Reintroducing: The Best Hit Songs Of …

Well, it’s about time.

After months – heck, years – of saying I was going to do it, I’m happy to finally announce that the “Best Hit Songs” feature is back in full swing, starting very soon.

I mean, not that it ever really left, really. But I’ve been very slow on the draw about getting to new editions for far too long, and there’s two reasons for that. One, they take a lot of time; it’s by far my most time-consuming feature, but also one of my most rewarding when completed and done right, and one that y’all always seem to enjoy. Two, I’ve mentioned numerous times how much I wince at the earliest editions of this series, enough to where I had always planned to redo them … only, I never got around to it, and there’s several more that are just sitting in my backlog collecting dust because I’ve felt like I’ve needed to put some distance between me and the feature out of a fear that people will read those old posts. I don’t want to say other features like Fifteen Favorites or Juke Joint Jumpin’ were meant as replacements, but they helped fill that role of talking about old songs in a more timely and less stressful manner.

After finally just going through with it and taking down a lot of those old features, though, I’m happy to say that I’m rebooting them, and this time with a more consistent plan and, hopefully, in a more timely manner. From now, instead of examining random years from random decades, I’m going to examine every year from 1950 to 2009 in reverse chronological order, this time focusing more on a decade’s theme and sound and being more of a historical deep-dive than before, with the ultimate goal being to compile a snapshot of each decade with a collective list of each year’s best hits (in other words, after 2009 I’ll examine 2008 and so on and so forth, and after reexamining 2000, I will compile a list of the best hits of the 2000s – and then move on to the ‘90s, and then the ’80s, and then … you get it).

Of course, we should address the semantics first and foremost. For one, this will be pressing on simply as “favorite hit songs” rather than “best,” even though I’d actually like to, ultimately, compile a guide to every decade for country fans to enjoy and explore later on down the road. As always, my goal is to be objective in my approach but subjective in examining what connects with me versus what doesn’t. I won’t be alone, either. Andy has agreed to join me to tackle various years, including our first look at our favorite hit songs of 2009 coming soon. And hey, you never know who else may join me!

Now, I should mention that not all past editions are down, nor are all past editions down right now gone for good. I kept ones that I was fairly confident on upon reexamination, and for others where my changes may just come down to simple re-ordering rather than a seismic shift worth noting, they’ll be put back up when the time comes. Just don’t take those rankings or even these new ones all that seriously. I tend to settle less firmly on my opinions on individual songs and singles, and it’s all in good fun anyway.

After carefully planning out the first few editions of this, I’m happy to say I’m excited for this and ready to approach this feature with a more careful hand this time around, making sure to take my time to deliver something worth enjoying rather than just rushing them out for the sake of – they may still take a lot of time to compile, even for years I’ve explored once before, but I’ll be more eager to explore them instead of trying to distance myself from the feature.

OK, that was a lot. If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to exploring country music history once again in a more casual and all too fun way. Hope you’ll hop in the time machine with me.

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