4 Famous Country Albums That Turned 50 This Year

It’s wild to think that 1974 was 50 years ago. It was a good year for album releases and launched hits like Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal by Lou Reed and Court And Spark by Joni Mitchell, among many others. It was also an incredible year for country music, too. Let’s take a look at just four famous country albums that were released in 1974 and will turn 50 this year!

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1. Jolene by Dolly Parton

This is probably the biggest country album to come out in 1974. It’s one of Dolly Parton’s very best and featured long-enduring hits like “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You”. The former quickly became Parton’s second #1 country single as a solo artist. And the country album as a whole was released shortly after she decided to embark on her solo career, which is still going 50 years later.

2. Phases And Stages by Willie Nelson

This incredible album from Willie Nelson was his 17th release, but it didn’t fall through the cracks of his career. In fact, Nelson has released 75 solo studio albums as of 2024, and Phases And Stages is still widely considered one of his very best. “Bloody Mary Morning” was the hit single from the album that peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart upon its release. The album as a whole is essential listening for new Willie Nelson fans.

[Don’t Miss Willie Nelson Live In Concert In 2024]

3. The Ramblin’ Man by Waylon Jennings

Some diehard Waylon Jennings fans didn’t like the boost in commercial sound that The Ramblin’ Man had, but one can’t deny that it’s one of Jennings’ biggest albums of his career. It birthed hit songs “I’m A Ramblin’ Man” and “Rainy Day Woman”, both of which peaked high on the Billboard charts upon their release. It’s a classic outlaw country album that is still loved by country fans today.

4. Back Home Again by John Denver

Back Home Again was John Denver’s eighth studio album. It was also one of his most successful. The album hit the multi-platinum mark shortly after its release, and the singles that came from the album are still hits found on country playlists today. “Annie’s Song” hit #1 on the pop charts, and “Back Home Again” hit #1 on the country charts, respectively. 

Photo via Michael Ochs Archives

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