10 Disco-Country Songs We Can’t Stop Dancing To
Certain country songs recall a shinier time in life and in music. Certain guitar licks from hits by Thomas Rhett and Keith Urban are smoother than pressed polyester. The foot-shuffling beats driving hits by Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire were good enough to make them official disco songs!
Okay, so songs from these two female country hitmakers cracked the Dance chart because by the mid '90s, there was no disco chart (was there ever? We can't see past the platform heels and big hairdos!). Lesser-known stars like Billie Jo Spears crack our list of music's greatest disco-country songs, and arguably the whole Urban Cowboy craze was born in response to disco.
Kacey Musgraves new song "High Horse" inspired this list. You'll find the Bee Gee's derivative on her Golden Hour album, which promises to recall several styles of country music. Dance on Kacey, dance on.
Dolly Parton, "Baby I'm Burning"
This hot-stepping dance number from 1978 was a country and pop hit, and a Top 20 song on disco charts. Parton still pulls the song out during live shows — watch this music video to appreciate how the energetic 30-something embraced the disco vibe! A modern audience may not understand the phases and Space Invader-like sound effects she infuses into this song. Honestly, we've got no explanation, but it's good.
Thomas Rhett, "Make Me Wanna"
Thomas Rhett appears several times on this list of the best disco-country songs. It's a Bee Gees-inspired love song that Rhett tried to pin to a more blue collar experience in the music video (it begins with him working under an old truck) but quickly moved on to something more polished.
Brett Eldredge (Feat. Thomas Rhett), "You Can't Stop Me"
The beat won't stop! Brett Eldredge cut this song with Rhett for his 2015 Illinois album. The two lean into the frivolous, at times silly, nature of disco with a performance that's remarkable. Yes, Rhett does say "Oh no, the goose is loose" to start his verse.
Kacey Musgraves, "High Horse"
Late '90s funk was a slight deviation from disco, and that's where Musgrave's new song from Golden Hour ultimately falls. She's more Jamiroquai than Bee Gees on this track, especially at the introduction. But it's all hatched from the same '70s egg.
Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, "Islands in the Stream"
The Bee Gees actually wrote this hit, considered to be one of country music's all time greatest songs. Sunny, easily digestible lyrics and polyester production are the calling cards of disco, and you'll find both on "Islands in the Stream."
Reba McEntire, "You Keep Me Hangin' On"
A remix of Reba McEntire's cover of a song made famous by the Surpremes was a No. 2 hit on Billboard's Hot Dance Club play chart. Sure, it was a mid-'90s hit (her fashion in this video makes that obvious), but there's little doubt the arrangement borrows from a funkier time in music. We love how McEntire owns this performance so much, it's our regular Friday jam.
Billie Jo Spears, "I Will Survive"
This cover of the genre-defining Gloria Gaynor song came just months after the original, but nearly reached the Top 20 on Hot Country chart. Billie Jo Spears enjoyed a lengthy career, with most of her middling success coming in the late 1970s.
Thomas Rhett, "Tangled"
Quite a few songs on Rhett's Tangled Up album seem disco-tinged, but none more so than "Tangled." It's easy to imagine a permed Rhett cloaked in purple and gold, sliding around the stage as his guitarist spreads his magic like smooth peanut butter.
Keith Urban (Feat. Carrie Underwood), "The Fighter"
It is, it really is! "The Fighter" is rooted in disco, with its funky guitar lick and synth beat. Maybe the lyrical content is a smidge deeper than much of what the Bee Gees produced, but it's been dang near 40 years — even the niche disco-country genre has evolved.
Dolly Parton, "Starting Over Again"
Is Parton country music's disco queen? Maybe not, but we added this song to pay tribute to the late Donna Summers. Summers wrote it with husband Bruce Sudano. McEntire would record it later.
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