Our Top 10 Marshall Tucker Band Songs list begins a new series on the most important Southern Rock bands of the Classic Rock era. While we have already covered the giants like The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, there are so many more great southern rock bands that made grand statements throughout the 1960s to 1980s. While many may think that southern rock was a genre that was most popular in the South, the bands that practiced their own brand of southern music were popular in most suburban communities all throughout the United States.
The Marshall Tucker Band was formed in the early 1970s. Their roots began in the town of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The band’s first album entitled The Marshall Tucker Band was released in 1973. For the next ten years, the band would release at least one new album every year in what was considered their most prominent period. Even though the music industry went through many changes in the 1980s, The Marshall Tucker Ban continued to tour and release new albums.
The band has lost many key members over the years but had continued to perform well into the 21st Century. Their last album release was a live record that was issued in 2013 entitled Live! From Spartanburg, South Carolina. Picking the 10 best Marshall Tucker Songs from a period of over 45 years is no easy task. However, it’s fun to do. As with all our lists, it’s purely subjective and really just meant to introduce young fans to some of the band’s best moments that they might not be aware of.
# 10 – Cattle Drive
There is no better way to start out this Top 10 Marshall Tucker Band Songs List than with this great song that was a true showcase for the band’s brilliant musicianship. Like The Allman Brothers Band, the Marshall Tucker Band crossed musical genres. While their roots were southern-based like the Allman Brothers Band, their ears were tuned to all genres. “Cattle Drive,” was a song that always became a highlight of their live shows. The song was originally released on their album entitled Tenth. The album was released in 1980 and would serve as founding member Tommy Caldwell’s last record with the band before he was killed in an automobile accident.
# 9 – Last Of The Singing Cowboys
If you were alive in the year 1979, you would remember the year as a vast turning point in the genres of popular music. Groups like Blondie, The Police, Television, and The Ramones were riding a very successful wave of commercial success with their own blend of pop meets punk meets disco meets who knows what? Bands like Pablo Cruise, Pure Prairie League, and Firefall were blending genres of country, pop, and rock.
Take one listen to the drum groove behind the Marshall Tucker Band song “Last Of The Singing Cowboys,” and you can hear the impact the end of the seventies had on this particular song. There was a type of Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan influence in the groove. Yet, it really was a bit of a rarity in the band’s repertoire and an interesting look at how musical trends can always find their way into the arrangements or songwriting of almost any band.
# 8 – Running Like The Wind
The great Running Like The Wind Marshall Tucker Band album of 1979 was a very successful album for the band. The album featured two songs that were played in heavy rotation on FM album-oriented rock. “Running Like The Wind,” and “Last of the Singing Cowboys,” would define the maturity of the band’s songwriting and a small departure from their southern roots for only a small period of time.
# 7 – Searching For A Rainbow
How can one not just fall in love with this song’s amazing opening guitar licks and complimentary fiddles? Within seconds you are hooked and a fan forever. Yes, that’s the Marshall Tucker Band and the Searching for A Rainbow album defined that feeling. We love the title track and would have rated it higher on our Top 10 Marshall Tucker Band Songs list if it were not for all the amazing tracks to follow.
# 6 – This Old Cowboy
The song “This Old Cowboy,” opens up with one of our favorite Marshall Tucker Band verses of all time. It then segues into the ultimate hook. The song’s great guitar flute lick stands out as one of their best. The song was released on their third album Where We Belong. The album released in 1974 was a two-record set that featured one vinyl record of brand new studio songs and a second record of live recordings. “This Old Cowboy,” was the album’s opening track.
# 5 – 24 Hours At A Time
Continuing with the Where We Belong album, our next choice for this top 10 Marshall Tucker Band songs list comes from the live record issued on Where We Belong. “24 Hours at a Time,” is a killer live Marshall Tucker Band recording that featured the legendary Charlie Daniels. It doesn’t get better than this.
# 4 – Heard It In A Love Song
One of the most instantly recognizable Marshall Tucker Band Songs began with an unforgettable instrumental opening line played on flute by Jerry Eubanks. The song also featured a great piano riff that surrounded the songs’ iconic chorus. Eubanks trumped his opening line with a great flute solo that was followed by an oh-so delightful piano solo by producer Paul Hornsby.
# 3 – Fire On The Mountain
One of the most famous Marshall Tucker Band songs was released on their fourth studio album entitled Searching For A Rainbow. The album was released in 1975. “Fire On The Mountain,” was one of those songs that resonated deeply with fans. The song’s minor key was unusual for the genre and helped create an original sound that helped separate the Marshall Tucker Band from many of the other southern rock based bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, and The Outlaws of that time period. There was a depth to the music of the Marshall Tucker Band. The song “Fire on the Mountain,” was a definite representation of that depth.
# 2 – Can’t You See
This great song “Can’t You See,” is easily the most recognizable song from the Marshall Tucker Band. It was the most successful song the band ever released from both commercial and popular standpoints. Most Marshall Tucker Band fans would easily rate this the band’s number one song. We almost did, but then we took another listen to Ramblin‘ and remembered seeing the Marshall Tucker band many times during the seventies and we changed our minds. The song was released early in the band’s career on their debut album The Marshall Tucker Band in 1973. It’s one of the most iconic songs of the 1970s.
# 1 – Ramblin’
Most old-school Marshall Tucker Band fans may argue with our choice of Ramblin‘ as our choice for the number one spot on our Top 10 Marshall Tucker Band Songs list, but then again maybe not. Put it this way, if you were attending a Marshall Tucker Band Concert what song do you think would leave the crowd dancing out the door. “Ramblin” was the perfect closing number. The song represented the best of the Marshall Tucker Band, the brilliant guitar solos, the southern boogie progressive fused county-themed rock and blues rhythms. It was intense, passionate, positively vibed, and pumped to the max. It was pure Marshall Tucker Band.
Photo: By Kyle James (Flickr: Marshall Tucker Band on the 4th) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Updated May 29, 2022
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