Trisha Yearwood songs are unlike any others in country music. She has carved out a successful and unique niche for herself by finding some of the highest-quality songs in the genre, then recording them in arrangements that bring them to life in a way that is sonically different from any other artist in the commercial country marketplace.
Add to that one of the strongest and most identifiable female voices in the genre, and it's a recipe for success that has seen Yearwood sell 15 million albums and win multiple Grammys, CMA Awards and ACM Awards. She is also a member of both the Grand Ole Opry and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
The Boot's list of the Top 10 Trisha Yearwood Songs culls the best of her long and varied career.
"Thinkin' About You"From: 'Thinkin' About You' (1995)
Yearwood scored a hit with the second single and title song of her fourth studio album. Written by Bob Regan and Tim Shapiro, "Thinkin' About You" features a soulful vocal performance from Yearwood and a slide guitar solo from Lee Roy Parnell. The lyrics describe a feeling of longing for someone you're not with: "In the back of my mind there's a secret place / But the whole world knows by the smile on my face / I've been thinkin' about you."
"XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)"From: 'Thinkin' About You' (1995)
The lead single from Thinkin' About You scored Yearwood her second chart-topping song. Written by top Nashville writers Matraca Berg and Alice Randall, "XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)" was intended as a female empowerment anthem for young career women: "Got a picture of her mama in heels and pearls / She's gonna make it in her daddy's world." The song's tempo and rapid-fire lyrics separate it from much of Yearwood's output.
"Like We Never Had a Broken Heart"From: 'Trisha Yearwood' (1991)
Yearwood had success straight out of the box with the release of her self-titled debut album. The second single from the project, "Like We Never Had a Broken Heart" was written by Pat Alger and Garth Brooks, who had been friends with Yearwood since their days singing demos in Nashville. The lyrics talk of holding onto the nearest person, not necessarily the one you wish you were with: "Let's keep hangin' on / So we won't fall apart / Let's make love tonight / Like we never had a broken heart." The single reached No. 4 in the country charts.
"I Would've Loved You Anyway"From: 'Inside Out' (2001)
Yearwood did what she does best for the first single from Inside Out. A ballad about a failed relationship and the lessons taken from it, "I Would've Loved You Anyway" served as a perfect showcase for her impeccable tone and phrasing. The resulting track reached No. 4 in Billboard's Hot Country Songs and is her most recent Top 10 hit to date.
"In Another's Eyes"From: '(Songbook) A Collection of Hits' (1997)
Brooks co-wrote this song with Bobby Wood and John Peppard and recorded it as a duet with Yearwood. The song fueled unfounded rumors of a romance between the two singers with lyrics such as, "They don't realize / And I pray they never do / 'Cause every time I look I'm seein' you / In another's eyes." With the chemistry between them evident, fans were not surprised when the pair ultimately married in 2005, four years after Brooks and his first wife divorced.
"Wrong Side of Memphis"From: 'Hearts in Armor' (1992)
The first single from Yearwood's second album was an uptempo ode to pursuing one's dreams. Berg and Gary Harrison wrote this song, in which the protagonist is "living on the wrong side of Memphis" but decides to head to Nashville to live out the childhood dream of making it in country music. The song reached No. 5 in Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart and is a must-have in the Top 10 Trisha Yearwood Songs.
"How Do I Live"From: '(Songbook) A Collection of Hits' (1997)
"How Do I Live" wound up being the source of some controversy: Written by Diane Warren, the song was initially recorded by LeAnn Rimes for the film Con Air. But when producers thought the then-14-year-old was too young, Yearwood re-recorded it for the movie. The singles were released on the same day, Rimes' to pop radio and Yearwood's to country. Both were smash hits, and incredibly, both artists were nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance at the 1998 Grammy Awards for the same song. Yearwood won.
"The Song Remembers When"From: 'The Song Remembers When' (1993)
The title song and lead single from Yearwood's third album was starkly elegiac compared to most of the fare at country radio, and that's part of why it works so well. The tight, sparse arrangement focuses on Yearwood's aching vocal performance, which perfectly serves the lyric about how music can bring back the memory of a lost love: "After driving out the memory of the way things might have been / After I'd forgotten all about us / The song remembers when."
"She's in Love With the Boy"From: 'Trisha Yearwood' (1991)
Yearwood scored her first No. 1 hit with the debut single from her self-titled debut album. Written by Jon Ims, "She's in Love With the Boy" tells the universal story of a girl whose father doesn't approve of her romantic choices: "Her daddy says he ain't worth a lick / When it comes to brains he got the short end of the stick." But she pays no heed, "And even if they have to run away / She's gonna marry that boy someday."
"Walkaway Joe"From: 'Hearts in Armor' (1992)
The second single from Yearwood's sophomore album is a pure country classic. Written by Vince Melamed and Greg Barnhill, "Walkaway Joe" tells the mournful story of a naive 17-year-old girl who embarks on an ill-fated romance with a man of a criminal bent who is "born to be a leaver / Tell you from the word go, destined to deceive her." Eagles singer Don Henley contributed a haunting harmony vocal to the track, which readily deserves to come in at No. 1 on the Top Trisha Yearwood Songs. Also, that's a young Matthew McConaughey in the video.