Introducing the Texas 30: The 30 Best Texas Albums of the Past 30 Years

We forget if it was Muhammad the Prophet or a different kind of prophet, Willie Nelson, who answered the question about why he climbed the mountain with a simple, "Because it's there."

In Willie's case, the question would probably be why he continues to tour, but the answer is the same. In this week's cover story, Music Editor Chris Gray (aka me) counts down the Top 30 Texas albums of the past 30 years, released between 1982 and 2012. Just in time for the end of the world, right?

Of course they're not just my choices. About two months ago, I started emailing professional music writers at newpapers and magazines statewide, and started twisting their arms (actually, asking nicely) to make their own lists. About 25 of them, from all of Texas' major cities, were nice enough to do so. A couple of them even told me they had fun.

This whole thing started when Assistant Music Editor Craig Hlavaty brought in a book he found called the Genuine Texas Handbook, which had a list called "Required Texas Listening." But we figured a person can listen to only so much Jerry Jeff Walker and Buddy Holly, even Willie (gasp), so we decided to make a new list of albums that no self-respecting Lone Star record collection should go without. And now, here it is.

See much more on our Rocks Off music blog, including:

Albums 60-51

Albums 50-41

Albums 40-31

Willie Nelson's Best Texas Albums from 1982-2012

And even more in the days to come.

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