Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Songs
Guilty pleasure songs are songs you’d never list as all-time favorites, but when they begin playing on the radio you find yourself looking around, rolling up the windows of the car and cranking the volume to 12… These songs aren’t bad, but they attract a significant amount of criticism for being … quirky.
Our list of Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Songs come from the the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and today. From the Oak Ridge Boys to Tim McGraw to Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney, country music’s biggest hitmakers have produced songs that are more fan-favorites than genre-crossing smashes. Some are funny, some are goofy, some celebrate the inner-redneck in all of us. There’s no need to be ashamed of loving any of these tracks any longer.
Trace Adkins, ‘Honky Tonk Badonkadonk’
The big man’s hit from 2005 comes in at No. 10 because it was almost too big of a hit to be included. Perhaps more than any song on this list of guilty pleasure songs, fans in and out of country music got the joke and embraced this rowdy country-rocker with the outrageous video. Trace Adkins would later try to capture the same magic in ‘Swing,’ a song that just doesn’t hold up to this classic.
Cowboy Troy, ‘I Play Chicken With the Train’
With lyrics like “Now, big and black, clickty clack / And I make the train jump the track like that,” Cowboy Troy‘s 2005 single was essentially his autobiography, wrapped in thick, guitar-driven, John Rich production. Country radio wasn’t quite ready for the hick-hopper, but fans of the Big and Rich sound loved what he brought to the genre.
Oak Ridge Boys, ‘Elvira’
Honestly, who hasn’t tried matching Richard Sterban’s “ba-oom papa oom papa mow mow“? ‘Elvira,’ the Oak Ridge Boys’ 1981 chart-topper, sounds silly by today’s standards, and frankly it was a little goofy then as well. But it’s such a lovable performance one can’t help but smile while listening to these four men sing.
Shania Twain, ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’
‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’ is the ultimate guilty pleasure song for men. Raise your hand, fellas, if you’ve ever shouted out “Man! I feel like a woman” while driving 70 in a 55MPH zone. It’s OK… Shania Twain‘s infectious hit from 1997 is somehow empowering to men as well. And if you still feel a little funny about it, watch her music video.
Tim McGraw, ‘Truck Yeah’
Tim McGraw‘s 2011 hit ‘Truck Yeah’ provides an excited answer to every good suggestion. “Wanna go get some nachos?” “TRUCK YEAH!” “Wanna skip work and go to Vegas?” “TRUCK YEAH!” The song is loud and proud and everything people who try to stereotype country music and its fans hate. Which is pretty much why we love it.
Taylor Swift, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’
At least one member of the ToC Staff listened to this song over 40 times in the first few days of its release. While it wasn’t a huge radio hit for country, it’s undeniably catchy. Taylor Swift‘s lead single from ‘Red’ is built on a huge hook that digs in and never leaves. Swift haters can insult the song all they want. We still listen to it loud and proud (with our headphones on).
Kenny Chesney, ‘She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy’
This wasn’t Kenny Chesney’s first hit — in fact, it didn’t even get to the Top 10. But ‘She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy’ became his first concert anthem, one he still includes in today’s live shows. It’s unlike any of his other songs, but still one of his most cherished by fans. We country fans love our tractors!
Big & Rich, ‘Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)’
Big and Rich began a movement when they released ‘Save a Horse …’ in 2004. The duo embraced loud and ugly in a way that was shocking. Rock guitars, a rap breakdown and more-than-suggestive lyrics make this song the purest OMG moment on this list of guilty pleasure songs. It was far more influential that its Top 20 chart ranking would suggest.
Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘Achy Breaky Heart’
No song takes more criticism than the one that made Billy Ray Cyrus famous in 1992. ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ is a punching bag for everything people regret about the era: the mullet, tight jeans on men, line dancing and the shift in country music to a more sexualized format. Is it really that bad? We say no way!
Toby Keith, ‘Red Solo Cup’
Toby Keith admits this song is stupid, but “stupid” sold over two million singles and gathered nearly 20 million clicks on YouTube. It’s a silly, tongue-in-cheek tribute to a receptacle that every country fan has relied on at least once. It tops this Guilty Pleasure Songs list for being the most ridiculous and most successful hit of the 10. Turn it up loud now: “Red solo cup / I fill you up / Let’s have a party / Let’s have a party.”