Thursday, July 07, 2016

Listening to George Chronologically

1981, Strait Country
So this listening to ALL of George Strait's albums in chronological order was not a planned summer project. THOUGH one could argue that I wanted to TIME TRAVEL. And what better way to travel through the decades than in the company of King George?!

First album up is Strait Country. Like many of his albums, it features ten songs. The songs I was already familiar with were: "Unwound," "Blame It On Mexico," "Her Goodbye Hit Me In the Heart," and "If You're Thinking You Want a Stranger." (I knew these from Strait Out of the Box.)

It was my first time to hear the rest of the songs on this album: "Honky Tonk Downstairs," "I Get Along With You," "Down and Out," "Friday Night Fever," "Every Time You Throw Dirt On Her (You Lose a Little Ground)," and "She's Playing Hell Trying to Get Me To Heaven."

Of the new-to-me songs, there are a few that stand out to me: "Down and Out" (which was an official single, just not one often heard on the radio at least not in the past two decades), "Friday Night Fever" (which has a good steady bass beat that might be disco influenced, but not in a bad way), and "Every Time You Throw Dirt On Her (You Lose a Little Ground)" (which may just be my favorite title, at least on this album). 

Here's how Friday Night Fever opens, "Love the sound of a jukebox playing, so I sit here while she's staying home watching Dallas on T.V." That makes me smile because most of my Friday night memories were of DALLAS. (The show ended when I was in sixth grade.) And, the chorus:

Sometimes a man just needs a breather.
She knows I love her and I need her.
And I'm no cheater,
I've just got that Friday Night Fever.

Every Time You Throw Dirt On Her is written from the perspective of a guy (a friend, perhaps) who is biding his time and waiting to make his move.

It's hard to bite my lip
But, I ain't saying a word
I give you all the rope to hang yourself
That you deserve
You might be ahead of me in her heart today
But, that's okay
Every time you throw dirt on her
You lose a little ground
She slips a little farther away
Each time that you put her down
A lady like that can come here and get
Somebody who knows what he's found
Every time you throw dirt on her
You lose a little ground

Second album is Straight from the Heart.  It again has ten songs. The songs I was already familiar with: "Fool Hearted Memory" "Heartbroke," "I Can't See Texas From Here," "Marina del Rey," "Amarillo by Morning," and "A Fire I Can't Put Out." (Again I know them from Strait Out of the Box). I just have to say that Fool Hearted Memory and Amarillo By Morning may tie as my favorite, favorite, favorite songs to sing along with--at least from this album. I LOVE and adore them.

There were plenty of new to me or practically new to me songs. "Honky Tonk Crazy," "The Only Thing I Have Left," "The Steal of the Night," "Lover in Disguise." Of these new-to-me songs, I'd say "Honky Tonk Crazy" is probably my favorite. "Tonight I'll be, honky tonk crazy let the whiskey whisk her out of my mind." "Lover In Disguise," definitely wins the most dated song I've heard so far from either album. The background singers on it, well, they're something.

Amarillo by Morning, live

Foolhearted Memory, live

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


A Bookish Way of Life said...

I loved George Strait in the film Pure Country - such a fun movie. Plus, the soundtrack was AMAZING! His voice is the best! Love listening to his music. I think its so cool you are listening to his music chronologically - that's gotta be fun to hear how much his voice and songs have changed over the years. Very cool!

Ms. O said...

Somehow I missed the first posts! It's King George, as he's known around here. We get to hear Down and Out on the radio pretty regularly, but then again I do live in his hometown. I have never even heard of Every Time You Throw Dirt. Off to listen to it now.

Becky said...

Ms. O, thanks for stopping by! I'm having so much fun with this project. I started purposefully listening this past week. I put in a few days worth of listening before I started posting. I hope to listen to each album two to three times before daring to write my opinion of it! Expect a new post every day or every other day until the project is done.

Nadia, thanks for visiting! If either of you want to join me, I'd definitely welcome you! I think one thing I'm discovering is how timeless his music is.