When some people think back on the music of the 1980’s, they think of pop stars – Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper come to mind, while others think of hair bands like Guns n’ Roses, Poison, and Van Halen. If a country music fan is asked about stars of the 80s and their music, one name that will inevitably be brought up is George Strait – “The King of Country.”
George Strait’s first album, Strait Country, was released in 1981, and he consistently released quality records throughout the 1980s. His fifth studio album, 1985’s Something Special was no exception. The record is 33 minutes full of George Strait’s signature mixture of honky-tonk country and fun western swing.
A song by song break down of the classic 1980s country music release Something Special by George Strait:
- “You’re Something Special to Me” – One of only two releases off of this album remarkable album, the title track to Something Special does not disappoint. It is a wonderful love song that doesn’t have to beat the idea of love to death to express it.
- “Last Time the First Time” – This tune has a really upbeat western swing melody despite the lyrical content. “When I caught you cheating me, it was my worst time” isn’t the happiest subject matter ever, but the song remains fun to listen to and sing along with.
- “Haven’t You Heard” – One of Strait’s more somber releases, this song is like a sucker punch. It can literally take the breath away.
- “In Too Deep” – This is another really upbeat western swing tune. George Strait does some really interesting and smooth vocal inflections with his voice in the individual verses. A definite toe-tapper.
- “Blue Is Not a Word” – The introductory fiddle work in this song almost makes it sound like it is going to be a sad song, but its not. This is a pure, direct address love song. “Blue is not a word as long as I’m with you.”
- “You Sure Got This ‘Ol Redneck Feeling Blue” – Vocally on this song, Strait’s voice most closely resembles the way it sounded from the late 1990s to this present day. Overall though, this song is lackluster for a George Strait tune.
- “The Chair” – This song was the first release from Something Special. The smooth vocals and the story-telling nature of the song made it a #1 hit and a fan favorite for George Strait. It would be hard to find a true country fan who wouldn’t recognize this song after the first line or two.
- “Dance Time in Texas” – If it were not known for this song, many would likely think beer flowed in Texas, but according to this song “It’s dance time in Texas where the wine and music flow.” The music in this song is too fun to be overly critical of the lyrics, and it is really quite a fun listen.
- “Lefty’s Gone” – Smooth. The vocals in this song are very smooth. The song is a tribute to Lefty Frizzell, and it is very beautifully written and very beautifully executed. This is one of Strait’s best cuts ever.
- “I’ve Seen That Look on Me (A Thousand Times)” – This song is a cohabitating cheaters song. It is slow-paced and not all that fun to listen to – easily the weakest song on the album, which is likely why it found a home as the last song on the album.
Something Special is one of George Strait’s strongest albums from the 1980s, and it gives the listener a glimpse of the King of Country right in the middle of his first decade on country radio. It definitely deserves not only a listen but a permanent place in the CD rotation or play list.
The Classic 80s Album Something Special by George Strait can be purchased at the following sites:
Article Statistics are from:
Kingsbury, Paul. Strait Out of the Box (booklet insert). MCA Records, Inc., Universal City, CA. 1995.