Clint Black was born on February 4, 1962, in Long Branch, Texas. However, he was raised in Katy, Texas. He started playing the guitar and harmonica at age 13. Two years later, he joined his brother’s band. According to all music, he is a “country music traditionalist.” Moreover, he was one of the first artists in the 90s to bring country music mainstream. Clint Black met Hayden Nichols in 1987, and the two began working together on numerous songs and demos. Most of Black’s songs are co-written by Nichols, who is also part of his band. In 1989, his first four singles all topped the charts, including Better Man, which was historic because it was the first time in 15 years that a country star’s first single went to number one. Afterward, 24 additional songs all reached the top ten on Billboard Charts. After many years in the industry, he created his label, Equity Music Group in 2001 and co-founded the music publishing group Blacktop Music. Clint Black’s career has been a chart-topping success for three decades. In 2020 he released the album Out of Sane. These are ten of the best Clint Black songs.
10. Something We Do
Clint Black’s voice is ideally suited for this simple ballad. It starts with slide guitar and segues to his voice stripped down with a guitar. It’s a simple love song about a character who sees that the small moments in life make a relationship. He begins to see that love is a give and take. Throughout the song, it maintains musical simplicity, making the lyrics shine through and create a powerful message.
9. Nothing But The Taillights
The song starts with driving country guitar and drums. The song is about a character dropped off by his significant other on the side of the road. The situation seems to come out of the blue, but it’s understood that something happened to precipitate the event. As the character is walking, he starts contemplating what he did wrong. It’s another country song that draws parallels between relationships, endings, and literal drive-offs.
8. When My Ship Comes In
Many country songs are about people wanting to be somewhere else in life. This song is about a character who feels positive that his luck is just around the corner. He questions whether his positivity is because he’s stuck inside because of winter. It’s unclear whether this is a parallel for something else happening to the character. Clint Black’s baritone shines over the background of slide guitar.
7. Good Run of Bad Luck
The video features scenes from the movie Maverick where the singer had a cameo. The lyrics are somewhat conflicting, but the beat is well done with heavier guitar and drums. It’s a fun song that would be great for a road trip sing-along.
6. Killin’ Time
This song is heavy on guitar and traditional country standards, relationships that went wrong, and the man who wants to drink away the memory of a woman who broke his heart. However, it steers clear of heavier ballads that lament lost loves. Throughout the song, the character begins to understand it’s over but continues to drink down the memory as he realizes this is the least positive thing he can do in the wake of the breakup.
5. A Better Man
We grow or blame the other person when we end a relationship. Much of Clint Black’s songs stay true to the genre. Yet, it’s the lyrics and his voice that sets him apart from other contemporaries. His relationship songs leave the stereotypes one may expect to find in other country songs and delve deeper into complex emotions.
4. When I Said I Do (Duet With Lisa Hartman Black)
Clint Black sang this song with his wife. It’s the same style as a Tim McGraw and Faith Hill duet. The lyrics are about a marriage that stands the test of time despite anything that happens in life. The song is one of Black’s slower songs, showcasing a voice that is equal parts graceful and strong. Lisa Hartman Black’s voice perfectly harmonizes since she has a much higher range.
3. State of Mind
The opening of this song is a slide guitar. It’s the journey of a man who is down on his luck but keeps an upbeat attitude on life. The song is a traditional country with many guitars, fiddles, and drum licks featured in many country songs. Black has an extensive range going seamlessly from heart-wrenching ballads to upbeat melodies that improve your day.
2. A Bad Goodbye (Duet with Wynonna Judd)
Like many songs, storytelling creates the music. In A Bad Goodbye, the story’s sadness and the haunting piano blend forming a lilting ballad of two people who have to leave each other. The twist in the song is that they both feel the same way, and it’s never clear why. Wynonna Judd’s voice is the perfect addition to Clint Black’s strong baritone.
1. Like the Rain
One of the most romantic moments is walking through the rain with someone. Clint Black uses the imagery for the storms of life. The slow guitar and his strong voice make the song sound beautiful, emotional, and comforting. Throughout the lyrics, he adds imagery of storms and life. Moreover, it’s a song about a man who falls for a woman and begins to understand her better.
Many country artists try to go against the traditions of country music to be different or crossover onto pop charts. However, Clint Black has stayed true to his country roots throughout his successful career. Although country music experienced its first decade of mainstream success in the 1990s, Black brought country music legends like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard into the mix with a style that maintained all the elements of the country that created the genre. Whether it’s soulful ballads, cowboys and pickup trucks, or songs about relationships gone wrong, Black’s talents shine through on every one of his songs.