Garth Brooks’ talent for combining traditional country storytelling, the grandeur of an energizing performance, and technically profound music make Brooks a cross-over hit that’s unrivaled.
Beyond reigning as the country music king in the ’90s, Brooks continues to dominate as an artist to this day. While he has decades of hits in his catalog, here are 10 of his most underrated songs.
“Pushing Up Daisies” (Scarecrow – 2001)
“Pushing Up Daisies” is one of Scarecrow‘s nostalgic nods to his Garth Brooks roots. Written by John Hadley, Kevin Welch, and Gary Scruggs, the vivid imagery of pushing up daisies is a way for Brooks to be lighthearted as he contemplates life, death, and leaving your past in the rearview mirror.
“Wolves” (No Fences – 1990)
Off his 1990 No Fences album, “Wolves” sounds like a quintessential country song with its lyrics but has a strong pop melody that’s impossible not to fall in love with.
“Every Now and Then” (The Chase – 1992)
In many ways, “Every Now and Then” feels like a blend of “Unanswered Prayers,” “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” and “What She’s Doin’ Now.” It’s a classic Brooks tune with a mid-tempo beat as Brooks reminisces on an afternoon stroll through the park.
“Same Old Story” (No Fences – 1990)
Written by longtime Garth Brooks collaborator Tony Arata, “Same Old Story” is a heartbreaking song that perfectly fits Brooks. In the song, he’s looking to end things with his lover as gently as he can, which is the same thing his love attempts to do.
“Everytime That It Rains” (Garth Brooks – 1989)
“Everytime That It Rains” is as traditionalist as anything from the ’90s country era. Brooks’ longtime use of nostalgia in his songwriting appears in this song about a relationship, in this instance, a one night fling.
“The Red Strokes” (In Pieces – 1993)
Despite only being released as a single in Europe, “The Red Strokes” was one of Brooks’s few songs with a music video. The song effortlessly pulls you in in the beginning, then cascades into a high energy chorus. Lines like “steam on a window, salt in a kiss” are as vivid as they are relatable.
“Cold Shoulder” (Ropin’ the Wind – 1991)
“There’s a fire burnin’ bright, at our house tonight” is maybe Garth Brooks’ best opening line. “Cold Shoulder” is yet another tune that takes listeners on a journey through Brooks’ mind. “This old highway is like a woman sometimes. She can be your best friend, but she’s the real jealous kind” is a classic gem few have rivaled.
“The Cowboy Song” (In Pieces – 1993)
Songs like “The Cowboy Song” from his album, In Pieces, are reminders that Brooks is the best artist to deliver traditional cowboy parables. . Initially written by Roy Robinson, the track captures the authenticity of old-timey cattle ranch life. It gives various callbacks to classic standards like “Strawberry Roan,” “Old Joe,” Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace.”
“In Lonesome Dove” (Ropin’ the Wind – 1991)
“In Lonesome Dove,” Garth Brooks tells the story of the authentic grit of the Old West. The mandolin and fiddle are the perfect touches to contrast the rushing chorus. But Brooks adds a moment of restraint— leaving you wanting more as you listen.
I Don’t Have To Wonder (Sevens – 1997)
Brooks’ darker pieces, “I Don’t Have To Wonder,” is written by Shawn Camp and Taylor Dunn. The ballad introduces you to a divorced man sitting outside the church as his ex-wife marries another man. He’s upset, depressed, and questioning everything in his life. At the bridge, the story turns when he throws himself in after tossing his old wedding ring and giving up for the last time.