Two weeks ago, at the CMA awards, Eric Church, took home the illustrious award of Entertainer Of The Year for just the first time in his career. We figured what better way to honor this accomplishment than to attempt the difficult task of ranking the Chief’s top 10 songs ever.
So here it goes!
10) Smoke A Little Smoke (Carolina) (Driver Williams, Eric Church, Jeff Hyde)- Smoke A Little Smoke is a fiery in which Church seeks to “some feel good in (his) soul” and escape life for the night by kicking back and drinking a little drink and smoking a little smoke. The theme of escape resonates throughout the track and Church produces and absolute classic of a vocal to this track.
9) The Outsiders (The Outsiders) (Casey Beathard, Eric Church)- This song and album in general featured Church embracing his inner outlaw and no song does this better than the title track. Church uses spoken verses to proudly declare who he is, and signal the next stage of his career.
8) Chattanooga Lucy (Mr Misunderstood) (Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tendell)- Chattanooga Lucy never got the commercial love it deserved and that’s truly a shame. Church delivers a variety of cadences throughout this fun track, about Lucy from Chattanooga that he can’t seem to tie down. The instrument ion throughout this track drives home the narrative and showcases Church’s uniqueness.
7)Drink In My Hand (Chief) (Eric Church, Luke Laird, Michael Henney)- A classic drinking song! Church delivers an impeccable vocal on this working class anthem about letting loose after work on Friday. Church is able to evoke memories and feelings throughout this masterful track and is a staple in his live show.
6) Record Year (Mr Misunderstood) (Eric Church, Jeff Hyde)- Record Year is one of the rare cases where name dropping old country songs is effective and this song always leaves me amazed. Church sings about a girl that left him and how uses his record player and his old records to cope on the weekend. The word play throughout this song is incredible and the double meaning of “record year” as both a reference to what he’s been up to and what he could tell his ex he’s been up to without lying.
5) Talladega (The Outsiders) (Eric Church, Luke Laird)- On Talladega delivers a nostalgic vocal that sends listeners back to their teenage years. Talladega is yet another example of Church’s uncanny ability to make all listeners regardless of their backgrounds emotional. Church sings about making a deal with his father to fix a Winabago and head out down to Talladega and watch a race with his friends. Church sings fondly of these memories and through his convincing vocal is able to put every listener in his shoes.
4) Springsteen- (Chief) (Bruce Springsteen, Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell)- On Springsteen, Church is once again able to dive deep into the concept of nostalgia. Church sings about the summer when he was 17 and the girl he spent it with and how he ties those memories to Bruce Springsteen. Throughout the track Church wonders if she remembers him at all, but then realizes if simply mentions Springsteen she’ll be able to remember him. The concept of memory through musical attachment is beautifully shown on this track and is eternally relatable.
3) Carolina (Carolina) (Eric Church)- This beautiful ode to Church’s home is another phenomenal example of Church’s ability to sing about concepts so relatable in a way that evokes visceral emotion in listeners. The imagery in this song is incredible, as he beautifully describes the breathtaking landscape that is North Carolina.
2) Give Me Back My Hometown (The Outsiders) (Eric Church, Luke Laird)- Give Me Back My Hometown is the epitome of a broken man’s anthem. On Give Me Back My Hometown a fiery Church is pleading with his ex to simply allow him to live in peace in his hometown. Church is worn down by seeing her memory everywhere he goes, and is willing to give up almost anything to have his peace of mind and innocence.
1) Mr Misunderstood (Mr Misunderstood) (Casey Beathard, Eric Church)- The title track off Church’s best album is #1 Chief song of all time. The track centers around a conversation between Church and a “misunderstood” boy. Church teaches the boy that despite how his friends may sneer at him, his future could be great. Church does an incredible job at relaying his experience as that boy, and the song ends on a touching and poignant moment where Church repeats “Mr Misunderstood, I understand” several times. The empathetic and relatable Church shines through on this tremendous song, bringing it to our #1 spot.