Top 10 Rodney Crowell Songs

Rodney Crowell Songs

Photo: Sean Rowe, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Rodney Crowell  songs list looks back at the career of one of the most respected musical artists of recent memory. Rodney Crowell’s open love affair with Nashville, his hometown, is something we have known for several years now. In 2001, he released the album Houston Kid, a testimony for his love for his hometown. Rodney Crowell grew up in a musical family and started playing drums for his father’s band at eleven. By the time he was a teenager, he had played for several rock garage bands in Houston. His musical career started as a songwriter after he was discovered by fellow American country singer Jerry Reed. He released his debut album, Ain’t Living Long Like This, in late 1978, which was followed by another album, but What Will The Neighbors Think, and a self-titled album thereafter.

His most successful album, Diamonds & Dirt, came in 1988 and contained five number one hit singles that catapulted his name among the greatest country singers of his generation. Over the course of his career, Rodney Crowell has earned numerous accolades, including two Grammy Awards. He has also sold numerous records globally as well as writing songs for numerous other artists. In this article, we will look at some of Rodney Crowell’s best songs. Here is our list of the top ten Rodney Crowell songs of all time.

10. Shelter from the Storm

Starting us off at tenth position in our list is a song that Rodney Crowell later did a cover alongside Emmylou Harris. The original song of the version was recorded by Bob Dylan in his 1975 album Blood on the Tracks. Rodney Crowell’s beautiful cover of the song was released in 2005 and is contained in his twelfth studio album, The Outsider. The song’s main message is about the misery of not appreciating what you have until it’s gone. The track was used as a soundtrack for the 1996 romantic film “Jerry Maguire.” It features some amazing vocal chemistry between Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris.

9. It’s Such a Small World

There is no denying the fact that Rodney Crowell’s 1988 album, Diamonds & Dirt, was his most commercially successful album. The album had a total of five number one hits, and this track was one of them. The track is about two former love birds who meet again in New York City after not seeing each other for many years since their breakup. The two former lovers decide to have a one-night fling upon making it clear that they cannot renew their affair. The video of the song goes in line with the song’s message apart from the part where the guy leaves the following morning, only to return the next day. The video also features the stunning and brilliant Rosanne Cash.

8. Ashes by Now

When Rodney Crowell recorded this song back in 1978, the legendary country singer Ricky Skaggs was also in the studio playing the fiddle. “Ashes by Now” is contained in Rodney Crowell’s album, But What Will The Neighbors Think, and has been covered by several artists over the years, most notably by Lee Ann Womack and Emmylou Harris. The song peaked at position 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and position 78 on the US Hot Country Singles Chart.

7. Loving All Night

“Loving All Night” is the number one track from Rodney Crowell’s 1992 album, Life Is Messy. The song was a celebration of his newfound “sexual freedom” after his messy divorce from Rosanne Cash. The song was a massive hit, and it spent twenty weeks on the Hot Country Songs chart, peaking at position ten.

6. I Ain’t Living Like This

“I Ain’t Living Like This” is the title track for Rodney Crowell’s debut studio album, which is normally considered as his best and most influential one. This track was initially recorded by Garry Stewart in 1977 and featured Rodney Crowell and Nicolette Larson as backup vocals. The track features some cool melodies that will get you on the groove anytime you listen to the song.

5. Many a Long and Lonesome Highway

This track features some incredible lyrics that will take your breath away from the song’s onset. The timeless track opens with the lines, “Yes, I had a woman love me, I have her what there was there for me.” The track goes on with some beautiful, catchy melodies a simple that you are unlikely to forget anytime soon. It is the first song on Rodney Crowell’s 1989 album, Keys to the Highway. The song peaked at position three on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs while also topping the Canadian Country Charts.

4. She’s Crazy for Leaving

Choosing the best Rodney Crowell song from his five number one hits from the album Diamonds & Dirt is quite a task. However, “She’s Crazy for Leaving” is my most favorite among the five. The track features a high-pitched bass-line that makes the song quite energetic and fun to listen to. The track peaked at position one on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs and spent 14 weeks on the chart.

3. After All This Time

Despite Rodney Crowell and Rosanne Cash’s stormy marriage ending in 1992, the pair’s rocky relationship was a source of some of Crowell’s greatest songs. “After All This Time” is a piano-driven ballad whose main message is about enduring love. The track took Rodney Crowell four years to complete the writing process, and it is another of his five number one hits from the hit album, Diamonds & Dirt.

2. Please Remember Me

The story of this track is quite strange since it found another life following Tim McGraw’s version, which became a number one hit. The original song is contained in Rodney Crowell’s 1995 album, Jewel of the South, which peaked at position 69 on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs. Following Tim McGraw’s successful single, Rodney Crowell earned songwriter of the year nominations at the ACMs and CMAs.

1. I Walk the Line (Revisited)

The top song in our list of the best Rodney Crowell songs is a cover he did with his former father-in-law, Johnny Cash, for his song, “I Walk the Line.” Although Rodney Crowell’s version retained the original lyrics, the melodies of the song were different. The track was great, and it was kind of a tribute that showed how much Rodney Crowell respected Johnny Cash and the song.

Top 10 Rodney Crowell Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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