George Strait - 50 Number Ones
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50 Number Ones (MCA Nashville, 2004)

George Strait

Reviewed by Rick Bell

A collection of George Strait's 50 number is not a tremendously compelling listen. Make no mistake, 50 number 1 hits is an incredible accomplishment. In and of itself, the album is a tribute to country music's most enduring, consistent performer over the past quarter-century. It's a reminder that Strait reintroduced us to western swing and dance hall shuffles with his cool, reassuring Texas drawl and a band that knew its country licks. His ballads melted women's hearts yet never offended the toughest of cowboys; Strait's always been one of the guys. He rides, he ropes and he sings a country song like no other.

His career has been amazing, really, but the two-disc collection is a compilation of Strait's most-played cuts. It simply lacks what a Strait album normally offers. And, some of the songs beg the question, "This was a No. 1 hit?" Call it sacrilege, but songs like "It Ain't Cool to be Crazy About You" or "Baby Blue" or "What's Going on in Your World" or "Carried Away" aren't all that good. In fact, there are several others that in retrospect are questionable number ones. Just because it tops the charts doesn't make it a great song.

An unreleased track other than "I Hate Everything" (another questionable number one) or an alternate version of a number one hit - say, "Blue Clear Sky," would have added something unique.

CDs by George Strait

Honky Tonk Time Machine, 2019 Cold Beer Conversation, 2015 The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium, 2014 Love Is Everything, 2013 Here for a Good Time, 2011 Twang, 2009 Classic Christmas, 2008 Troubadour, 2008 22 More Hits, 2007 It Just Comes Natural, 2006 Somewhere Down in Texas, 2005

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