25+ Best ’80s Country Songs (Must Listen)

The 80s marked a significant era for country music, often referred to as the “Urban Cowboy” era. During this time, country music experienced a surge in popularity and crossed over into the mainstream, gaining a broader audience beyond its traditional fan base.

Several factors contributed to the popularity of country music in the 80s. One key element was the release of the 1980 film “Urban Cowboy,” starring John Travolta.

The movie showcased the country music scene and sparked a nationwide fascination with country music and the cowboy lifestyle. This led to an increased interest in country music among urban audiences.

The importance of country music in the 80s lies in its ability to bridge the gap between rural and urban communities.

It brought people together through shared themes of love, heartbreak, and everyday struggles. Country songs often told stories that resonated with listeners, portraying relatable experiences and emotions.

The popularity of country music during this decade helped solidify its place as a significant genre within the broader music industry.

These tunes might bring back memories for anyone who grew up in the 80s. The following are the best 80s country songs you may consider checking out:

“Think It Over” – Steve Earle

The song is about a guy who is torn between staying with his family and leaving them, and Earle expertly conveys the contradictory feelings that come with such a choice.

This song may be worth listening to whether or not you enjoy country music, especially while making difficult choices.

“I Will Always Love You” – Dolly Parton


Although this song was released in 1974, it was re-issued in the 1980s and became so famous that it once again created waves on the charts!

The legendary song by Dolly Parton spent six weeks straight at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles list.

The Country Music Association later named it Song of the Year. This song has been covered by dozens of musicians throughout the years, and people are always moved by it.

“He Stopped Loving Her Today” – George Jones


One of Jones’ most well-known tunes soon after its publication, the song. The music is heartfelt and enduring, and the words are emotional and distressing.

Jones’ emotive vocals enhance the song’s impact. The song is a classic that will always be popular, especially for people who are having trouble falling in love.

“Highwayman” – The Highwaymen

One of the greatest 80s country songs ever recorded, “Highwayman” was the band’s first number-one smash and is still regarded as such today.

Four men who meet in the hereafter to reflect on their lives are depicted in the song’s moving lyrics. This music could brighten your day and make you want to dance.

“Meet Me In Montana” – Dan Seals And Marie Osmond

This is an illustration of positive country music that will make your heart beat faster and your feet tap. The story told in the song is about two people who fall in love but must part ways because of their jobs.

They make a pact to meet in Montana someday so that they may spend the rest of their lives together. You could feel upbeat about love after listening to this music.

“Seven Year Ache” – Rosanne Cash

By magazines like Rolling Stone and Billboard, this 1981 tune has been hailed as one of the greatest country songs ever written. Many musicians have covered the ballad, which is about love and overcoming heartache.

“Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days)” – The Judds

The song debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1984 after its release. In the song, a granddaughter questions her grandfather about life when he was younger.

It’s hardly surprising that it becomes a blockbuster success because it’s an emotive song with lovely lyrics.

“I’d Love To Lay You Down” – Conway Twitty

When it was first released in 1981, the song was an immediate success, topping the Billboard Hot Country Singles list.

It is simple to understand why this song has become a favorite for so many people given its sincere melody and passionate lyrics.

“If Tomorrow Never Comes” – Garth Brooks

A guy reflects on his life and how he wants to make the most of each day in case tomorrow never arrives in this ballad.

Since its debut, the song has been a success, and it is still one of Brooks’ most well-known songs. No matter if you like country music, you should listen to this song.

“Queen Of Hearts” – Juice Newton

Although many other musicians have covered this song since its 1981 release, it is still one of Newton’s most well-known songs.

The song “Queen of Hearts,” with its stirring melody and potent lyrics, may move you. Put on your cowboy boots, turn up the music, and take it all in.

“She’s Crazy For Leaving” – Rodney Crowell

When it was first released in 1988, the song topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs list and went on to win other accolades, including the Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

The song has been recorded by several performers, and fans of country music continue to love it.

“Killin’ Time” – Clint Black

The 1989 single, which was nominated for two Grammy Awards and lasted three weeks at the top of the Country chart, was released.

The song’s lyrics exhort listeners to cherish each and every second of their existence. The song offers a message that many people can relate to, yet is playful and entertaining.

“A Country Boy Can Survive” – Hank Williams Jr.

The song is about the tenacity of rural, working-class Americans and their capacity to endure despite all odds. It’s a stirring tune that has an enduring appeal to listeners.

“A Country Boy Can Survive” could be the country song that best captures the spirit of the country.

“9 To 5” – Dolly Parton

The song, which debuted at the top of the charts in 1980, has been frequently recorded by musicians from a variety of musical styles.

The song’s straightforward yet moving lyrics capture the difficulties of the working class worldwide. To keep you engaged at work, its contagious tune is guaranteed to stay in your brain for days.

“I Believe In You” – Don Williams

The song, which was released in 1980, lasted five weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles list.

The lyrics are real and clear, celebrating the strength of love and proclaiming that you can always rely on your faith to get you through anything life throws at you.

“Bop” – Dan Seals

One of the top country singles of the late 1980s was “Bop”. The single is distinctive and well-liked since it combines parts of classic country music with modern rock and pop sounds.

One of the Seals’ most well-known tunes, the song spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles list.

“Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses” – Kathy Mattea

The song, which features Mattea’s strong vocals, is heartfelt and passionate. It was an instant smash when it was released in the 1980s.

The song was nominated for several honors, including the Song of the Year and Best Country Song Grammy Awards.

“Elvira” – The Oak Ridge Boys

When it was released in 1981, the song immediately shot to the top of the charts and won several accolades.

The catchy music and humorous lyrics make it simple to listen to the song repeatedly. “Elvira” could make you happy whether you’re in a committed relationship or single and yearning for love.

“Country Boy” – Ricky Skaggs

This traditional country song sums up country living wonderfully. This song will speak to you if you’ve ever been a farmer, rancher, or just enjoy being outside.

It is one of the most well-known country songs because of the cheerful tune and sweet voice of Skaggs.

“All My Ex’s Live In Texas” – George Strait

After being released in 1987, the song immediately became popular. This song is about a man who has had several heartbreaks and finds solace only in the knowledge that all of his ex-wives reside in the same state.

Despite having humorous lyrics, the song is incredibly catchy and has been a hit for more than 30 years.

“I’ll Still Be Loving You” – Restless Heart

“I’ll Still Be Loving You” by Restless Heart is the finest country song from the 1980s. When this song was published in 1988, it immediately went viral.

Since then, it has been regarded as one of the most recognizable country tunes. The tune is catchy, and the lyrics are profoundly moving.

“Looking For Love” – Johnny Lee

When it was released in 1980, the song shot to the top of the country music charts.

The song has become an anthem for many who call the Smoky Mountains home since the lyrics portray the lives and challenges of locals there.

“I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” – Barbara Mandrell

The song, which was released in 1981, peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles list. It is regarded as one of Mandrell’s recognizable tunes.

The lyrics discuss how a person’s background may influence their life. Many fans who are proud of their past find resonance in this song.

“When You Say Nothing At All” – Keith Whitley

When it was released in 1988, it topped the country music charts. Numerous musicians have covered the song, including Ronan Keating.

The lyrics speak about the strength of language and how it can be used to create or sever bonds between people.

“Forever And Ever, Amen” – Randy Travis

The 1987 single, which lasted two weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles list, was a major smash.

The song is still a fan favorite and frequently referred to as one of the greatest country songs ever recorded over 30 years later. If you want to hear a traditional country song that will make you cry, you should listen to this music.

“God Bless The USA” – Lee Greenwood

One of the all-time most cherished patriotic songs is this one. The 1984 song has served as a rallying cry for the military and America during trying times.

This song becomes an immediate classic and continues to have an impact on listeners because of Greenwood’s soaring voice and stirring lyrics.

“You Decorated My Life” – Kenny Rogers

The song spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Country Chart and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100.

This song, which is still a fan favorite today, is a poignant ballad about discovering pleasure in life. A man thinks back on his relationship and how much his partner meant to him in the song.

What was the most played country song of 1980?

The most played country song of 1980 was “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones. This iconic country ballad, written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman, was released in 1980 and became a huge success.

It is often regarded as one of the greatest country songs of all time and won numerous awards, including the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1981.

The emotional and heart-wrenching lyrics, combined with George Jones’ powerful vocals, resonated with audiences and solidified its place as a classic in the country music genre.

Who had the most country hits in the 80s?

In the 1980s, the artist who had the most country hits was George Strait. George Strait, often referred to as the “King of Country,” had a remarkable decade in the ’80s, with numerous chart-topping singles and successful albums.

He played a significant role in popularizing and maintaining traditional country music during a time when the genre was evolving.

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