Brad Paisley Returns to Winner’s Circle With Love and War

Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” Continues as Country Radio's Top Song

Brad Paisley again makes his bow at the top of Billboard’s country albums chart with Love and War. It is his ninth time to reside in this musical penthouse, his first having been Mud on the Tires in 2003.

In the meantime, Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” enjoys its second consecutive week as country radio’s most-played song.

Only one other album debuts in the Top 50 this time around. It’s Taylor Ray Holbrook’s EP, Backroads.

(What is this obsession with back roads? Apart from the titles just cited, remember Rodney Atkins’ “Take a Back Road (2011), Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” (also 2011) and Granger Smith’s “Backroad Song (2016)? Is no one in country music aware of the interstates?)

Albums returning to the charts include Shania Twain’s Greatest Hits (at No. 39), Paisley’s Hits Alive (No. 45), the self-titled Dylan Scott (No. 48) and Icon 2: George Strait (No. 50).

There are four new songs to rejoice over: Jon Pardi’s “Heartache on the Dance Floor” (gliding in at No. 49), Aldean’s “They Don’t Know” (No. 56), Russell Dickerson’s “Young” (No. 57) and John Mayer’s “In the Blood” (No. 59).

Michael Tyler’s “They Can’t See” rebounds at No. 58.

Bunching up just behind Love and War in the Top 5 albums array, in descending order, are Keith Urban’s Ripcord (last week’s No. 1), Chris Stapleton’s Traveller, Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots and the eponymous Brett Young.

The No. 2 through No. 5 songs are Luke Combs“Hurricane,” Kelsea Ballerini’s “Yeah Boy,” Josh Turner’s “Hometown Girl” and Brett Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know.”

Anyone thought about writing a song called “Back Road Traffic Jam”?

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to