Personnel: George Strait (vocals, guitar); Dean Parks (acoustic guitar); Billy Joe Walker, Jr., Reggie Young (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (pedal steel guitar); Johnny Gimble (fiddle); John Hobbs (piano); David Hungate (bass); Matt Betton (drums); Curtis "Mr. Harmony" Young (background vocals).
George Strait's 1984 album Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind is widely regarded as his greatest album but its 1985 successor, Something Special, doesn't pale in comparison, even if it doesn't quite offer something special or different from what Strait has done before. Far from being a departure, if anything Something Special digs even deeper into traditional country, rooted heavily on Western swing and pure honky tonk, from the shuffles to the barroom ballads that pop up regularly. Only the side openers -- the Top Five hit "You're Something Special to Me" and "You Sure Got This Ol' Redneck Feelin' Blue" -- and the number one single "The Chair" have a bit of radio-ready gloss -- gloss that may be slick, but not too pop -- and the rest of the album is lean classic country, typified by the excellent tribute "Lefty's Gone" and the giddy "Dance Time in Texas." It's a no-fuss, straight-ahead record, and while it may be no different than Strait's other records, it doesn't make Something Special any less special. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine