Hear Frankie Ballard's playlist of his favorite '90s tracks | EW.com


Frankie Ballard made us a playlist of his favorite '90s tracks, and it's all that and a bag of chips

(Courtesy of Warner Music Nashville )

Frankie Ballard, the country rocker with a backwoods-bluesy growl, released his second album, Sunshine and Whiskey, last fall, and it just keeps on going—its first two singles, “Helluva Life,” and the album’s title track, were back-to-back Hot Country Songs chart toppers, and its third single, “Young & Crazy” (official music video below) just dropped, charting immediately. He’s currently touring, both on his own as well as on Florida Georgia Line’s “Anything Goes” arena tour, with festival appearances at Tortuga Music Festival and Stagecoach weaved throughout. Afterward, he’ll hole up to record Sunshine and Whiskey’s follow-up. 

So, since it seemed like he had plenty time on his hands, we asked him to do us a favor: Make us a playlist. Any theme, any songs—whatever you want. In return, we got a killer, rock-heavy trip through the ’90s. Catching up with the singer from a tour stop in Illinois, here’s the story behind each pick. 

Sheryl Crow - “A Change Would Do You Good”
“I loved her back in the day, but this one was always my favorite—I thought it was such a cool groove and that handclap just made you wanna dance.”

The Wallflowers - “One Headlight”
“This album, this song in particular is heavy. I still cover it, sometimes. That was always the one that if we played in college, the girls would talk to us after the show.”

Buckcherry - “Lit Up”
“Yeaaaaaah! I used to jam this in my ‘91 T-Bird until my speakers were about to blow up. It is such a rock and roll song—it’s about doing drugs and being crazy and isn’t that what rock and roll is all about.”

Alanis Morissette - “You Oughta Know”
“She is a badass chick. I’ve heard that this song was about Jeff Daniels, the actor. I have no clue if that’s true. But it’s so angsty and it’s so much fun to hear a girl singing about that stuff—’Everytime I scratch my nails down someone else’s back, I hope you feel it,’ I mean, that is so cool. And Flea, from the Chili Peppers, is playing bass and I think Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters is playing drums. It’s just a killer track.”

Kid Rock - “Bawitdaba”
“When I was a kid—I grew up in Michigan—Kid Rock was a huge deal. When this song came out, it was just bonkers. Everybody was jammin’ this tune. And we didn’t know what it meant, we were like, ‘It’s called WHAT?’ But it’s so much energy and attitude and to me, that’s his brand. If an alien came down, I think we have to play him ‘Bawitdaba.’”

The Notorious B.I.G - “Party and Bullshit”
“I never really listened to hip-hop that much but I listened to him and he was so awesome—just his phrasing, I can’t get enough. Go-to jam for college parties, for sure.”

Rob Zombie - “Dragula”
“Very much like Kid Rock and Buckcherry, it’s just all energy. Listening to these songs for me was like going to the movies. It was so much hype, it felt good. And the production on ‘Dragula’ was so good—the guitars are so sinister and it sounds just scary and tough.”

Pearl Jam - “Wishlist”
“It’s my favorite Pearl Jam song—I don’t know what it is. It hits me as a songwriter, I wish I would have written it. ‘I wish I was that little break that you depended on, I wish I was the full moon shining off your Camaro’s hood.’ I can’t get enough of that tune.”

Dwight Yoakam - “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere”
“What an epic tune; I love Dwight. It’s just lonesome, and I love a good lonesome country song. It’s probably my favorite of his songs.”

Brooks and Dunn - “Neon Moon”
“To me, this is one of the best country recordings of all time—the tones, how much reverb, Ronny Dunn’s voice, and just the sadness of the lyric. It makes you want to love country music.”