SOMEBODY ELSE’S HANDY TEN (Country Music in the Eighties)

David Cantwell has gently taken Pitchfork to task for putting out a list of 200 essential albums from the 80s and not including a single country LP. I like his list a lot. If anyone is interested in catching up with the dawn of what, to date, is country music’s last golden age, you couldn’t do better than to start here.

My two favorite artists from the decade (Patty Loveless and George Strait) are, unsurprisingly, represented–but the list got me thinking about my favorite country records from the 80s that nobody talks about and which also aren’t on David’s list. Loveless’s “Fly Away” has still never been posted to YouTube. So I’ll settle for George. No worries. He’ll do.

NOTE: My other relevant favorite nobody talks about is Dwight Yoakam’s “South of Cincinnati” which, with the genders reversed, is sufficiently close to my current station in life that I can hardly listen to it–but the album did make David’s alternate picks. If you listen at the link, just remember to thank God for small favors.

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