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Guitar Town

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Guitar Town
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 5, 1986
StudioSound Stage Studios and Emerald Sound Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
ProducerEmory Gordy, Jr., Tony Brown
Associate Producer: Richard Bennett
Steve Earle chronology
Guitar Town
Exit 0
Singles from Guitar Town
  1. "Hillbilly Highway"
    Released: March 22, 1986
  2. "Guitar Town"
    Released: June 2, 1986
  3. "Someday"
    Released: October 25, 1986
  4. "Goodbye's All We've Got Left"
    Released: January 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert ChristgauA−[4]

Guitar Town is the debut studio album from American singer-songwriter Steve Earle, released on March 5, 1986. It topped the Billboard country album charts, and the title song reached #7 on the country singles charts. Earle was also nominated for two 1987 Grammy Awards, Best Male Country Vocalist and Best Country Song, for the title track.


The album was recorded in late 1985 and early 1986 in Nashville, Tennessee, at Sound Stage Studio. Overdubs were later recorded at Nashville's Emerald Studios. It was one of the first country music albums to be recorded digitally, utilizing the Mitsubishi X-800. Each of the album's ten tracks was either written or co-written by Earle.

Reception and legacy[edit]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 489 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2012, the magazine ranked it at #482 on a revised list, calling it "the rocker's version of country, packed with songs about hard living in the Reagan Eighties."[5]

In 2006, it ranked 27th on CMT's "40 Greatest Albums in Country Music". In 2016, the album was re-released as a 30th Anniversary Edition with a corresponding tour.

The title track was later covered by Emmylou Harris. "Someday" was later covered by Shawn Colvin on her cover album, Cover Girl.

My Old Friend The Blues was covered by The Proclaimers.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Steve Earle unless otherwise noted

1."Guitar Town" 2:33
2."Goodbye's All We've Got Left" 3:16
3."Hillbilly Highway"Earle, Jimbeau Hinson3:38
4."Good Ol' Boy (Gettin' Tough)"Earle, Richard Bennett3:58
5."My Old Friend the Blues" 3:07
6."Someday" 3:46
7."Think It Over"Bennett, Earle2:13
8."Fearless Heart" 4:04
9."Little Rock 'n' Roller" 4:49
10."Down the Road"Tony Brown, Earle, Hinson2:37
11."State Trooper [live]"Bruce Springsteen5:12


The Dukes
Additional musicians



Year Single Peak chart positions
US Country CAN Country
1986 "Hillbilly Highway" 37 46
"Guitar Town" 7 7
"Someday" 28 31
1987 "Goodbye's All We Got Left" 8 10


Certifications for Guitar Town
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[9] Platinum 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[10] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob (January 26, 1989). "Steve Earle Copperhead Road". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 7, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Conrad, Karen (2016). "Steve Earle - Guitar Town". In Dimery, Robert (ed.). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. London: Cassell Illustrated. p. 558.
  3. ^ Deming, Mark. "Guitar Town - Steve Earle". AllMusic. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  4. ^ "CG: Steve Earle". Robert Christgau. October 4, 2007. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  5. ^ Wenner, Jann S., ed. (2012). Rolling Stone – Special Collectors Issue – The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. USA: Wenner Media Specials. ISBN 978-7-09-893419-6
  6. ^ "Steve Earle Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  7. ^ "Steve Earle Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  8. ^ "Top Country Albums – Year-End 1986". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  9. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Steve Earle – Guitar Town". Music Canada. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  10. ^ "American album certifications – Steve Earle – Guitar Town". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 19, 2022.

External links[edit]