Billboard: 2012 End Of Year Country Charts Examined


So it’s now 2013, and a brand new year for country music,
but I bet you’re still thinking about 2012 and wondering who really came out on
top in 2012. Billboard have compiled a few end of year charts, but they’re a
little hard to find and on separate pages, so I thought I’d put them all
together in one article, with a little of my own two cents about the results.
I’ve taken the first 25 from each chart, but they all go up to #50 or #100 so I
suggest you check out the links for each chart for more information.

Top Country Artists

  1. Taylor Swift
  2. Jason Aldean
  3. Luke Bryan
  4. Lady Antebellum
  5. Carrie Underwood
  6. Eric Church
  7. Zac Brown Band
  8. Blake Shelton
  9. Toby Keith
  10. Kenny Chesney
  11. The Band Perry
  12. Tim McGraw
  13. Miranda Lambert
  14. Rascal Flatts
  15. Lionel Richie
  16. Lee Brice
  17. Hunter Hayes
  18. Scotty McCreery
  19. Brantley Gilbert
  20. Little Big Town
  21. Jake Owen
  22. Dierks Bentley
  23. Kip Moore
  24. Josh Turner
  25. Eli Young Band

It figures that Taylor Swift is at the top of this chart due
to the changes Billboard made to the way it compiles its charts earlier this
year. The changes included lessening the importance of country radio and
opening it up to other formats, as well as specifically digital sales. From
this, all the promo singles from Taylor Swift’s October release ‘Red’ managed
to chart in the country charts despite not being released to radio. Other than that this chart is fairly predictable, although
I’m surprised with the success of ‘Over You’ that Miranda Lambert is so far
down, yet her husband Blake is higher, with less releases and more focus on
television. I’m also surprised at how high Toby Keith is considering how
recently his album came out, how high Lionel Richie is considering he’s pretty
new to country music, and how low people like Scotty McCreery and Hunter Hayes
are, considering all the younger fans they seem to have been attracting,
therefore utilising the digital sales section of this chart. However, otherwise
this seems pretty much what I expected.


Top Country Songs 

  1. Time Is Love – Josh Turner
  2. You Don’t Know Her Like I Do – Brantley Gilbert
  3. Why Ya Wanna – Jana Kramer
  4. Cowboys And Angels – Dustin Lynch
  5. (Kissed You) Good Night – Gloriana
  6. Better Than I used To Be – Tim McGraw
  7. Even If It Breaks Your Heart – Eli Young Band
  8. Lovin’ You Is Fun – Easton Corbin
  9. Springsteen – Eric Church
  10. Drunk On You – Luke Byran
  11. You – Chris Young
  12. Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck – Kip Moore
  13. Reality – Kenny Chesney
  14. Alone With You – Jake Owen
  15. Over You – Miranda Lambert
  16. Home – Dierks Bentley
  17. I Don’t Want This Night To End
  18. Hard To Love – Lee Brice
  19. Dancin’ Away With My Heart – Lady Antebellum
  20. Wanted – Hunter Hayes
  21. Angel Eyes – Love And Theft
  22. A Woman Like You – Lee Brice
  23. You Gonna Fly – Keith Urban
  24. No Hurry – Zac Brown Band
  25. All Your Life – The Band Perry

There are a few things about this chart that confuse me.
‘Springsteen’ for one was such a massive hit I’m surprised it isn’t higher, and
I’m shocked ‘Pontoon’ by Little Big Town isn’t in the top 25 at all. Also, I’m
impressed that even at his age (you can’t deny ageism in the music industry),
Tim McGraw is still managing to reach #6 – considering all his dramatic splits
from labels and joining new ones, he’s done pretty well to secure that spot. I thought maybe ‘Over You’, ‘Drunk On You’, ‘No Hurry’ and
‘Wanted’ would be higher, but equally I’m proud of Lee Brice for getting two
songs in the top 25, considering he’s a new artist. The top 4 were totally
expected for me, all 4 songs were huge and ‘Cowboys And Angels’ effectively
launched Dustin’s career and has really made him one to watch for 2013. The one thing I was waiting for, however, was the Taylor
Swift entries. Where are they? After all the controversy surrounding the
Billboard changes that resulted in Taylor owning the chart for weeks on end
with multiple tracks, she doesn’t even feature once in the top 25 of 2012. I
had a look through and ‘Ours’ was at #37, with the mega hit ‘WANEGBT’ at #86.
Wow. Finally, Carrie Underwood didn’t make the top 25. What? Overall
this chart is very surprising in places and doesn’t really match up with my
expectations at all.


Top Country Albums

  1. Red – Taylor Swift
  2. Tailgates & Tanlines – Luke Bryan
  3. Tuskegee – Lionel Richie
  4. Own The Night – Lady Antebellum
  5. Blown Away – Carrie Underwood
  6. My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean
  7. Chief – Eric Church
  8. Clear As Day – Scotty McCreery
  9. Night Train – Jason Aldean
  10. Uncaged – Zac Brown Band
  11. The Band Perry – The Band Perry
  12. Welcome To The Fishbowl – Kenny Chesney
  13. Clancy’s Tavern – Toby Keith
  14. Four The Record – Miranda Lambert
  15. Halfway To Heaven – Brantley Gilbert
  16. Red River Blue – Blake Shelton
  17. Changed – Rascal Flatts
  18. Speak Now – Taylor Swift
  19. Tornado – Little Big Town
  20. You Get What You Give – Zac Brown Band
  21. Speak Now: World Tour Live – Taylor Swift
  22. Hunter Hayes – Hunter Hayes
  23. Emotional Traffic – Tim McGraw
  24. Hell On Heels – Pistol Annies
  25. Hard 2 Love – Lee Brice

As expected, Taylor Swift has all three of her album
releases since 2009 in the list, alongside what I can gather as almost all the
major releases of 2011/12 in country music. Although I’m surprised that Lionel
Richie found the #3 spot,  considering
country music’s tendency not to accept ‘genre outsiders’, it was a big album in
2012 and well deserved. The thing about album charts is they become a little
confusing from the trend of buying back catalogue when artists release new
material. Zac Brown Band are a clear example, whose 2010 release ‘You Get What
You Give’ reached #20 on the chart, whilst their latest hit album ‘Uncaged’
sits at #10. I have to say a big ‘whoop whoop!’ for one of my favorite
bands ever the Pistol Annies, largely underrated and often not receiving the
awards or the commercial exposure they should, in my humble opinion. So it’s
both nice and surprising to see their 2011 album, ‘Hell On Heels’ top Lee Brice
by getting to #24, setting the trend for new music in 2013. This chart seems about right to me as to the big albums of

Overall, it’s clearly been a massive year for country music,
and these charts reflect that, although there are a fair few surprises in the
lists that makes me question how exactly they’ve put these charts together. I
would have assumed they’d have simply added up all the sales over the year but
judging by the results they may have done it differently, for example totalling
weeks at certain positions on the chart. You also have to question how they’ve
calculated it when they changed where they took the results from halfway
through the year (adding other format radio and more importantly digital
sales). It’d be interesting to read a full explanation of how they’ve compiled
these end-of-year charts. You can also see a couple of other charts that I
haven’t mentioned, Top
Country Songs Artists
and Top
Country Albums Artists

I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings us, particularly the
chart smashes that are yet to even exist. So what did you think of the charts?
What did you think of my responses? Let us know in the comments!

Posted by Vickye (Guest Writer).
If you want to check out my own blog
it's For The Country
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This Post Has 4 Comments


    My friend and I both agreed that Red is not a country album. For it to be labelled as one is really misleading. Her past albums I would agree are country, with some pop infused. But these days her latest one is more pop than country.

    Brian Woodrow

    Where is JUSTIN MOORE…take one listen to his album and his tour dates/locations you will know his name belongs.


    Taylor is at it again just dominating the charts. I do find it interesting that she does not have any top 25 songs yet she still has the no. 1 spot for both top country artist and album. I think this says a lot about her popularity and star power that even in a year where she does not have a top hit she can still command the album sales that she does.


    Excuse, the phrase is removed

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