100 Best Drinking Songs – Part 8 of 10
This jaunty little number from 1969 finds one of the more forgotten members of the Country Music Hall of Fame wishing his best weather and harvest possible to all the vineyard owners out in California. See, he's "got the biggest heartache of the year," and he's going to need a whole lot of wine, every night, to help him forget his sorrows.
Fender's daring blend of country, tejano and blues musical styles was first released way back in 1959, but became a hit more than 15 years later when re-recorded for his 1975 album 'Before the Next Teardrop Falls.' Since then, countless numbers of sad-sacks have played this downtrodden anthem on pub jukeboxes while downing countless numbers of warm, flat beers.
This regretful morning-after ballad from the country-rock superstars' 1973 album 'Desperado' wasn't one of their biggest hits at first. But over time, generations of fans -- perhaps after experiencing the dawning of a new day while still drunk from the night before -- have sung its praises. Alan Jackson's one of those fans, covering this for the 1994 tribute LP 'Common Thread.'
"And in this corner, weighing one liter, with a record of ten bazillion and zero, the undisputed champion of regretful actions and forgotten nights, from Mexico ... Jose Cuervo!" Now, truthfully, Byrd's tough enough to go the distance with the titular tequila in this hit from 2002, but seeing as how he's lost track of numbers already, we're guessing this one's headed for a TKO.
You know that guy at the bar who gets a few in him and suddenly starts talking about real justice and how the government should work? Well, Keith gets in that mode on this addled manifesto from 2002's 'Unleashed.' Willie Nelson turns up to help Keith vow to fight "evil forces," and they agree to split the whiskey amongst themselves, leaving the beer for the horses.
Back in 1997, Garth Brooks released his seventh studio album, 'Sevens,' and made two important discoveries. First and most importantly, it's hard to hold on to your problems if you've got a pina colada in each hand. Second, if you hire an art person that knows their way around Photoshop, you don't have to look like a guy who double-fists their drinks on your album cover.
[Deep, newsman voice] "Shlitz was marketed as 'the beer that made Milwaukee famous' in numerous ad campaigns, leading country-rock pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis to pull back the curtain and reveal just one of the alcohol-fueled personal tragedies that paid the cost of this corporate success story." (Sorry, thought we were '60 Minutes' for a second there.)
Shelly West wakes up with way more questions than answers the day after a date with her Mexican buddy Jose Cuervo (who we've met a few times already on this list) on this track from her 1983 album 'West by West.' Questions like: Whose shirt am I wearing? Did I kiss all the cowboys? Dance on tables? One thing she's sure of: She had too much tequila last night.
The 1983 country chart-topping success of this track by Johnny Lee raises one important question: If he could figure out that country audiences would love this cover of Floyd Dixon's mid-'50s R&B song, how come the Blues Brothers, who also covered the tune, didn't know enough to play it at Bob's Country Bunker?
Many of the songs on this list are humorous, or at least tongue-in-cheek, when talking about the dangers of drinking. But Brown's protagonist is clearly not concerned with short-term problems like hangovers or spending too much money. In fact, things are so bad he's asking Jesus himself to reverse his famous Bible deed and remove wine's temptation from his life.