Top 10 Garth Brooks Songs
Garth Brooks and his songs introduced country music to many new fans in the ‘90s. In addition to outselling every other country artist on the planet, Brooks also raised the bar for live concerts and the way artists promoted themselves. The singer continuously gives back through charities, like his Teammates For Kids Foundation, is kind to fans and has been known to keep ticket prices low — and he will go down in history as one of the greatest artists of all time, out of all formats of music. From ‘The Dance’ to ‘Much Too Young,’ this is our list of the Top 10 Garth Brooks Songs that we feel best define his amazing career in music.
‘Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)’
Starting our list of the Top 10 Garth Brooks songs is the tune that introduced Troyal Garth Brooks to the world. ‘Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)’ was the first single from the Oklahoma hopeful, released by Capitol Records in 1989 — ironically the same label that his mother, Colleen Carroll, recorded for in the 1950s. Brooks' first Top 10 single also introduced the world to another artist, Chris LeDoux. After he name-checked the rodeo musician in the song, LeDoux was also signed to Capitol Records.
‘We Shall Be Free’
Like many other successful songwriters and performers, Garth Brooks wrote and recorded songs that inspired, encouraged, and brought awareness to social issues. Brooks penned ‘We Shall Be Free’ with Stephanie Davis after the 1992 L.A. riots. The song imagines a world where every man is free, addressing issues like homophobia, racism and freedom of religion. According to the liner notes of his ‘Hits’ album, Brooks says, “'We Shall Be Free' is definitely and easily the most controversial song I have ever done. A song of love, a song of tolerance from someone who claims not to be a prophet but just an ordinary man.”
From ‘Ropin’ the Wind’ (1992)
1992’s ‘The River,’ co-written by Garth Brooks and Victoria Shaw, was a highlight from his ground-breaking ‘Ropin’ The Wind’ album. The album made history as the first country album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts. The name Garth Brooks suddenly became much bigger; now he would be placed alongside mega-stars like Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley as one of the biggest American music makers in history, all without having any single played on modern pop radio.
‘More Than a Memory’
Considered a comeback song by many Garth Brooks fans, 2007’s ‘More Than a Memory’ gave the semi-retired performer his first No. 1 hit since 1998’s ‘To Make You Feel My Love.’ While the superstar took time off to raise his girls in the early 2000s, this single was a reminder that while Brooks may have been gone from radio, he was not forgotten — and has since become one of the top Garth Brooks songs.
‘Standing Outside the Fire’
In 1993, Garth Brooks wrote the inspirational song ‘Standing Outside the Fire’ with Jenny Yates. The emotional video featured a boy living with Down syndrome and his triumphant struggle to participate in a school athletic program. The song received positive attention from Special Olympics athletes and inspired many people living with disabilities to jump in the fire of life and give it all they’ve got. Brooks delivers this song with such passion that it’s a shoe-in on our list of the Top 10 Garth Brooks Songs.
‘The Thunder Rolls’
‘The Thunder Rolls’ was one of a handful of Garth Brooks songs that was surrounded by controversy. The song and the video vividly tell the story of domestic violence, with the video going one step further to include a murder scene. Although Brooks' intentions were to promote awareness of the issue, TNN and CMT banned the video. Even with the lack of television support, his mission was accomplished, as many fundraisers were set up around the song to assist battered women’s shelters.
From the hit album ‘No Fences,’ Garth Brooks delivered yet another compelling song about love and life. 1990’s ‘Unanswered Prayers’ tackled the bittersweet subject of the choices that we make along the way. The song follows a man who has an encounter with his ex-girlfriend. As he introduces her to his wife, he realizes that the heartbreak and sadness of their failed relationship led to something better. In 2010, the song was turned into a made-for-TV movie for the Lifetime Television Network.
‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’
Garth Brooks has a way with making a listener stop and think about life after listening to the lyrics of many of his songs. 1989’s ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’ features some great reminders about life that we take for granted all too often. The overall message of the song is one that we just can’t hear enough: tell that someone that you love just what you’re thinking of, in case tomorrow never comes. Released as his second single (and becoming his first No.1 hit), it’s a perfect fit on our list of the Top 10 Garth Brooks Songs.
‘Friends in Low Places’
The follow up to ‘The Dance,’ 1990’s ‘Friends In Low Places’ established Garth Brooks as a superstar. A favorite of his explosive energetic stage shows, Brooks’ song was also a favorite from college campuses to small town honky-tonks. The song was penned by DeWayne Blackwell, the same man that wrote the honky-tonk classic ‘I’m Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home’ for David Frizzell. It’s worth noting that Mark Chesnutt had also included this song on his debut album, ‘Too Cold at Home,’ in 1990. Sadly, the song was used as the ‘B’ side to one of his singles.
'The Dance’ was the last release from Garth Brooks’ debut album. The 1989 album sold a good amount of units, fueled by his first three singles, but after the release of ‘The Dance’ in 1990, sales doubled from 500,000 to one million within a month. The powerful impact of the lyrics, accompanied by a thought-provoking video, set the stage for ‘Garthmania.’ If you have ever attended a Garth Brooks concert and heard the audience singing the lyrics louder than him, you know why it’s at No. 1 on our list of the Top 10 Garth Brooks Songs.