Little Big Town changed the game in country music when they came on the scene in the early 2000s boasting unique and striking four-part harmonies in their music. They first presented themselves as a young, fun-loving country group with the release of their first Top 10 single, “Boondocks,” in 2005. Since then, the group has solidified their superstar status in country music with both lighthearted and thought-provoking tunes throughout the years. After 15 years of hearing Little Big Town on the radio, here’s a look back at 10+ of their best songs.
- “Boondocks” — from The Road To Here
Little Big Town introduced themselves to the world with their self-titled, debut album released on Monument Nashville in 2002. The album produced two singles, “Don’t Waste My Time” and “Everything Changes,” which saw mild success on country radio. However, music fans’ ears perked up with the release of their third single, “Boondocks,” from their sophomore album, The Road To Here. The group trades lines and sings harmony in the tune as they sing about being proud of growing up in the country. As they paint a picture of this country life, sounds of dobro (provided by Jerry Douglas), guitar, and fiddle work together to complete the vision. The end of the song is especially memorable as the instruments die down and the group sings about fishing for crawfish, playing poker and going to church in a round. The tune peaked at No. 9 for the group.
Little Big Town followed up on the success of “Boondocks” with “Bring It On Home,” also from their sophomore album. While “Boondocks” was a boisterous tune celebrating the country life, “Bring It On Home” is a softer love song about trying to erase the worries of a loved one. The group’s Phillip Sweet takes lead vocals on the verses of the song while all four members join in for harmony in the chorus. Soft acoustic guitar strumming and twangy dobro accompany the loving lyrics throughout the tune. “Bring It On Home” was an even bigger success chart-wise than “Boondocks,” landing at No. 4.
3. “Little White Church” — from The Reason Why
For the next few years, Little Big Town released various charting singles from The Road To Here and A Place To Land, but in 2010, they released yet another hit that brought increased attention to the group. It came in the from of “Little White Church” from their album, The Reason Why. In this fiery song, group member Karen Fairchild takes lead vocals as she strongly advises her non-committal boyfriend to make her a wife… or else. “No more callin’ me baby, no more lovin’ like crazy, no more chicken and gravy, ain’t gonna have your baby unless you take me down, you better take me down, take me down to the little white church,” she fiercely sings. “Little White Church” brought Little Big Town back to the Top 10, landing at No. 6 on the charts.
4. “Pontoon” — from Tornado
Two years after “Little White Church,” Little Big Town began a new era with their fifth studio album, Tornado, and the lead single, “Pontoon,” blew all their others out of the water. With Fairchild again on lead vocals, the song serves as a summer anthem dedicated to relaxing and sunbathing out on the water. The music video for the song illustrates the lyrics, as it shows the band and many friends having the perfect summer day on a pontoon themselves. With its clever lyrics and easygoing beat, the song proved to be a hit, becoming the group’s first No. 1 on the US and Canadian country charts. The song also earned 2x Platinum status.
5. “Tornado” — from Tornado
Little Big Town continued the success of “Pontoon” with “Tornado,” which was also released in 2012. Fairchild brings some of the same fierceness from “Little White Church” to “Tornado,” but this time she’s playing the part of a woman scorned who is looking to cause destruction— just like a tornado. The song again features the group’s solid harmonies along with acoustic country instrumentation. The song did well for the group, peaking just shy of the No. 1 spot on the country airplay charts and earning Gold status.
6. “ Day Drinking” — from Pain Killer
In 2014, Little Big Town dropped a new single called “Day Drinking,” the debut release from their Pain Killer album. “Day Drinking” served as another good-time tune reminiscent of “Pontoon” from two years prior. The song finds Fairchild taking the verses and the rest of the group singing harmony as they sing about starting a party a little bit earlier in the day. The song has since become a day drinking anthem, and the lively acoustic instrumentation only contributes to the mood. Little Big Town takes the lyrics of the song to heart in the music video, as they are seen ditching traffic and having a day drinking party on the beach. “Day Drinking” peaked at No. 2 on the charts and took home Gold status for the band.
7. “Girl Crush” — from Pain Killer
After “Day Drinking,” Little Big Town took to the radio airwaves with “Girl Crush,” a song that would become their biggest hit. With Fairchild on lead vocals, “Girl Crush” explores the idea of a break up in a way never before heard in country music. Instead of singing directly to the man she lost, the main character in the song’s story sings about the woman who now holds his heart, admitting she’s formed a sort of “girl crush” on her because she wants everything the new woman has. Written by Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose, the song proved to be a smash, earning the No. 1 spot on the US Country chart, the No. 3 spot on the Country Airplay chart, and 5x Platinum status.
8. “Better Man” — from The Breaker
To kick off The Breaker album era in 2016, Little Big Town released “Better Man,” a bittersweet song about a woman looking back on a broken relationship and wondering if things could be different had her partner been a “better man.” The group didn’t announce who wrote the tune upon release, but it was later revealed that it was written solely by Taylor Swift and was originally meant for her Red album. Swift, however, decided to send it to Little Big Town so they could add their timeless harmonies. The heartbreaker surely struck a chord with fans and country radio, as it took the No. 1 spot on the US Country, Country Airplay and Canadian Country charts. The song also won a Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for Little Big Town.
9. “Happy People” — from The Breaker
One identifying characteristic of Little Big Town is their ability to produce both heart-wrenching ballads and more lighthearted tunes, and “Happy People” is a perfect example of the latter. Written by frequent collaborator Lori Mckenna along with Hailey Whitters, “Happy People” is a song that lists all the positive traits of a happy person and then encourages the listener to be a happy person as well. Although the song didn’t go too far on the charts, it is a critically acclaimed, standout tune from The Breaker album. McKenna and Whitters have since released their own versions of the tune as well.
10. “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” — from Nightfall
In January 2020, Little Big Town released their ninth studio album, Nightfall, which is full of high-quality tunes, such as “The Daughters” and “Over Drinking.” Their latest single “Wine, Beer, Whiskey,” however, brings a different flavor. With hearty trumpets and horns as their accompaniment, the songs serves as a lively ode to enjoying some adult beverages. Throughout the tune, the band name drops some of their “friends” — like Jack, Tito, and Captain — which coincidentally double as types of alcohol. The high energy tune was released as a single in June 2020, and is currently heading towards the Top 20 on the charts.