January 30

Look Back 31 years ago: ‘Ocean Front Property’ by George Strait


Look Back 31 years ago: ‘Ocean Front Property’ by George Strait 1

Record Breaking

Just even years into his MCA recording contract, George Strait had the groundwork to be the king of country music. He had already released his first Christmas album and first greatest-hits compilation. Thereafter, he set his sights on his seventh studio album Ocean Front Property, which was released 31 years ago on January 12, 1987.

In 1982, the king already racked up nine No. 1 singles. It includes ballads like “You Look So Good In Love” and “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together”. Not only that, the traditional-leaning swingers like “Right or Wrong”. George Strait kicked it off in 1987 by selling out a two-night stint at the Houston Astrodome in less than 24 hours.

His Success

An undeniable factor in the king’s early and ongoing track record was songwriter Dean Dillon. Dillon was with a legendary songwriter Hank Cochran who had already written Strait’s unforgettable 1985 classic “The Chair”. However, that tune was sweetly sentimental, the title cut they wrote for Ocean Front Property – with Royce Porter. Porter was Dillon’s collaborator on Strait’s previous chart-topper “It Ain’t Cool to Be Crazy About You”. That song took an ironic look at a break-up in lyrics that insisted a former lover wouldn’t be missed. But, to be the bigger lie in a series of falsehood was the geographical impossibility of ocean-front property in the landlocked state of Arizona.

Even though the album would ultimately boast three Number One hits, it would enter the record books for yet another distinction. Upon its release, it became the very first LP to debut at Number One on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. It was four full years before the publication’s use of SoundScan made Number One debuts a common occurrence. Two weeks after its debut, the album was certified gold. It has since gone on to sell more than two million copies.

In 1990, a live concert from Tucson, Arizona, George Strait performed “Ocean Front Property”. He looked a bit younger but still sounded like the future icon and Country Music Hall of Fame member he would become in 2006.

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