October 20

The Story Behind: “Ocean Front Property”

The Story Behind: “Ocean Front Property” 1
Mr. Strait himself

As St. Valentine’s gift in 1987, George Strait benchmarked for country music. His album “Ocean Front Property” appeared at number one on Billboard’s Country Album chart—the second after Waylon Jennings’ “Ol Waylon” in 1977. It soared high because of Strait’s growing popularity and the audience’s interest in the title track. The song’s roots went back to one of his earlier singles, “The Chair”.

George Strait’s “Ocean Front Property”, from his seventh studio album, was released on January 12, 1987, under MCA Records. The RIAA certified it 2× multi-platinum as it is the first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. On CMT’s 40 Greatest Albums in Country Music in 2006, it ranked #5.

A Live Performance of George Strait singing Ocean Front Property

George Strait did a great job at telling the story of the song written by Dean Dillon, Royce Porter, and Hank Cochran. It was a clever way to show drama. This song is about a man who is singing to his woman who might leave him. He was hiding what he truly felt by saying that he will not miss her when she is gone, will not ever take her back, and will not be haunted by her memory.  He then reveals the absolute symbol of his claims by saying, “Now if you’ll buy that…I got some ocean front property in Arizona…. If you’ll buy that, I’ll throw the Golden Gate in for free”.  These lines compare his impossibility of moving on to obtaining an ocean front property in a state surrounded by land.

While Strait kept its sad tone intact, his vocal interpretation was straightforward enough to keep the song’s controversial metaphor from coming across as exaggerated.  Its simple steel-laden arrangement has helped the song age with dignity.  After its full quarter-century release, it is yet another memorable classic  Strait record that retains its appeal.


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