George Strait
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Texas-born George Strait is virtually the founder of the neo-traditionalist movement of country music. After a stint in a country band, Ace In The Hole, during the 1970s, Strait started his solo career with Unwound (1981) and Down and Out (1981). The progression to the top of the charts was impressive: If You're Thinking You Want a Stranger, from Strait Country (MCA, 1981); Marina Del Rey, Fool Hearted Memory, and Terry Stafford's Amarillo By Morning (one of Strait's signature songs), from Strait from the Heart (MCA, 1982), which remains his best; Let's Fall To Pieces Together and Right or Wrong, from Right or Wrong (MCA, 1983); The Fireman, The Cowboy Rides Again and Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, from Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind (MCA, 1984); Hank Cochran's The Chair, from Something Special (MCA, 1985); Am I Blue, Ocean Front Property and All My Ex's Live In Texas, from Ocean Front Property (MCA, 1987); It Ain't Cool To Be Crazy About You, from #7 (MCA, 1987); Baby Blue and Famous Last Words Of A Fool, from If You Ain't Lovin' (MCA, 1988); What's Going On In Your World, Overnight Success, Baby's Gotten Good At Goodbye and Ace In The Hole, from Beyond the Blue Neon (MCA, 1989); Drinking Champagne and I've Come To Expect It From You, from Livin' It Up (MCA, 1990); If I Know Me and Chill of an Early Fall from Chill of an Early Fall (MCA, 1991); I Cross My Heart and Heartland, from Pure Country (MCA, 1992). Faithful to the adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", he rarely changed style or dared experiment. His albums were straightforward imitations of old-fashioned honky tonk and western swing.

Strait Out of The Box (1995) is a four-CD box-set that summarizes his career.

Even within the standards of country music, very few musicians have been so monotonous in their career: Holding My Own (MCA, 1992), Easy Come, Easy Go (MCA, 1993), Lead On (MCA, 1994), Blue Clear Sky (MCA, 1996), Blue Clear Sky (1996), Carrying Your Love with Me (1997), with One Night At A Time, One Step at a Time (1998), Always Never the Same (1999), George Strait (2000), with Go On, The Road Less Traveled (MCA, 2001). The most impressive aspect of albums such as Honkytonkville (2003) and Somewhere Down In Texas (2005) was how devoid of surprises they were.

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