Bruce Hornsby Songs Ranked

Bruce Randall Hornsby (born November 23, 1954) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. He draws frequently from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, gospel, rock, blues, and jam band musical traditions. Hornsby’s recordings have been recognized on a number of occasions with industry awards, including the 1987 Grammy Award for Best New Artist with Bruce Hornsby and the Range, the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album, and the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. His 21st album, Absolute Zero, was released in April 2019 and features collaborations with Justin Vernon and Sean Carey of Bon Iver, Jack DeJohnette, Blake Mills, yMusic, The Staves, and Brad Cook. Here are all of Bruce Hornsby’s songs ranked.

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10. Just the Way It Is (The Way It Is, 1986)

“The title track is one of the definitive songs of the 1980s. Race is a theme that Hornsby has returned to time and again in his work, never as dramatically or as straightforwardly as he does here. Once that stately piano introduction is heard, it will stick in one’s head for a long time”

9. Shadow Hand (Spirit Trail, 1998)

“Good stuff from Hornsby, though vastly protracted at 20 tracks. I like the celebratory “Shadow Hand” most of all, but other good songs include “Preacher in the Ring, Pt. 2”, “Song C”, “Pete and Manny”, and “Swan Song”, which cleaves closest to the Hornsby of old. All in all, the album is a pronounced improvement over both _Harbor Lights_ and _Hot House_.”

8. White Wheeled Limousine (Hot House, 1995)

“The songs may sound like jazz but they’re really little more than easy listening pop songs. They’re well written and performed pop songs, definitely of higher compositional quality than your average but still nothing terribly interesting. Nothing is exactly memorable on this release.”

7. Crown of Jewels (Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby, 2007)

“This is the title track written and performed by Bruce Hornsby for Randy Scruggs’ album. It is based on a true story concerning a pageant winner from Virginia.”

See more: Bruce Hornsby Albums Ranked

6. Dreamland (Halcyon Days, 2004)

“Bruce hornsby’s virtuosity on piano is on full display on this record and it is never really overbearing but quite entertaining. It is put to good use with some well written songs. The production is big and some may consider overdone but I would argue it suits the music and is always interesting.”

5. Cyclone (Levitate, 2009)

“There are some very high profile guests on this record which give some clue to the esteem in which BH is held. There are no weak moments on this record and quite often there is a good groove which does get better with each listen”

4. Hot House Ball (Hot House, 1995)

“This is Hornsby at his best. Recorded in his house with a lot of prominent guests (Bele fleck, Pat Metheny..) the atmosphere is hot and the playing is even hotter. With the best set of songs in years things just can´t go wrong. Bruce is a musicians musician and this album is grand cru musicianship.”

3. This Too Shall Pass (Big Swing Face, 2002)

“The music here is pretty good and quite lively with a mix of rock/pop, jazz and hip hop. It does start stronger than it finishes.”

2. Fortunate Son / Comfortably Numb (Intersections, 2005)

“If I wasn’t such a Big Country fan, this would be my favorite album of the 80’s. It’s a shame that Hornsby dove off into jazz and such later in his career, ’cause as this album and the follow-up, Scenes From The Southside, showed, he could write and perform a damn good rock/pop song.”

1. Swan Song (Spirit Trail, 1998)

“Great song by one of the most criminally underrated artists out there. The song captures perfectly how I hope I feel at the end of all of my life milestones. When my career is over. When I can no longer live on my own. When I can no longer walk on my own. When I finally pass from this earth. I hope that I can honestly say the words to this song. It may not be a fond farewell, it may not be a farewell that I want, but at the end of the day, few regrets, no sorro”