Vince Gill's 15 Best Songs: Critic's Picks

Vince Gill
Beth Gwinn/Redferns

Vince Gill

Just like Marty Robbins before him, there is no style of music that Vince Gill hasn't mastered. Whether it be his home base of country music, his first love of bluegrass, rock or blues, Vince Gill is an artist who can do it all -- and do it very well.

Of course, the main ingredient behind any of his classic hits is that wistful vocal delivery that can bring you to your knees in an instant. In looking at Gill's catalog, it’s impossible to keep the list to ten. He’s just that good. So, here are fifteen of the top Vince Gill song performances over the years that showcase his once-in-a-lifetime talent.

Best Songs: Alabama | Alan Jackson | Blake Shelton | Brad Paisley | Carrie Underwood | Chris Stapleton | Conway Twitty | Cole Swindell | Darius Rucker | Dierks Bentley | Dixie Chicks | Dolly Parton | Eric Church | Garth Brooks | George Jones | George Strait | Glen CampbellJason Aldean | Johnny Cash | John Denver | Keith Urban | Kenny Chesney | Kenny Rogers | Lady Antebellum | Little Big TownMartina McBride | Merle Haggard | Miranda Lambert | Patsy Cline | Randy Travis | Rascal Flatts | Reba McEntire | Sam Hunt | Shania Twain | Sheryl Crow | Thomas Rhett | Tim McGraw | Toby Keith | Travis Tritt | Waylon Jennings | Willie Nelson | Zac Brown Band

15. Vince Gill - "Worlds Apart" 

A Grammy-winning performance for Gill from the summer of 1996, this stands as one of his more tender performances, with the singer taking on the role of a man who realizes that the gap between him and his partner is more wide than he had ever imagined.

14. Vince Gill - "Tryin' To Get Over You"

Nobody has mastered the art of the heartbreak ballad with any more poise and passion than Vince Gill, and this 1994 number one was evidence of how downright beautiful it can sound to have your world falling down around you. Of course, that’s a tongue-in-cheek statement, but Gill’s angelic tenor was front and center here.

13. Vince Gill - "One More Last Chance"

While he has the way with a ballad, the singer can turn up the tempo with the best of them. In this 1993 Vince Gill song, the singer is pleading with his wife for another chance to stay with her in spite of his carousing. A line in the song was partially inspired by the story of George Jones driving his lawn mower to the bar during a fight with ex-wife Tammy Wynette. Jones had fun with that distinction, appearing in the video passing Gill and his golfing buddies -- on a riding lawn mower!

12. Vince Gill - "Pretty Little Adriana"

On paper, this 1996 hit sounds like just your average love song. But, the inspiration for the song came from one of the most tragic news stories in Nashville of the mid 1990s. In October of 1995, twelve-year old Adriane Dickerson was murdered in a Nashville supermarket parking lot. Gill was touched by the story -- as many in the area were -- and the result was one of the most haunting performances in his catalog.

11. Vince Gill - "I Still Believe In You"

After almost a decade of recording in Nashville, Vince Gill found himself atop the Country charts for the first time in 1992 with this heartfelt performance from the standpoint of a man who knew he was taking his significant other for granted, and wanted the chance to make it up to her.

10. Vince Gill - "Go Rest High On That Mountain"

Gill began writing this song not long after the 1989 passing of Keith Whitley. However, it wasn’t until the passing of his brother Bob that the singer finished the composition. This Vince Gill song is a perfect example of the impact a song can have -- regardless of chart position. The song only hit No. 14 on the singles chart, but the true measure of this song has been the millions of lives it has touched since its’ release. Making the song even more special were the pristine harmonies from Ricky Skaggs and Patty Loveless.

9. Vince Gill - "If You Ever Have Forever In Mind"

In 1998, the singer threw the industry for a loop with the release of the traditionally-minded masterpiece The Key. The set’s first single was this top ten hit that sounded like Chet Atkins at RCA Victor had left the machines rolling on a Jim Reeves session in 1962. The song definitely had a "Nashville Sound" feel to it, setting the song apart from the musical pack.

8. Vince Gill - "Pocket Full Of Gold"

After the million-selling success of When I Call Your Name, Gill could have gone in any musical direction of his choosing. So, it was telling that his first single from his second MCA Nashville album was this masterfully-written track about the risk a man can take when he ventures outside the boundaries of a relationship. The song definitely channeled his Bluegrass roots in a way that proved that Gill could handle any kind of style -- and still can twenty-five years later.

7. Vince Gill - "Which Bridge To Cross (Which Bridge To Burn)"

Sometimes, you go back and look at the timeline of an artist’s career, and you go 'A-ha. That’s why this song was so meaningful.' In 1995, Gill hit the top ten with a gripping performance about a man who knew the relationship had faded, but didn’t know how to proceed with his life. The song also represented a career rebirth of sorts for co-writer Bill Anderson, who kicked off a new phase of his career with his contribution to the song.

6. Vince Gill - "Look At Us"

A very poignant 1991 love song performance that had classic written all over it. Gill authored the song with veteran Nashville tunesmith Max D. Barnes, and his long-time steel guitarist John Hughey, added some unforgettable licks to this seminal early cut.

5. Vince Gill - "Take Your Memory With You"

Listeners to country radio might have been taken for a little bit of a surprise when this song came on the radio airwaves in the winter of 1992. The song owed as much to the classic shuffle sound of Ray Price as it did to what was on country radio at the time, but the fans responded, making this a No. 2 record.

4. Vince Gill - "Let’s Do Something"

In each of these lists, we try to pick one song that might not necessarily make such a story. In Gill’s case, we couldn’t resist this 1987 top-20 hit from his underrated stint at RCA. While he was still an artist in search of a sound, this grooving single showed that Gill could hold his own with anyone – inside the format or not. That included Bonnie Raitt, who added some energetic harmonies to this one.

3. Vince Gill - "Don’t Let Our Love Start Slipping Away"

This 1992 single was simple enough from a lyrical standpoint, but what sold it was the soaring melody -- combined with the stirring guitar work that Gill displayed on the cut. The video for the song was also one for the ages, featuring a who’s who of the music business, including Carl Perkins, Bruce Hornsby, Michael McDonald, and Reba McEntire -- as a waitress!

2. Vince Gill - "Whenever You Come Around"

In an interview with CMT’s Samantha Stephens, Gill talked about meeting Amy Grant for the first time in 1993. After that, he was understandably smitten, penning this love song in her honor. Interestingly enough, the two were sharing songs they were working on around that time, and Gill played the song for her -- without telling her that she was the muse behind the lyrics. Fast forward a few years, as the couple eventually got together, married, and had a child together. In 2016, as Gill was marking his silver anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member, artists such as Ashley Monroe, Patty Loveless, and Grant joined the singer on the stage. One of her contributions to the night? You guessed it. This song, which did make the impact on its’ subject that Gill had hoped it would some years prior.

1. Vince Gill - "When I Call Your Name"

Just as with George Jones and "He Stopped Loving Her Today," this song is about as automatic to top this list as any of the other Vince Gill songs in his treasure chest. The song was spellbinding, with Gill -- who had languished during his days at RCA -- finally getting his day in the sun with this 1990 song that earned him a ticket to the fast lane. But, more important to Gill was the reception that he received from his fellow artists. Whenever the singer would perform at the Grand Ole Opry, Roy Acuff would not let Gill leave the stage without performing the song that became his signature hit.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.