In 1993, Clay Walker broke into the Top Ten of the country charts with his eponymous debut album. The album produced a slew of No. 1 singles, quickly establishing Walker as one of the brightest new talents in country music. Like any artist, his career has experienced ups and downs, but he remains one of the most successful and consistent artists in the genre. Here’s how we rank all the Clay Walker albums from worst to best.
11. Texas to Tennessee
After releasing She Won’t Be Lonely Long in 2010, Walker took a ten-year leave of absence from the studio. In July 2021, he made his return with Texas to Tennessee. The album peaked at No. 45 on the Top Current Album Sales chart and No. 79 on the Album Sales chart – his lowest charting position to date. it’s not a travesty, but neither is it likely to inspire many new fans to hop on board.
10. A Few Questions
By the time his eighth studio album was released in 2003, it had been a while since Walker had sat at the top of the charts. Commercially, A Few Questions was his biggest hit for years, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and No. 23 on the Hot 100. But for all its commercial success, it’s far from his finest moment, plagued by thin material and weighted down by mediocre song choices.
In 2002, Walker released his first Christmas album. Rather than use any new material for the album, Walker chose instead to rely on old standards, telling Country France: “The thing I like about it so much is all of the songs are standards. No written, new material. I would rather personally sing along to a standard myself. So I just put myself in other people’s place. The thing I like the most about it is that it has orchestra, strings, horns, real orchestra, its costs a lot of money to make.” It’s a simple, straightforward affair with a couple of inspired moments (Mary Did You Know and Feliz Navidad are both standouts) but very little to elevate it to essential listening. An adequate, but inherently ordinary, album.
8. Say No More
In March 2001, Walker released his last album under the Giant Records label. It received very little promotion from the label, leading to Walker commenting “There was a serious breakdown and a huge lack of effort to promote this album. Really, this project has gotten lost. It’s kind of heartbreaking as an artist, but it’s one of those lumps you take on the chin.” Considering the label closed its doors after the album’s release, you can’t really blame them, but even so, it had a detrimental effect on its chart success, with the album stalling at No. 129 on the Hot 100 and No. 14 on the country chart. It’s a pretty enough collection of songs, but an underwhelming album, with too many hackneyed cliches and too few songs of genuine heart.
7. She Won’t Be Lonely Long
After a three-year absence, Walker returned in 2010 with his first album of new material since Fall. She Won’t Be Lonely Long was a solid return, with the same straight-up, mainstream country sound that had turned its predecessor into a success. It might be lacking in surprises, but its abundance of radio-ready singles should keep fans happy.
6. Rumor Has It
With three big hits already under his belt, Walker hit his fourth album with confidence. Unfortunately, the album hit a bum note. Although the vocals are as impressive as always, they’re not enough to cover over the cracks. There’s plenty of fun to be had in snappy little numbers like I’d Say That’s Right and Heart Over Head Over Heels, but there are far too many clunky stabs at weepy heartbreakers for the album to succeed. Despite its flaws, it still managed to perform well in the charts, peaking at No. 32 on the Hot 100 and No. 4 in the Top Country Albums chart.
5. Live, Laugh, Love
After the slight disappointment of his fourth studio album, Walker rebounded with Live, Laugh, Love. The songs are far more varied than before, with crowd-pleasers like It Ain’t Called the Heartland (for Nothin’) and The Chain of Love rubbing up alongside more diverse fare like the lively title track and urgent This Time Love. There are a couple of clunkers in the mix, but not enough to have stopped it from soaring to No. 5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums.
After a series of disappointing albums, Walker rebounded in 2007 with Fall. With a good selection of heartfelt, optimistic love songs and hearty ballads, it is, as Brady Vercher of Engine 145 said in his review, “a decent quality album with Clay Walker’s unique stamp all over it.” Released in April 2007, it climbed to No. 5 on the Top Country Albums chart and No. 15 on the Hot 100.
3. Hypnotize the Moon
After storming the charts with his first two albums, Walker wasn’t taking any chances with Hypnotize the Moon. A super slick, highly polished record, it was almost tailor-made for radio. Not all of the songs are memorable, but his always enticing vocals and consistent performance keep the album afloat. Released on October 17, 1995, it peaked at No 10 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
2. If I Could Make a Living
Just a year after releasing his debut, Walker was back with its follow-up, If I Could Make a Living. If anyone had been worried about him succumbing to the ‘difficult second album syndrome,’ their concerns were misplaced. Walker growls and belts his way through a collection of songs about love, heartbreak, and desire. On the supremely hooky What Do You Want For Nothin’, he even drops his guard and breaks into a falsetto. The album charted at No. 4 on the country chart and has since been certified Platinum.
1. Clay Walker
In 1993, Clay Walker burst onto the scene with his eponymous debut album. As introductions go, you couldn’t have asked for better. Three of its four singles (What’s It to You, Live Until I Die and Dreaming with My Eyes Open) peaked at No. 1 on the country charts, while the fourth reached No. 11. The album itself climbed to No. 8 on the country charts and No. 52 on the Billboard 200. Critically, it was just as successful, with John Rawl of the Post and Courier saying “Clay Walker sounds like a seasoned professional on this debut album” and Joe Breen of The Irish Times offering the praise “Best newcomer award goes to Clay Walker whose eponymous album sounds like it’s worth checking out. Better value will be hard to find this year.” An excellent album, and an incredible way to kick off a career.