50 Country Albums Every Rock Fan Should Own
Johnny Cash’s ‘American Recordings,’ Loretta Lynn’s ‘Van Lear Rose,’ and more essential country LPs
For decades, rockers have looked to country music when they grew tired of brash flash or deafening volume — or they simply heard a George Jones record that blew their hair back with its sheer devastation. Country’s core strengths — intimate storytelling, realistic adult emotion, accomplished musicianship — have appealed to artists from the Rolling Stones to Elvis Costello to Bruce Springsteen, who’ve created their own convincing versions.
So, here are 50 country albums for any rock fan looking to explore the genre’s vast library of sorrow, rebellion, monster chops, and whiskey-drinking attitude.
[This list was originally published in 2014.]