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10 Best Country Music Videos of 2017

From Thomas Rhett and Maren Morris’ explosive crime spree to Miranda Lambert’s stark solo performance

Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett went undercover as a pizza-delivering cop in his video for "Craving You."

Crime paid in 2017 – at least in country music videos, where some of the genre’s biggest and best indulged their lawbreakers fantasies. No less than four major country videos released during Donald Trump’s first year as president depicted a whole range of criminal acts and, amazingly, they were all guilty of being great.

Among them, Sam Outlaw was an easy mark for a beautiful and dangerous outlaw. Thomas Rhett played undercover cop to Maren Morris’ shotgun-wielding bank robber, taking down a crime boss in the process. Midland sold hooch on the sly and took a joy ride in a police cruiser. And Brothers Osborne issued some razor sharp political commentary with an epic Point Break-inspired robbing spree.

Meanwhile, the good times still looked as inviting as ever in offerings from Luke Combs, Paul Cauthen and the Band of Heathens, showing new and exciting ways to get over the one who left, or simply get on down.

From Miranda Lambert’s no-frills shower stall performance of “Tin Man” to Brothers Osborne’s adrenaline-packed “It Ain’t My Fault,” here are Rolling Stone Country‘s favorite videos of the year, in no particular order.

The Band of Heathens, “Sugar Queen”

In a decade’s time, after music videos have been replaced by some sort of interactive, holographic experience worthy of Star Trek, the Band of Heathens’ “Sugar Queen” might seem as dated as Def Leppard’s “Let’s Get Rocked.” In 2017, though, this 360-degree video is genuinely trippy and downright impressive. Like a choose-your-own-adventure novel, the story unfolds in different ways with different audiences, affording each viewer the opportunity to focus the camera on different members of the band. We recommend making a few good swirls around the perimeter, capturing the Heathens – as well as the women who dance around them – in their panoramic glory..

Midland, “Drinkin’ Problem”

Midland’s own Cameron Duddy directed this throwback video, which captures the same George Strait-influenced sheen as the song itself. In the clip, Midland’s three scruffy pinups distribute illegal moonshine to help pay for their own recording sessions. The cops finally wise up to the operation, but frontman Mark Wystrach gets the last laugh, hijacking a police car during the video’s final moments and taking his buddies for a pre-jail joyride.

Sam Outlaw, “Trouble”

Midway through this Western epic, our anti-heroine has already stolen one car and seduced two men, leaving a trail of crime and carnality across the California desert. She ultimately winds up at a Sam Outlaw show, where she finds her next victim – the dopily-grinning frontman himself – onstage. Equal parts Quentin Taratino and Thelma & Louise, “Trouble” is the dark, R-rated foil to Sam Outlaw’s boy-next-door demeanor, with gorgeous cinematography from director Chris Phelps.