Classic Album Review-George Strait “Something Special”
Today, we take a look back at what I think is one of the best albums to come out of the 1980’s. It was August, 1985, when George Strait released his sixth album, “Something Special”.
Two singles came from the album. “The Chair”, is a great song, one of the best of that era, while “You’re Something Special To Me” is also fine listening. Unlike some albums, where once you get past the single releases, the quality drops, this album is strong with every track.
“Last Time The First Time” is a song that will conjure up images of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. A very strong Western Swing number, it is, and is as good as anything he recorded in that era.
I recall some buzz about “Haven’t You Heard”, when this album was first released, and with good reason. This straight-ahead country number is one of the best songs on the album. How it never got released as a single, I do not know. They missed, there.
Back to the Western Swing sound for “In Too Deep” (no, not the same song as Genesis’ from that period), another toe-tapper, George is always at his best, with these style of songs.
“Blue Is Not A Word”, is a decent love ballad. However, the recording sounds, to me, like it should have been dropped a key or two, as it almost sounds at times, like it’s too high for him to sing. That’s about the only criticism I can give on the whole album.
Another outstanding cut is “You Sure Got This Ol’ Redneck Feelin’ Blue”. This is what is called a country “tear-jerker”.
The last of the swing numbers is “Dance Time In Texas”, lyrically, the weakest song on the disc. That being said, one still finds themselves drawn in to the number, with it’s infectious beat and again, that Bob Wills-style of arrangement.
“Lefty’s Gone” is a tribute to the legendary Lefty Frizzell, written by Lefty’s longtime songwriting partner, Sanger Shafer. Tribute songs can often times get too syrupy or sappy, however, both singer and songwriter avoid that with this one, and as a result, we get a fitting tribute to one of the most influential country music acts of the past sixty years.
“I’ve Seen That Look On Me (A Thousand Times)” wraps up the album in fine style, as a hard country ballad, that George sings as well as he does the dance numbers.
Availability-wise, you’ll find used vinyl copies with just a little searching, but it is also still available, on CD, as well as being available for download on mp3.
Overall, this album is an easy 5 out of 5. I’ve said this before; the best albums leave you wanting more. This does just that. It’s like a great meal; when you’re done, you are full and completely satisfied with the quality, flavor, and depth. However, you’d love to have even more if it were possible. Even after twenty-five years, this album still feels fresh; it’s one of the best of the 1980’s.
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