Jason Aldean, ‘1994’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Jason Aldean's '1994' lyrics harken to the days when country music was all about big trucks and long hair -- and, of course, legendary stars like Joe Diffie. With so many 90s references in the song, you'd never imagine that one of the songwriters behind the words was only four years old in '94.
Even though Thomas Rhett wasn't born until 1990, his father, the legendary Rhett Akins, exposed him to all kinds of music from a very young age. Even as a little kid, Rhett recalls that Diffie was one of his favorite artists.
In fact, Rhett still turns to Diffie's music for inspiration in songwriting sessions. That's exactly what happened in 2012 when he and his friends Luke Laird and Barry Dean were working on a slow song about a couple enjoying some time in their favorite romantic spot. With Diffie playing in the background, the guys decided to change directions and work on something with a faster tempo.
Soon, the '1994' lyrics came together.
"It was one of those crazy things where we wrote it and demoed it, it was cut two weeks later and then it was on Jason's record," Thomas tells the Boot. "Jason heard it when Luke [Laird] was playing some songs for his producer, Michael Knox, at ASCAP, and he happened to stop by. He started listening to the songs that were being pitched for him, and I was told that '1994' was the only one he asked to hear again."
The very next day, Rhett found out that Aldean was going to cut the song and that he planned to make it the third single on his 'Night Train' album. "I'm still soaking in the fact that Jason not only cut one of my songs but put it out as a single. It's been a really cool experience," the songwriter adds.
The '1994' lyrics are rife with references to Diffie, including shoutouts to some of his most popular singles:
"1994, Joe Diffie comin’ out my radio / I’m just a country boy with a farmer’s tan / So help me girl I’ll be your ‘Pickup Man’ / How ’bout a night to remember and a fifth of Goose / ‘Bout to bust out my ‘Honky Tonk Attitude’ / A little feel good you ain’t never felt before / I’m talkin’ 1994."
Aldean was a high school junior in 1994, and he dished to Billboard that the '1994' lyrics allow him to recall some memories from the good old days.
"I was a junior in high school in '94 and Joe Diffie was huge," the superstar says. "I remember I went to the Cherry Blossom Street Party in Macon [Ga.], with Kenny Chesney on one stage and Joe Diffie on the other stage, and there was 5,000 people watching Joe Diffie and about 500 watching Kenny Chesney."
Apparently plenty of country music fans welcome the opportunity to recall the '90s through '1994.' The song has spent six weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, climbing to the 13th slot.