"Against the Grain," 1991
"Folks call me a maverick/Guess I ain't too diplomatic/I just never been the kind to go along"
Penned by Bruce Bouton, Larry Cordle and Carl Jackson, this hard-charging track opened Brooks' second album, the career-changing, history-making Ropin' the Wind. The tune namechecks trailblazers from Christopher Columbus to John Wayne, as its narrator hopes to "buck the system" as they did. One of his earliest songs, "Against the Grain" was just one of the ways in which the public was now on notice that Brooks was anything but a garden-variety country star.