Clay Walker exploded onto the country music scene in the early 90’s, quickly establishing himself as a household name. Between his back-to-back #1 hits, and his opening act for artists like George Straight and Alan Jackson, Walker enjoyed quite the successful streak throughout the rest of the decade. Still actively writing, producing, and touring, Clay Walker still continues to attract attention on a music scene which is very different from the one in which he began his journey. In fact, in 2020, Tricia Despres from People Magazine commented with the following: “With a career spanning over 27 years, Walker has seen country music transform in front of his eyes.” Still, the cowboy sweetheart continues to remain true to his vision, even while experimenting with his style. Below, we count down the 10 best Clay Walker songs of all-time.
10. Live Until I Die (Clay Walker Album)
Starting out our countdown is “Live Until I Die,” the second single from Walkers self-titled debut album. According to Billboard, this song spent 22 weeks on the chart and peaked at #1 in March 1994. As any country fan can attest, the music released in the 1990s has a very distinct sound and this tract is no exception. In addition, it heralds the rural values of truly living: connecting with nature, finding your bliss in the simple pleasures, and remaining present in your own life.
9. If I Could Make a Living (If I Could Make a Living Album)
Next up, we see the title track from Clay Walker’s second album. Another upbeat track, “If I Could Make a Living,” repeats his formula for combining catchy lyrics with the blended harmonies of the fiddle, mandolin, and steel guitar. This is truly a staple for all Walker fans.
8. Only on Days that End in “Y” (Hypnotize the Moon Album)
The number eight slot belongs to yet another playful tune, “Only on Days that End in ‘Y.’” This gem comes from Walker’s third album. One of the most charming aspects about this tract is how playfully the song deals with the universal experience of longing for someone from our past. Musically – this song exudes a honky-tonk style begging for an impromptu line dance.
7. Hypnotize the Moon (Hypnotize the Moon Album)
On a more serious note, “Hypnotize the Moon,” as the title track of the third album consists of a tribute to not only love at first sight, but also the vulnerability we experience when we fall in love. For female listeners, this tract showed a rare glimpse into how similar the male experience may be in matters of the heart.
6. You’re Beginning to Get to Me (Greatest Hits Album)
This next song, “You’re Beginning to Get to Me,” is unique in that it was a single from Walker’s Greatest Hits album from 1998. Unfortunately, because it was an additional track, a music video was never produced. Despite this, fans have continued to enjoy this fun approach to the beginnings of a relationship.
5. I Can’t Sleep (A Few Questions)
A single from 2004, “I Can’t Sleep,” fills our fifth spot and takes us back to a more serious tone. While not as heavy as many other heartbreak anthems, this song is still satisfying with its relatable tone of regret. The simplicity of this arrangement mixed with Walker’s unassuming vocal talent, and the sad-sweet tones of a harmonica make for quite the emotional experience.
4. What’s It to You? (Self-Titled Debut Album)
Number four on our countdown is reserved for “What’s It to You?” This was Clay Walker’s very first single from his debut album which catapulted his career in the early 90s. This flirty, light-hearted song was just the beginning of his signature style which fans have been celebrating for almost three decades.
3. Rumor Has It (Rumor Has It Album)
Our number three spot goes to “Rumor Has It,” the title track of his fourth studio album. This energizing tune, with a positive spin on the rumor mill, is an absolute delight. In fact, this is one of those songs that makes it hard to stay in your seat. While Clay Walker has his share of songs dealing with heartbreak, the majority of his discography is full of positivity and delight. This is clearly one of his best.
2. Where Do I Fit in the Picture? (Self-Titled Debut Album)
Returning to Clay Walker’s debut album, we see “Where Do I Fit in the Picture?” This heartbreaking tune explores the process of differentiating our melancholic fixation on the past from our true identity. The power of this song, however, lies in Walker’s hauntingly beautiful vocal run at the end of the second stanza. This song is truly incredible and can only be surpassed by our next selection.
1. This Woman and This Man (If I Could Make a Living Album)
Finally, in our number one spot is “This Woman and This Man” from walker’s sophomore album – proving that an artist’s second album isn’t always cursed. On the contrary, Walker achieved quite a bit of commercial success with the follow-up to his debut. This swoon worthy track about true love gone wrong will always remain a fan favorite for the simplicity of its style as well as Walker’s stunning vocal performance.
In examining Clay Walker’s best songs of all-time, we can see that the majority of his hits were released during the 1990s. However, this doesn’t lessen the incredible songs that he has released since, but rather highlights how high he set the bar for himself from the beginning. His talent and authentic approach to his music will continue to serve him in the coming years. According to Sounds Like Nashville, we can look forward to his upcoming album, “Texas to Tennessee,” in late July, 2021. This album will undoubtedly continue his legacy of producing quality, heartfelt, and relatable songs that remain true to the country music genre.