I used to spend hours watching CMT when I was little (back when they actually played music videos) and I couldn’t get enough. Looking back now, they were so ridiculous and over the top. So much denim and so much dancing. But watching these again really makes me miss a good music video. Sure, some artists still release videos with their singles, but nothing as glorious as what we had back in the 90’s. Those were the days.
So if you need a reminder of just how ridiculous and amazing these videos were, here are some that I would recommend.
“Come Next Monday” – K.T. Oslin
I still remember seeing this video all the time on CMT. And I remember it because it featured K.T. Oslin talking about the music video she would have made had she had time, set to the actual music video featuring some sort of Frankenstein monster movie love story. Like a lot of country videos from the 90’s, it makes absolutely no sense. But it’s great.
“Dumas Walker” – The Kentucky Headhunters
One thing you’ll notice if you go back and watch country music videos from the 90’s is all of the hair. So much hair. And the video for “Dumas Walker” by the Kentucky Headhunters is a great example of that. But I think what really makes this video is the shirtless drummer wearing a coonskin cap.
“Chains” – Patty Loveless
The video opens with a cavewoman telling her caveman that she’s leaving him, and that’s all you need to know about how ridiculous this video is. The rest of the video is Patty Loveless singing the song on a sound stage interspersed with clips of women in silent movies leaving their men, and ends with the cavewoman and caveman from the beginning finally getting back together. Umm, what?
“Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under” – Shania Twain
When you think 90’s country, you probably think Shania. And this video was peak Shania, in her crop top and sexy red dress going around to everybody in a seedy diner as they pretend not to notice her. Like those guys are really going to ignore Shania if she comes up to them looking like that…
“Baby Like to Rock It” – The Tractors
This is another video that has just an absolutely ridiculous plot, which features a confused kid trying to deliver pizzas to a dance party taking place on the boogie woogie choo choo train – and of course he’s joining in by the end of the video. There’s a guy dressed like Uncle Sam, a woman covered in balloons, and at the end a ghost guitar player walks through a wall to drop a tip in the pizza delivery guy’s pocket. It makes no sense, and it’s great.
“Third Rock from the Sun” – Joe Diffie
This whole song was ridiculous. It’s a story about chain of events leading to a town panicking over what they think is an alien invasion, all set in motion because the sheriff is cheating on his wife at a bar. And the video, featuring Joe Diffie standing on a huge globe as the story unfolds, is so over the top 90’s. I love it.
“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” – Reba McEntire
Reba was known for turning her music videos into short 5-minute movies, using accompanying dialogue to move the plot of the story along with the song. And one of the best was “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” which featured a heavily-aged Reba playing the main character, telling the story about the time she killed her fiancé for sleeping with her brother’s wife.
“The Shake” – Neal McCoy
Neal McCoy dancing in his garage with a bunch of people dressed straight out of the 1950’s. That’s all you really need to know, and that’s what makes this video so great. (Oh, and there’s a “Leave it to Beaver”-style intro to really tie the non-existent storyline all together).
“Queen of My Double Wide Trailer” – Sammy Kershaw
This one’s just a classic. I’m not sure why so many videos in the 90’s tried to pretend that they weren’t music videos, but this is another one that tries to act like it’s really just a “behind the scenes” look at the making of the video, with Sammy complaining that there’s “no way he’s doing this.” It then cuts to Sammy in a leather jacket, and ends with, of course, a denim-clad Sammy Kershaw stealing the girl from the douchey guy in a bandana (who is also working on the set for the video that they’re supposedly shooting).
“Texas Tornado” – Tracy Lawrence
This video actually wouldn’t be that ridiculous, except it starts with Tracy Lawrence jumping into the water and teleporting onto a farm. Excuse me, what?
“The Red Strokes” – Garth Brooks
Garth doesn’t put his music on YouTube (or Spotify, or Apple Music…come on G, get with the times) so this video is a little hard to find, but it’s impossible to talk about ridiculous country music videos of the 90’s without mentioning “The Red Strokes.” It starts with a barefoot Garth, dressed all in white, rising up out of a red pool of paint, and ends with his piano oozing red paint and covering the entire room.
“Chattahoochee” – Alan Jackson
The GOAT. Alan Jackson water-skiing in jeans. That’s it.