album which was released in 1993. The Perfectly Good Guitar album would become John Hiatt’s highest charting album of his career. The album peaked at number forty seven on the Billboard Top 200 album charts.
# 1 – Have a Little Faith in Me
We close out this John Hiatt songs list with our favorite John Hiatt song of all time. This one is a classic. It’s just one of those songs that you fall in love with the first time you hear it. Its been covered by multiple artists including jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, the legendary Joe Cocker and New Jersey’s Bon Jovi. Pop singer Many Moore also recorded a version as well as Chaka Khan, Jewell and the beautiful Dolly Parton. Talk about a diverse lineup of artists recording the same song. It just proves at how wonderful a song that is. Yet it’s John Hiatt’s own version that we have always like the best. The song “Have A Little Faith In Me.” was released on the album Bring The Family. The album was released in 1987.