George Strait is country music royalty and one of the most successful music artists of all time. He helped ignite the neotraditional country movement and is one of the most authentic cowboys you’ll find in the genre. One of the preeminent music artists in history, his 120 million album sales and 60-plus number-one hit singles are a testament to his greatness.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 21 of George Strait’s best songs of all time.
1. Check Yes Or No
Check Yes Or No topped the charts in 1995 and became one of Strait’s absolute biggest songs. It’s incredibly sweet, following some very young childhood sweethearts and likely inspired plenty of notes passed around in classrooms around the country. It was named the CMA Single of the Year in 1996 and has been referenced and covered by numerous country artists throughout the years.
It may not be diehard George Strait fans’ favorite track, but it’s definitely one that enraptured the childhoods of country music listeners like me.
2. Amarillo By Morning
Amarillo By Morning is one of Strait’s purest troubadour songs and should be considered one of his absolute best tracks overall. A journeyman ode that took over the rodeo circuit upon release, his version came out later than Terry Stafford’s original version.
The freedom expressed in the song really hooked fans and made it one of the greatest country tracks of the time, free to roam, free to have nothing but the clothes on your back, and free to just live in the moment. Overall, the song is just about being content, and it’s a beautiful sentiment.
3. Carrying Your Love With Me
This song had a recent rejuvenation on TikTok with some remixed versions gaining popularity for some… not particularly safe for work innuendos, but the original is undeniably one of Strait’s best songs.
A troubadour through and through, the track assures his lover that no matter how far he goes or how long he’s gone her love will see him through. He doesn’t need to even pack anything for his travels as long as he gets a goodbye kiss on the way out. The song was also yet another one of his number-one songs.
4. All My Ex’s Live In Texas
If there was ever a debate about country music anthems then this song has to be in the conversation. Strait’s delivery in the track is on point, and the lyrics themselves verge on being actually funny. It gives the notion that he has left so many women in Texas that he wouldn’t be safe entering the state so he’d rather stay in good old Tennessee and keep recording.
5. Write This Down
Just like Check Yes Or No, Strait returns to his notepad to deliver yet another adorable love song. It’s one of those perfect little reminders that he loves you, and just in case you forget you should jot it down so you can read it any time you’re feeling lonely. It ended up being a massive hit on his 1999 Always Never The Same album.
It’s one of those timeless country tracks that still get radio play today and is easily one of the best songs he put out in his career.
6. I Cross My Heart
I Cross My Heart may be one of the most romantic country songs of all time. It was one of two hits to come from Strait’s Pure Country album release, ending up as the first single from the album to reach number one in both the US and Canada. It was used in a movie as part of the soundtrack for Pure Country, for which this singer did quite a bit of work.
Despite his signature delivery, the song is full of emotion, pledging to do anything and everything necessary to make his lover’s dreams come true and give her the love she deserves.
7. I Saw God Today
I Saw God Today is one of Strait’s newer releases, coming out in 2008 as part of his Troubadour album. It not only gave him his highest chart debut ever, coming in at number 19 on the Hot Country Songs chart, but it also made it to number one and gave him his 43rd number-one single on that chart.
It dives into living in the moment and noticing all the joys in life, small and large, and in seeing them it gives the narrator a glimpse of God in a way that made it one of his most memorable releases.
8. The Chair
The Chair is a classic country pick-up song, going through every step of Strait finding his lady of the night. It opens with the line “Well excuse me, But I think you’ve got my chair” which gives him an excuse to talk to her and ends with the honest line “…to tell you the truth, That wasn’t my chair at all.”
It was his first single release from Something Special, reaching number one in both the US and Canada in 1985 and eventually being named one of the top 100 country songs of all time by CMT.
9. Carried Away
“I get carried away, by the look, By the light in your eyes.” Strait really knew how to lay down classic country love songs. Carried Away was released in 1996 as the second single from his Blue Clear Sky album and eventually became his 30th number-one single on the Hot Country Songs chart.
In 1997, the CMA’s nominated it for single of the year alongside One Night At A Time, marking one of the few times an artist has had two songs nominated for the award at the same time.
A troubadour through and through, Strait has been on the go for longer than his music career has lasted. Run gives fans a look into the vulnerable side of the venerated artist, yearning for his lover to be with him no matter how she gets there. It served as the lead single for his The Road Less Traveled album in 2001.
This is probably his best song that didn’t reach the number one spot on the Hot Country Songs chart, being blocked on two separate occasions by Toby Keith’s I Wanna Talk About Me and Alan Jackson’s Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning) respectively.
11. Ocean Front Property
There’s an old saying that goes a bit like “If you believe that, I have some oceanfront property to sell you in (landlocked place).” Strait picks that up in a song that tries to hide his true feelings for his lover. He spends most of it saying he won’t miss her before revealing how untrue those claims are by saying he’s more likely to find oceanfront property in Arizona than get over her.
The clever track ended up topping the Hot Country Songs chart in 1987, and despite having a bit of a cliche sound, it kept his typical sad style intact.
12. Give It Away
Perhaps the biggest hit from Strait’s It Just Comes Natural album, Give It Away served as the album’s lead single and reached number one on the Hot Country Songs chart. It was also a record-breaker for him, as it gave him his 41st number-one single on that chart, eclipsing Conway Twitty’s previous record of 40.
Despite coming out in 2007, the track clings to classic country and could have been a “leavin’ you” anthem in just about any decade, easily slotting in as one of his best songs.
The title track of Strait’s 2008 album did not disappoint. The song goes into the lifestyle he has led and reveals that despite feeling young and having fun most of the time, there are still downsides to being on the go all the time. He isn’t always happy with who he sees when he looks in the mirror, but he is who he is.
Another platinum single for him, the track peaked at number seven on the Hot Country Songs chart and nearly cracked the Billboard Hot 100 Top 50 when it reached number 54 on that chart.
14. Love Without End, Amen
This one is classic country music in one of its purest forms. It goes into the love of a father, going from his own father when he was a kid all the way to how God the Father loves all of his children, describing it as a love without end that is always there. It ended up being Strait’s first song to be a multi-week number-one despite having produced 18 number-one singles before this one made it that far up the chart.
15. Baby Blue
Baby Blue has a hotly debated meaning, with some fans thinking the song was about a previous relationship and others believing that it was written for Strait’s deceased daughter.
Either way, the track is one of his most emotional, diving into the massive impact the girl had on his life in a very short time despite him knowing it couldn’t last forever.
16. She’ll Leave You With A Smile
She’ll Leave You With A Smile was the last single released from Strait’s The Road Less Traveled album. It very much details a past relationship and the amazing woman in the track would put most to shame.
It’s a classic George Strait song, both in terms of how good it was and his signature style, giving him his 38th number-one single on the Hot Country Songs chart and his 50th number-one in total while also rising to number 23 on the Hot 100, his most successful crossover.
17. I Can Still Make Cheyenne
Being a rodeo man and being on the road a lot can strain a relationship. In this one, Strait gets sick of life on the road and calls home but his woman tells him not to bother. Whether it was a test or she was just as fed up with it as him, he says screw it, I can still make it to the next stop on the tour.
It appears on Blue Clear Sky and the 50 Number Ones albums, with the track peaking at number four on the Hot Country Songs chart.
18. You Look So Good In Love
One of Strait’s earlier songs and one of his best, You Look So Good In Love was released in 1983 from his Right Or Wrong album. It’s one of those sad kinds of happy, watching an ex fall in love with another man and realizing how happy she looks now.
In 1984, it became his third number-one song and his highest debut for quite a few years.
19. She Let Herself Go
She Let Herself Go turned a typically negative phrase into a freeing experience and earned Strait his 40th number-one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, tying Conway Twitty for the most number-one songs on that chart. It flipped expectations and was one of the best songs he has released.
20. It Just Comes Natural
The title track of Strait’s 24th studio album helped it earn a nomination for Best Country Album at the 2008 Grammy Awards and has since been certified platinum by the RIAA. It rose to number one, giving him his 42nd number-one single.
21. Fool Hearted Memory
For all the number ones Strait has produced, we can’t leave off his very first. Fool Hearted Memory was released in 1982 and rose to become the artist’s first-ever number-one single before winning an ASCAP award for being one of the most performed country songs of 1982.
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