Saving Country Music’s Greatest Albums of All Time

SCMLOGOLAYERS-001So here it is ladies and gentlemen, a list of what Saving Country Music considers to be the “Greatest Country Music Albums of All Time.” Please understand numerous factors went into this list, but the most important determining factor was influence. This isn’t our “favorite” albums, but appeal factored into this as well. You may think Garth Brooks is a dunder head for example, but the man sold as many albums than the Beatles so he probably belongs here. This is taking into consideration the wide panoram of country music, not just classic or traditional country. And as always, the aim of this exercise is sharing, and so if you see a glaring omission or would do a switch-aroo on the placement of certain titles, feel free to offer your insight in the comments section below.

SCM’s Greatest Underground Country Albums of All Time

Also note this does not include greatest hits (so yeah, Hank Williams mostly released singles), compilations (so no Wanted: The Outlaws), soundtracks (no O Brother Where Art Thou), or “crossover” albums (no Stardust). It does however include live albums. And the albums need to be really country, or really influence the founding of a country subgenre.

  1. willie-nelson-red-headed-strangerWillie Nelson- Red Headed Stranger
  2. Johnny Cash – Live At Folsom Prison
  3. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Will The Circle Be Unbroken
  4. Waylon Jennings – Honky Tonk Heroes
  5. Ray Charles – Modern Sounds of Country & Western Music
  6. The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo
  7. Johnny Cash – American Recordings (Take Your Pick)
  8. Patsy Cline – Showcase
  9. Johnny Cash – Live at San Quentin
  10. Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball
  11. emmylou-harris-wrecking-ballGram Parsons – Grievous Angel
  12. Kris Kristofferson – Kristofferson (later Me & Bobby McGee)
  13. John Hartford – Aereo-Plain
  14. The Grateful Dead- Workingman’s Dead/American Beauty
  15. Garth Brooks – No Fences
  16. Dolly Parton – Coat of Many Colors
  17. Loretta Lynn – Coal Miner’s Daughter
  18. Merle Haggard – Mama Tried
  19. Roger Miller – The Return of Roger Miller
  20. Bill Monroe – Bean Blossom
  21. The Louvin Brothers – Satan Is Real
  22. bill-monroe-bean-blossomJerry Jeff Walker – Viva Terlingua
  23. Hank Williams III – Straight to Hell
  24. Dwight Yoakam – Guitars, Cadillacs, etc. etc.
  25. Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline
  26. Bobby Bare – Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends, & Lies
  27. Uncle Tupelo – No Depression
  28. Townes Van Zandt – Live at the Old Quarter
  29. Lyle Lovett – Pontiac
  30. Marty Robbins – Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs
  31. The Dixie Chicks – Home
  32. Willie Nelson – Shotgun Willie
  33. willie_nelson_shotgun_willieWaylon Jennings – The Ramblin’ Man
  34. Merle Haggard – Swinging Doors
  35. Wayne “The Train” Hancock – Thunderstorms & Neon Signs
  36. Steve Earle – Guitar Town
  37. Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
  38. Dolly Parton – The Grass Is Blue
  39. Waylon Jennings – Dreaming My Dreams
  40. George Jones – I Am What I Am
  41. Hank Williams Jr. – The Pressure Is On
  42. Johnny Paycheck – Take This Job and Shove It
  43. johnny-paycheck-take-this-job-and-shove-itJunior Brown – Guit With It
  44. Roger Miller – Roger and Out
  45. Waylon Jennings – Ol’ Waylon
  46. Willie Nelson – Phases and Stages
  47. Kellie Pickler – 100 Proof
  48. Garth Brooks – Ropin’ the Wind
  49. Emmylou Harris- Roses in the Snow
  50. Randy Travis – Storms of Life
  51. Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose
  52. The Highwaymen – Highwaymen
  53. the-highwaymenMerle Haggard – Okie From Muskogee (live)
  54. Tammy Wynette – Stand By Your Man
  55. Dale Watson – Live in London…England
  56. David Allan Coe –Rides Again
  57. Jamey Johnson – That Lonesome Song
  58. Kenny Rogers – The Gambler
  59. George Strait – Blue Clear Sky
  60. Guy Clark – Old No. 1
  61. Willis Alan Ramsey – Willis Alan Ramsey
  62. Ween – 12 Golden Country Classics
  63. ween-12-golden-country-greatsDavid Allan Coe – Penitentiary Blues
  64. The Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces
  65. Clint Black – Killin’ Time
  66. Hank Snow – The Southern Cannonball
  67. Tammy Wynette – D-I-V-O-R-C-E
  68. Alan Jackson – A Lot About Livin’
  69. Dwight Yoakam – Buenas Noches From A Lonely Room
  70. Billy Joe Shaver – Old Five & Dimers Like Me
  71. Hank Williams III – Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’
  72. Ray Price – Night Life
  73. hellbound-glory-old-highs-new-lowsJohnny Paycheck – 11 Months, 29 Days
  74. Bob Willis & His Texas Playboys – For The Last Time
  75. Garth Brooks – In Pieces
  76. LeAnn Rimes – Blue
  77. Miranda Lambert – Revolution
  78. Brooks & Dunn – Brand New Man
  79. Kris Kristofferson – The Silver Tongued Devil And I
  80. Hank Williams Jr. – Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound
  81. Flying Burrito Brothers – Gilded Palace of Sin
  82. Terry Allen – Lubbock
  83. Son Volt – Trace
  84. Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt – Trio
  85. Hellbound Glory – Old Highs and New Lows
  86. Vern Gosdin – Chiseled in Stone
  87. Keith Whitley – Don’t Close Your Eyes
  88. Buck Owens – Live At Carnegie Hall
  89. Patty Loveless – Mountain Soul
  90. Robert Earl Keen – West Textures
  91. 357 String Band – Fire & Hail
  92. James Hand – The Truth Will Set You Free
  93. Randy Travis – 8 x 10
  94. Jerry Reed – When You’re Hot You’re Hot
  95. Unknown Hinson – The Future Is Unknown
  96. Hayes Carll – Trouble In Mind
  97. Jason Boland & The Stragglers – Comal County Blue
  98. Marty Stuart – The Ghost Train Studio ‘B’ Sessions