Eric Church, also known as “The Chief,” has been entertaining country fans and carving out his distinctive brand of country music since 2006. At the moment, 14 years and six albums later, Church has earned a loyal fan base and has turned out to be one of the most dynamic entertainers in the world of country music. 

Throughout the past, Eric Church has released a multitude of both critically acclaimed and commercially successful songs, but we managed to trim his impressive discography down to just a few.

Here are the top Eric Church songs you need to check out.

10. Kill a Word

From: Mr. Misunderstood (2015)

During the release of “Kill a Word,” Eric Church said that he’s “never had a song that felt more meaningful and relevant.” Given the song’s immediate critical and commercial success, it only goes to show most listeners couldn’t agree more.

Co-written with Luke Dick and Jeff Hyde and featuring Rhiannon Giddens, “Kill a Word” is an earnest song that tempers Church’s badass image. It is where he fantasizes about eliminating painful remarks from life’s dictionary.

“I would have regretted not putting out ‘Kill a Word,’ and let this season pass, not knowing if I would get a chance again where it was this relevant, this timely,” Eric Church told Rolling Stone Country. “With this song, it’s a good time to bring it to the forefront. And whatever happens with it, happens. I just think it’s time for the world to hear it.”

9. Give Me Back My Hometown

From: The Outsiders (2014)

What could be lonelier than be at the comfort of the place you grew up and called home, then the person you once loved took that away from you?

“Give Me Back My Hometown” is “about a guy that’s still in his hometown. He’s in the most familiar place, the place he knows better than anything, but because his female lover left him there, all those places that he knows so well, become so haunting and foreign to him,” Eric Church explained.

The song reached No. 1 on the Country Airplay Billboard chart and was nominated for a Grammy Best Country Song.

8. Drink in My Hand

From: Chief (2011)

“Drink in My Hand” became Erich Church’s first No. 1 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The narrator on the up-tempo ballad sings about drinking alcohol to forget his problems. 

Eric Church revealed that the title of the song came from watching his fans at a live show. “It’s really funny to watch our fans they’re so coordinated with their cups and their beers it’s almost like synchronized drinking,” the singer said on how this view tickled his mind to write the song.

7. Talladega

From: The Outsiders (2014)

With “Talladega,” Eric Church tells a coming-of-age story about a group of boys who were fixing up an old Winnebago and traveling to Talladega for one last hurrah before the real world begins. Anyone who has went through those young, carefree days can absolutely relate to the song.

Talladega itself acts as a sort of metaphor for the days that the country singer will never get back. He sings, “I’d sure like to stay in Talladega.” The song undoubtedly resonated with its listeners. It topped the Country Airplay chart and earning Platinum status.

6. Misunderstood

From: Mr. Misunderstood (2015)

This song will always be memorable to Eric Church as he released it as a surprise during the week of the CMA Awards in 2015. The album was first released directly to fans through email and mail and was later on released to streaming services. 

Eric Church also performed the song during the awards show. In the song, the singer tells the story of a misfit kid who doesn’t like the things that everyone else likes. The song aims to encourage any other “Mr. Misunderstoods” out there and to let them know that they will someday be understood.

5. Some Of It

From: Desperate Man (2018)

The second single from Eric Church’s Desperate Man album is about all the lessons one has learned in life. Church sings that these lessons, coming in the form of heartbreak or with age, may not be easy, but these growing pains form the life we live. 

The song’s music video was unique. It was shot at the site of Shawshank Redemption, where it portrays Eric Church as a criminal paying for his crimes. The song did well commercially too. It became his eighth No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, Eric Church’s first since 2015.

4. Springsteen

From: Chief (2011)

Springsteen is a double Platinum chart-topper. It scored a Song of the Year win at the 2012 ACM Awards and helped ‘Chief’ album win Album of the Year the following year. Until ‘Springsteen,’ Church hadn’t established himself as a great storyteller. Thanks to the smooth nostalgia of this lengthy cut, things changed for Eric Church. 

3. Smoke a Little Smoke

From: Carolina (2009)

The moment “Smoke a Little Smoke” was released in 2009, country fans were begging radio stations to play it. 

It was the eighth single in Eric Church’s career to reach the Top 20 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart after peaking at No. 16. The song’s lyrics promote smoking marijuana, so it’s sort of miraculous that it became a Top 20 hit in the conservative format.

2. Lightning 

From: Sinners Like Me (2006)

Though “Lightning” was never released as a single and rarely played in concert, it’s the stuff of lore for Eric Church. It’s the only song written solely by Church on his debut album, Sinners Like Me. The song, narrating about a man going to the electric chair, was inspired by the 1999 film The Green Mile. 

With his talent showcased in this song, it finally convinced Sony Records to give him a contract.

1. Pledge Allegiance to the Hag

From: Sinners Like Me (2006)

This is one of Eric Church’s most often performed songs. The song documents the singer’s vital roots like his small-town lineage and the country music that raised him. 

But what’s interesting is that the song features a tender verse from Haggard himself and a downright anthemic chorus that sings: “they say country’s fading, but we’re still waving that flag around here.”

Indeed, the songs of Eric Church has set a recurring theme that would last all the way through and likely beyond. Recently, the North Carolina native announced that he’s currently working on the follow-up to his 2018’s Desperate Man, and we’re excited to hear it.