We love 90s country. The music was great and the videos were almost as good. It was an era when most music videos were short films with a one-song soundtrack. It was a great time for country music fans.
We’ve combed through the almost-endless playlist of country music videos from the time and narrowed it down to ten. So, in no particular order, here are the ten best country music videos from the 90s.
Don’t Take The Girl – Tim McGraw (1994)
This is a great example of both music and music videos from the 90s. A young Tim McGraw performs on one of the most 90s-looking stages ever. To break up the performance vignettes of Johnny and The Girl’s relationship play. It’s a well-acted, beautifully-shot, heartbreaking video and song.
Should’ve Been a Cowboy – Toby Keith (1993)
How fun is this video? Seriously it has everything. We get cowboys, bandits, showdowns, and a gunfight. There’s even a scene where Toby Keith saves a woman from some unsavory characters. It’s like a short and cheesy western flick. Try not to grin while you watch this video. If the western style clips don’t get you, Toby Keith’s ultra-curly mullet will. We miss 90s country but we’re glad some things are in the past. That mullet is one of them.
Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow – Alan Jackson (1990)
This list could have been made up of Alan Jackson videos. From Chattahoochee to Midnight in Montgomery, Jackson had some of the biggest hits and best videos of the decade. This one, however, tells its story in such a subtle way.
Alan Jackson walks into a bar to audition. Nobody wants to give him the time of day. His being there seems like a huge inconvenience for everybody. He takes the stage and starts singing about his dream of being a musician and making it big. By the end of the tune, the bar full of daytime regulars is eating out of the palm of his hand. It’s a fun song and the video is inspirational. It’s hard to beat.
Maybe It Was Memphis – Pam Tillis (1991)
Maybe it’s the gorgeous cinematography, maybe it’s Pam Tillis’ amazing performance of the song that injects so much emotion into every line. Maybe it’s the short and simple vignettes of a couple in love. Whatever it is about this video, it’s amazing.
Check Yes or No – George Strait (1995)
George Strait was the king of 90s country. His neotraditional style really helped set the tone for where country music in the decade would go. He dropped hit after hit and sold out venues around the globe. This video is one of his best.
It’s an incredibly cute love story about a couple that starts dating in elementary school and stays together for the long haul. The highlight of the video, though, is the adult version of the couple. Even though they don’t have any dialog, their on-screen chemistry is spot-on. You can really see the love between the couple.
Goodbye Earl – The Chicks (1999)
Murder ballads have been a staple of country music since the beginning. Songs like “Little Sadie” and “Tom Dooley” can be traced back to the early days of Appalachian folk music. “Goodbye Earl” is a murder ballad with a ton of fun injected into it. The video just accentuates the fun.
It’s not often that a song about domestic abuse and murder is this upbeat. The video features some solid comedic acting and a big dance number. This video also has some great makeup effects. If you haven’t seen this video yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Fancy – Reba McEntire (1990)
Reba McEntire is the queen of 90s country. This might be the best video she ever dropped. The song tells an amazingly inspirational story and the video captures that story flawlessly.
The main character, Fancy Rae Baker, tells how she went from being sold into prostitution by her mother to being a successful artist and actress. Not only is this video very well-made but it also shows off Reba’s acting chops.
Independence Day – Martina McBride (1993)
This video got mixed reviews when it came out because it displayed domestic abuse and murder. It’s an absolutely gorgeous black and white film that shows a young girl dealing with a father who beats her mom.
On Independence Day, the protagonist goes to watch the parade to escape her home and abusive father. While she is gone, her parents have a huge violent fight. The mother burns the house down with her and her abuser inside. The girl comes home to a burning house and is taken sent to foster care.
90s country didn’t shy away from hard topics and this video is an example of that. It might have gotten mixed reviews when it came out but it has aged like wine. Seeing Martina McBride belt the chorus in front of that burning house is more than enough to earn this video a place on the list.
Seminole Wind – John Anderson (1992)
This video doesn’t tell as much of a story as other 90s country music videos do. It’s the artsiest feeling video on this list. It manages to feel like an arthouse short film without being pretentious. That, in and of itself, is a feat. The video contains beautiful shots of the Everglades and the wind moving through them. There’s something about this song and video that is too cool to pass up.
Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox – Joe Diffie (1993)
Joe Diffie is another one of those 90s country stars who could probably fill out this entire list with his videos.
Like the song, the video goes from somber to fun in the blink of an eye. It states with a couple of guys who are really unsure about what they’re doing. They break into a funeral home, steal their buddy’s body, and haul him down to the bar. They end up propping him up next to the jukebox of his favorite bar and leaving him there. It goes from a crime thriller to a honky-tonk version of “Weekend at Bernie’s.” You can’t lose with Joe Diffie and this video is an example of why.