Flashback: See George Strait's Live 'Ocean Front Property' - Rolling Stone
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Flashback: See George Strait’s Good-Natured Live ‘Ocean Front Property’

Concert performance of classic hit recalls history-making LP, released 31 years ago today

By 1987, seven years into his MCA recording contract, GeorgeStrait had already laid the groundwork for a King-sized career. He had, in fact, already released his first Christmas album and first greatest-hits compilation before setting his sights on his seventh studio album Ocean Front Property, which was released 31 years ago today, January 12th, 1987.

Having already racked up nine Number One singles since 1982’s “Fool Hearted Memory” – including ballads such as “You Look So Good in Love” and “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together” alongside traditional-leaning swingers like “Right or Wrong” – Strait kicked off 1987 by selling out a two-night stint at the Houston Astrodome in less than 24 hours.

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

Although Ocean Front Property would ultimately boast three Number One hits, including “Am I Blue” and one of Strait’s most enduring hits, “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” the album 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, 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 a 1990 live concert from Tucson, Arizona, Strait performed “Ocean Front Property,” looking a bit younger but still sounding like the future icon and Country Music Hall of Fame member he would become in 2006. A perennial favorite, the song has remained extremely popular since it was first released and was even heard in a recent episode of the CBS comedy series Young Sheldon, the Big Bang Theory prequel which takes place in Texas in the late Eighties.

In March, Strait is slated to be honored as Texan of the Year by the Texas Legislative Conference.

In This Article: George Strait


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