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Country music has sure changed from 1985 to now - Billboard country album charts from Nov. 1985, now

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by BradOlson, May 4, 2013.

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  1. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    November 16, 1985
    1. Ronnie Milsap-Greatest Hits Vol. 2
    2. Hank Williams, Jr. - Five-O
    3. Alabama - 40 Hour Week
    4. Rosanne Cash-Rhythm and Romance
    5. Statler Brothers-Pardners In Rhyme
    6. The Highwaymen-Highwayman
    7. Gary Morris-Anything Goes
    8. Exile-Hang On To Your Heart
    9. George Strait-Something Special
    10. Forester Sisters-S/T

    1. Blake Shelton-Based On a True Story
    2. The Band Perry-Pioneer
    3. Florida-Georgia Line-Here's To The Good Times
    4. Tate Stevens-S/T
    5. Brad Paisley-Wheelhouse
    6. Luke Bryan-Spring Break...Here To Party
    7. Taylor Swift-Red
    8. Eric Church-Caught In The Act: Live
    9. Jason Aldean-Night Train
    10. Eric Church-Chief

    In 1985, there was a blend of solo artists and vocal groups/bands, while the top 10 right now, all solo artists except for The Band Perry and Florida-Georgia Line, and there was more traditional styled country music on the charts in 1985 than there is right now. Lots of truly great music on the 1985 chart as well, IMO.
    sami and hodgo like this.
  2. houston

    houston Forum Resident

    Dallas, Texas, USA
    big change! it went from a Country chart to.... um, not sure what to call it now :confused:
    hodgo likes this.
  3. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    Exactly right. On this 1985 chart you had Hank, Jr. to the soulful country voices of Gary Morris and Ronnie Milsap to the harmonies of Exile, Forester Sisters, Alabama, the Highwaymen, the Statler Brothers, to Rosanne Cash and George Strait.
    hodgo likes this.
  4. DrAftershave

    DrAftershave A Wizard, A True Star

    Los Angeles, CA
    It sure as hell ain't Country.
  5. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    I do like quite a bit of what is on today's charts but it doesn't mean that it is as country as 1985.
  6. Glenpwood

    Glenpwood Hyperactive!

    Every generation says that about the one before it.... go pull the 1965 Country albums chart and all those artists would likely complain that most of those on the 85 chart weren't "country" either.

    Another note....
    4 of the acts on the 85 chart had crossover Top 20 pop hits (I'm exempting George Strait since MCA has never gone after Top 40 radio on his singles and only charts on the top 40 due to how Billboard compiles the overall Hot 100 now vs. then and Exile went country after their pop/pseudo-Disco career died but if we count them we'd be up to 6 acts on that chart with top 40 hits) The Statlers, Alabama, Ronnie, and Roseanne all flirted with pop success. Does that make them not as country as Hank?

    On the current chart Band Perry, Florida Georgia Line (with guest Nelly), Taylor, and Jason (with Kelly Clarkson) have all worked singles to pop radio successfully recently so in certains ways things haven't changed over the years and the "crossover" Country movement is still alive and well....
    EasterEverywhere, Driver 8 and Grant like this.
  7. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    Indeed, in certain ways things haven't changed over the years. They hyped a lot of the 1985 chart artists as the "new traditionalists" though.
  8. keef00

    keef00 Forum Resident

    I don't think the "new traditionalist" movement had really hit in 1985. George Strait is the only artist on that chart that fell under the banner. Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam and Steve Earle didn't release albums until 1986, and guys like Alan Jackson and Clint Black didn't come along until a few years after that.
  9. RoyalScam

    RoyalScam Luckless Pedestrian

    And then...came Garth...
  10. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    John Schneider, Ricky Skaggs and John Anderson also had hits during the early-mid 80s, pre-Randy Travis. The albums weren't in the top 10 at the time but these 3 were new traditionalist artists.
  11. beatlematt

    beatlematt Forum Resident

    Gadsden, Alabama
    Don't go ruining revisionist histoy. Don't forget Lyle Lovett on that list!
    BluesOvertookMe likes this.
  12. throbbin tower

    throbbin tower Forum Resident

    My daughter was watching one of those country awards shows not long ago, and it seemed like they were trying to be everything to everybody.
    Heavy metal sounding guitars, loud drums, big KISS- like production on stage, etc.
    It was weird...
    T'mershi Duween and parkmebike like this.
  13. jgreen

    jgreen Well-Known Member

    St. Louis,MO.
    Marty Stewart and Travis Tritt among others were New Trads. I liked the 80s country, it went pure pop with suburban lyrics in the 90s. It's as bad everything else now.
    hodgo likes this.
  14. Kkfan

    Kkfan Forum Resident

    Music City, USA
    Nothing in that "Current" list is country, IMO. :)
  15. MiracleAndWonder

    MiracleAndWonder Well-Known Member

    Louisville, KY
    Most of today's "country" sounds like very generic rock. I was in a shop that was tuned to a local radio station and all I heard were really cheesy generic sounding artists who sounded like Daughtry and Nickelback... come to find out, it was the country station.

    Not sure what has sold out worse... country and its sudden wanting to "rock" (despite the bands they try to mimic are acts that aren't popular at all amongst rock fans) or what Adult Contemporary has turned into. When you hear the horrible garbage that "lite and easy" stations play now... you seriously want to yearn for the days of Billy Ocean and Phil Collins. Today's "soccer moms" think they are so much cooler today with their Maroon 5 and Katy Perry than the moms of previous generations were with Rod Stewart and Phil Collins, but honestly, they're WORSE.
    T'mershi Duween likes this.
  16. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    There were not really that many country crossovers between 1983 (the time of Kenny Rogers' Eyes That See In The Dark Album)-1992. The biggest exception is Restless Heart's I'll Still Be Loving You on the Hot 100.
  17. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    What I meant by at the time is the Nov. 16, 1985 chart being spotlighted.
  18. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Silver Creek, NY
    Of all the people on the old list, I think George Strait hung around on the charts and radio until fairly recently. Back in the 80s, weren't there people complaining that Eddie Rabbitt was too pop to be real country? And back in the 70s, weren't some country artists appalled that John Denver was labeled as country? I even remember Dolly Parton taking some lumps.

    That said, I did like Eddie Rabbitt and Dolly Parton's material back then.
  19. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    George is still having hits on the country charts with Give It All You've Got Tonight having gone Top 10 as a single, but in album sales, Blake is #1 right now.
  20. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    It is true with Eddie Rabbitt, John Denver and Dolly at the time what you said. BTW, Eddie started having country hits in the 1970s.
  21. Jackson

    Jackson Forum Resident

    MA, USA
    I can't find the exact quote now, but i think it was Willie Nelson who said ''today's mainstream country is yesterday's bad rock''.
  22. vanmeterannie

    vanmeterannie Forum Resident

    I began working in country radio in the summer of '85 and stayed a couple of years; regardless of how George Strait and John Anderson seem now, I clearly - unquestionably - remember Dwight Yoakam and Randy Travis hitting roughly about the same time, and seeming very different than what was being played. It may be because of the songs and not the artists, because I don't think there were things like "1982" and "On the Other Hand" on the radio, and really hadn't been for a while. Our PD at the time had been seeing country - Lee Greenwood, Gary Morris, etc. - as a way to reach a 30+ demographic, and had even started playing old Carpenters records and such from the '70s trying to bring in an aging pop audience prior to those records breaking.

    I also remember a co-worker telling me "Honky Tonk Man" (which I loved) would "stall about 32 and disappear, because records like that always do," and the PD telling me about "On the Other Hand" having come in first prior to "1982" and being pitched because it was "too redneck."
  23. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    In other words vanmeterannie, you have memories of that 1985 country chart. I love Lee Greenwood and Gary Morris's music to this very day just as much as I love stuff such as Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam.
  24. clhboa

    clhboa Forum Resident

    Back in the 80's I hated the MOR stuff like Gary Morris and Lee Greenwood. I didn't have any use for the easy listening crap Eddie Rabbit or Kenny Rogers was recording at the time either. I was working at a record store when the "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc..." promo showed up. As soon as "Honky Tonk Man" came through the store's speakers both mine and my co-worker's heads snapped to attention. This was the type of country music I had dreamed would be made again. No compromises and proud to be HILLBILLY (which the industry had been trying to distance it self from for years). And to top it off he wore a Nudie suit! It couldn't get much cooler than that.
  25. jmcgoldrick

    jmcgoldrick Forum Resident

    Moore, OK
    That's interesting, I have never heard that.

    I always say that new country music is rock music for people who don't really like rock music.
    EasterEverywhere, Kkfan and Jackson like this.
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