Our Top 10 Van Zant Songs list will look at a country and rock duo. Johnny and Donnie Van Zant are the younger brothers of the late great Ronnie Van Zant from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Van Zant initially recorded music in the 1980s. The two brothers probably would have loved to do more work together but they were very busy with their own bands. Johnny Van Zant took over lead vocals for the reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd back in 1991 and still currently tours with the band. Donnie Van Zant served as the lead vocalist for 38 Special.
Van Zant released their self-titled album in November 1985. The album peaked at number 170 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “I’m a Fighter,” “You’ve Got to Believe in Love,” “Two Strangers” and “Midnight Sensation.” Brother to Brother was released in February 1998. It features the singles “Rage,” “Show Me,” “Can’t Say It Loud Enough” and “Right Side Up.” Van Sant II was released in March 2001. It features the singles “Get What You’ve Got Comin’,” “Imagination,” “Is It For Real” and “Baby Get Blue.” Get Right with the Man was released in May 2005. It peaked at number 21 on Billboard 200 and number two on the country charts. It features the singles “Help Somebody,” “Nobody’s Gonna Tell Me What to Do,” “Things I Miss the Most,” “Lovin’ You” and “I Can’t Help Myself.” The album went gold. My Kind of Country was released in October 2007. The album peaked at number 10 on the country charts and number 57 on Billboard 200. It features the single “That Scares Me,” “Goes Down Easy,” “You Can’t Do It Alone” and “It’s Only Money.”
Our Top 10 Van Zant Songs list will give us a chance to acknowledge the amazing songs by the Van Zant brothers who would have made their older brother Ronnie very proud of them.
# 10 – Lovin’ You
The 10th song on our Top 10 Van Zant Songs list is “Lovin’ You” from the Get Right with the Man album. “Lovin’ You” was released in 2005. This song is about a man who is in love. He has tried drinking and getting high, but it didn’t do anything for him. It only drove him crazy. He felt like a fool. He realized there was nothing better than loving her. He is finished doing things to alter his brain because she is the one who gets him high. His plan is to love her. In the next verse, he talks about loving her body. God made her body the way it looks. There is nothing better than her. When they get to Heaven, God will say the same thing about her. He has tried things in his life and he found his one reason for living.
This is a touching song about a man’s feelings for the woman in his life. He has been through a lot but realized nothing is better than love. She is enough to make him change his ways. This is a song that is perfect for anyone who loves someone the way he loves her. If you have been through things in life and found your true love, this song is perfect for you. Van Zant chose a creative way to talk about loving someone who means everything to you. The music has a Southern country and rock sound.
The music is catchy and will have you dancing with the one you love. There is a musical pause that will allow you to embrace the music. Johnny Van Zant sings the song with grit. He does a great job with his vocals. The chorus is infectious. It is the best part of the song. Van Zant comes together and belts out the chorus. It will be impossible to sit through the song without singing along with them.
# 9 – Things I Miss the Most
The ninth song on our Top 10 Van Zant Songs list is “Things I Miss the Most” from the Get Right with the Man album. This song is about a singer who is on stage performing for his fans. While he is performing, his mind starts to drift. He thinks about the people and the things he left behind. He thinks about hearing his kids tell his wife that he is home. He misses the dirt road and the tree that is on the hill. The narrator misses seeing the tractor in his field. He enjoys singing the songs, but he misses being around his family. It is hard for him to get off the phone when he is talking to his loved ones. He realizes how long it has been since he has seen them. He wants to talk to his kids one more time before they go to sleep. He also wants to let his wife know how much she means to him. People ask him where his favorite place is and he always tells them it is being at home with his family.
This is a compelling song about a man missing his family. This is a man who is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He enjoys what he does, but it takes him away from his family. In the story, he is a singer who is constantly on the road. His career takes him from his family, so he misses the little things that happen in their lives. This is a story that will reach out to people who must leave their families days at a time. It will have you thinking about your own family and how much you miss them. This is a great song we can all relate to. The music has simple instrumentation. It features the guitar and drums. The song doesn’t require a lot of instruments to make the song work. Johnny Van Zant’s vocals will touch your heart as he laments about the life he is missing. It is easy to picture the story in your mind as he sings the lyrics.
# 8 – We Can’t Do It Alone
The eighth song on our Top 10 Van Zant Songs list is “We Can’t Do It Alone” from the My Kind of Country album. “We Can’t Do It Alone” was released in 2007. The song is about not being able to make it in the world alone. We are all brothers and sisters and we need each other. The song opens with our narrator saying goodbye to his father. His father let him know that they would be together again. When we get to the chorus, the narrator talks about everyone being God’s children. We should hold on to one another. We all want to find our way home. We can’t make it alone. In the next verse, he talks about seeing the world through his child’s eyes. He wants to know what’s going to happen in the world because we are dealing with hard times. He feels like the devil is trying to take our souls. The narrator believes that we need more love in the world to beat the devil.
This comforting song is timely. We all need a song like this in our lives. Van Zant touched on a subject that some people may not believe in. It is good that they chose not to incorporate too much religion in the song. The lyrics are written in a way where you can enjoy the song even if you don’t believe in the religious aspect of it. The song has a positive message about loving one another. There is a lot of hate and anger in the world, so we need a song like this to remind ourselves that we are all one big family.
The upbeat music keeps the song from being melancholy. The melody sounds like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” This could be their way of paying homage to their brother Ronnie Van Zant. The music is something that will bring people together. The music has a country and rock beat. The music alone may make you a fan of the song as well as the duo. You don’t have to enjoy country or rock music to enjoy the song. Johnny Van Zant displays strong vocal pipes because he was able to sing over the loud music.
# 7 – You’ve Got to Believe in Love
The seventh song on our list is “You’ve Got to Believe in Love” from Van Zant’s self-titled album. “You’ve Got to Believe in Love” was released in 1985. This song is about believing in the power of love. The narrator wants you to live your life to the fullest and take risks when it comes to love. The song opens with him encouraging people to do something that makes you happy. If the woman he loves is ready to settle down, he will be waiting for her. He doesn’t want her to keep hesitating. He insists that she must believe in love. You can’t fake believing in love. She must put her heart into it. In the next verse, he talks about the woman being with a stranger to prove she is not alone. She can pretend she is happy with him, but she will still be alone. Our narrator can show her how to feel loved. He doesn’t want her to play safe. He wants her to take a leap of faith and believe in him. He wants to be the one who makes her happy.
This song tells a story about taking risks when it comes to love. Van Zant wants listeners to know that they should take a leap of faith when it concerns falling in love. You shouldn’t settle for anyone just so you won’t be alone. This song will open your eyes to love. It may make you a believer of love if you are hesitant about being with someone. This isn’t a country song like our previous entries. This song has a rock beat. The stellar guitar riffs sell the music. It sounds like something Survivor would have recorded back in the 80s. Johnny Van Zant’s vocals sound different on this track. He doesn’t have the grit that he has in our previous entries. He sings in a higher pitch than he does in the other songs. The chorus will grab your attention immediately. This is an underrated song that should be on your playlist.
# 6 – Get What You Got Comin’
“Get What You Got Comin’” is from Van Zant’s second self-titled album. “Get What You Got Comin’” was released in 2001. The song is about karma. You get back what you give. What goes around comes around. People go through things in life. It is the way they handle it that makes a difference. The only way to live is to do the right thing. The narrator is a firm believer in karma. He believes that what goes around comes around. He also talks about not leaving anything to chance because you will get what is coming to you. He wants listeners to be careful how they treat people because it will come back to them one day.
This song tells the story about what happens if you don’t walk the straight and narrow. If you live your life a certain way, it will come back to you. If you are good to people, good things come back to you. The same is true if you treat people badly. Van Zant believes the best way to live is to be mindful of others. This is a message we should all adhere to because we all want good things to come back to us. This is a subject that will never get old because the message is timeless. Karma will always affect people.
The music in this song is rock meets country. This is mainly a rock song with country elements. The musicians did their thing with the music. The music is a mix of old school and new school. The guitar riffs are fire. The Van Zant brothers harmonize in the chorus. The background singers do an amazing job supporting the brothers. They sound soulful in the background.
# 5 – Rage
The next song on our Top 10 Van Zant Songs list is “Rage” from the Brother to Brother album. “Rage” was released in 1998. The song is about trying to break away from the pain of the past. He wants to be set free. He has been hurt in the past. He felt he didn’t have a way back from the pain. He comes from misery. The narrator has been keeping his feelings bottled up. He feels he has no way out. His time is running out. He feels like we are living in a rage of fire. Everyone is drowning because of their rage. He feels like no one has the right to take his rage from him. He feels as if he is about to lose it. He is used to having a lot of rage in his life. The narrator feels as if the world won’t let him live. He is looking for help to control his rage.
This is a haunting song about a man dealing with rage and anger. He deals with a lot. He is having trouble controlling it. He wants help from the anger. This song is perfect for people battling with emotional issues. If you feel as if you can’t control your anger, this song lets you know you are not alone. We all deal with rage at some point in our lives, so this song is relatable to everyone. This track is like getting a pat on the back from a friend. It is the therapy we need to get through our struggles.
With the things that are going on in the world today, people are filled with rage. “Rage” brings us back to the country and rock beat. The music is like traditional country mixed with rock elements. The electric guitar dominates the chorus. The music speeds up by the second chorus which keeps the song from being depressing. We didn’t expect the song to pick up the way it did. It was a pleasant surprise. Johnny Van Zant sounds at home singing this track. His gritty voice works with the beat.
# 4 – That Scares Me
“That Scares Me” is from the My Kind of Country album. “That Scares Me” was released in 2007. The song is about mortality. The protagonist wasn’t afraid to take chances in life. He used to do dangerous things without a care in the world. He used to jump from planes and played dangerous games with trains without worrying about mortality. He felt like he was being a fool, but he didn’t care. His heart beat out of his chest thinking about his past. As the song moves forward, he talks about having a son. His son wants to know about his history. The narrator doesn’t want to tell him about it. He doesn’t want his son to know about the things he did in his past. He thought about the first time his daughter got into a guy’s car for a date. It made him think about how sad his life would be without his wife and kids. He wouldn’t have them if he had continued to live his life carelessly.
This is a contemplative song about living your life dangerously until something gives you a reason to play it safe. His reasons for no longer living the fast life were his wife and children. He couldn’t imagine his life without them. This song is like a cautionary tale about living your life without thinking about others. It teaches you to think about the people you could be leaving behind if you are taking dangerous risks. The lyrics will mean something if you live dangerously. This song is well written and will give you a new perspective on how to live your life. The music is a mix of country and blues. The music fits the subject matter. This is music we would expect to hear in a song like this. The soft beat makes the song sound dramatic. Van Zant stays true to the country theme. Johnny Van Zant’s vocals are soft and blend well with the music. The brothers sound great harmonizing with each other.
# 3 – I’m a Fighter
Coming in at number three on our list is “I’m a Fighter” from Van Zant’s self-titled album. “I’m a Fighter” was released in 1985. This song is about the power of resilience during tough times. The narrator has been pushed around. He doesn’t want to give up. He considers himself a fighter and the challenges he faces are a part of life. It shows in his face that he has been through a lot. Even though he isn’t making progress, he is not losing ground either. He was born on the wrong side and was treated badly. It was hard for him to see a way out. He let his challenges be a motivator to push through his struggles. He found his will to survive when he found the woman he loved. She gave him a reason to keep going. He never feels like a loser because he keeps going no matter what.
This song has a powerful message about resilience. People need the determination to overcome obstacles. It is easy to give up when the world knocks you down. The song encourages you to keep going with your life. If you are feeling down and out about your pain and struggles, this song will be the boost for you to keep going. The music has an 80s rock beat. The guitar riffs are excellent. It sounds like a hard rock song. It may make you want to play air guitar with the band.
The music goes with the theme of the song. It will encourage you to want to fight. Johnny Van Zant sounds like a rockstar as he belts throughout the song. His strong vocals are able to keep up with the loud music. He doesn’t sing this song with the grit that he has on later songs. This is a track that will never get old. You can listen to it whenever you need motivation to keep going.
# 2 – Nobody’s Gonna Tell Me What to Do
“Nobody’s Gonna Tell Me What to Do” is from the Get Right with the Man album. “Nobody’s Gonna Tell Me What to Do” was released in September 2005. This song is about a man who won’t let anyone tell him what to do. He opens the song by talking about his boss giving him orders. His boss was being disrespectful, so he refused to listen to him. The narrator was fed up and decided to leave town. He was grateful for the chance to go. No one was going to tell him what to do. He wants to be someone he would be proud to know. His father passed away without accomplishing his dreams. He refused to do the same thing.
This song tells a story about a man who refuses to be pushed around at a job he didn’t want. This song may be inspirational to anyone who has a boss who doesn’t respect them. The lyrics will be music to your ears. Our narrator does what most of us wish we could do at a job with a boss who disrespects us. Van Zant told a real-life story. They tried something different and it worked. They told a story that can happen to anyone. This is a Southern ballad. It has a traditional country sound. Johnny Van Zant sings this song with anger. He sounds as if he really went through this issue. The chorus is inviting and will stay in your head. Van Zant makes you want to sing this along with the talented artists. This is a track that you may want to hear over and over.
# 1 – Help Somebody
The number one song on our Top 10 Van Zant Songs list is “Help Somebody” from the Get Right with the Man album. “Help Somebody” was released in March 2005. This song is about keeping your head on straight and still having fun. The song opens about the narrator’s grandfather. He was a hardworking man from the backwoods. He believed in doing things for yourself and not relying on anyone else. The narrator’s grandfather taught him an important lesson. He taught him the importance of staying busy and not letting the devil take over his idle mind. He reminds him that he is an American. In the chorus, he talks about not getting too big to help people. He is supposed to stand up for himself and help people who can’t do it. In the next half of the song, the narrator’s grandmother encourages him to follow his dreams. She told him if he believed in something, he should go for it. She feels it is better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you are not. She ends up passing away. She never wanted him to back down from a challenge.
The moral of the song is to help people and to stay true to your beliefs. Van Zant wants to encourage listeners to stay true to themselves. They want listeners to help others. During this time, it is important to hear a song like this. People don’t always want to help others, so it is important to hear a song like this that encourages you to help others. This song gives you hope that people do still care about helping others. This is a message that will resonate with everyone. This is a song that has two messages in one. The messages are positive and need to be heard. This type of song will make you smile while you are listening to it. It will restore your faith in mankind. The music has a country sound. The instrumentation is excellent. Johnny Van Zant vocals are sentimental as he reminisces about his grandparents. The Van Zant brothers have amazing harmony in the chorus. Everything about this song works from the infectious music to the stellar vocals.
Feature Photos – Donnie Van Zant Jon Callas, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Johnny Van Zant – TDC Photography / Shutterstock.com
If You like reading about the Van Zant Brothers check out our articles on their other bands…
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