3.If You're Thinking You Want A Stranger (There's One Coming Home)
4.Fool Hearted Memory
5.Marina Del Ray
6.Amarillo By Morning
7.A Fire I Can't Put Out
8.You Look So Good In Love
9.Right Or Wrong
10.Let's Fall To Pieces Together
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: George Strait (vocals, guitar).
It's impossible to underestimate how important George Strait was to country music in the mid-1980s. He's credited with single-handedly saving the entire genre from extinction after URBAN COWBOY-era over-saturation and a too-close flirtation with mainstream pop. Listening to the 10 songs gathered on 1986's GREATEST HITS, it's easy to understand the no-nonsense Texan's appeal: any one of these songs, the majority of them written by seasoned Music Row professionals, could have been a hit in the '60s for Ray Price, or in the '70s for George Jones, or in the '50s for Lefty Frizell. Tunes such as the timeless "Amarillo By Morning" or Strait's first Number One country hit "Fool-Hearted Memory" are conservative without being musty or overly retro. The traditional twang is there, with weepy pedal steel guitars, honky-tonk piano and old-fashioned countrypolitan strings providing a perfect Nashville-style setting for Strait's smooth, easy-going delivery. This is as country as country got in the '80s, and this selection of Strait's earliest hits encapsulates how perfectly formed his musical persona was from the beginning.