On This Date: Eric Church’s ‘The Outsiders’ Was #1 In 2014, And You Better Not Put It On Shuffle

Eric Church country music

For my money, there’s no mainstream artist with a catalogue as deep as The Chief.

From his debut album Sinners Like Me through his latest work Heart & SoulEric Church consistently puts out top to bottom phenomenal records, with plenty of album cuts that are just as good, if not way better, than the smash hits.

I started typing up a list of my favorite album cuts here, but it got way too long way too fast…

Well, on this date back in 2014, Church was sitting on top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart with his fourth studio album, The Outsiders, where it spent 3 weeks.

As expected, given it was right in the heart of what I believe was his best run, it’s one of the best we’ve heard. Featuring the likes of “Talladega”, “Like A Wrecking Ball”, “That’s Damn Rock & Roll”, and of course the title track, the album showed off both his scrappy, leather jacket wearing side and tender, loving side.

It was certified Platinum by RIAA at the end of 2014, and 2x Platinum in 2019.

While there’s no denying the commercial success of the record, in true Chief fashion, he gave a strongly worded statement to fans on how the project should be listened too.

No cherry picking tracks, not on shuffle, but top to bottom, in order. The way a real album should be.

While speaking to Radio.com, he said the following.

“Anybody puts it on shuffle, I’ll come kill them myself.

It’s made to be listened to start to finish. You start with “The Outsiders,” you end with “The Joint.”

There’s two songs on the album, “That’s Damn Rock & Roll” and “Talladega,” I love ‘em both, but I don’t love ‘em near as much by themselves as I do in the sequence.

The space they get from the songs around them, and the space they give the songs around them, makes me love those songs more. If you take them out, mix them all up, totally different album, it’s a totally different journey.

It’s one of the only albums I can think of that I really believe that, if you put it on shuffle, you’re going to have an entirely different experience than if you listen to it the way it’s presented.

I don’t know that people do that any more, but it’s meant to be listened to that way.”

Amen to that.

If you’ve followed us for anytime, you probably know Whiskey Riff values the complete album above all else. Yes, hit singles are fine and good, but the test of a true artist is telling a complete story through a record.

And there’s few who do that in the same ballpark as Eric Church.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock