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Strait Out of the Box

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Album Review

A truly comprehensive four-CD compilation covering the years 1976-1995, including all 31 of his number one hits, 11 more chart singles of great musical significance, 19 LP tracks, and 11 more rare tracks, plus a brace of unreleased songs that are anything but leftovers. The opening three tracks, all written by Strait and dating from 1976-1979, show a lot of potential on his part as a singer fronting a competent band. 1981's "Unwound" was where his career lifted off, and his singing takes on serious depth and range. Beyond "Unwound," there's a lot here that could've done well as singles, displaying his early sound as a mix of traditional country and country-pop. Strait ultimately rebelled against the latter, but the songs off of his first two LPs show a prodigious talent in any milieu he'd have chosen to work. Disc two opens with the Bob Wills number "Right or Wrong," which became central to Strait's sound and image and, in the early '80s, was a reminder that as smooth as those early MCA songs had been, Strait had a genuine commitment to Western swing and traditional country music. Disc three divides its space between ballads and honky tonk numbers, with some comedy and some bracing Western swing. Disc four is all '90s material, right up through 1995. The cut that helped sell this set is Strait's never-issued 1993 duet with Frank Sinatra on "Fly Me to the Moon," which never should have been left off the Duets album — the two singers' voices sound right together, and the song works as is. The producers have provided a booklet with an extensive biographical essay, a full sessionography, and comments from Strait himself on each of the songs included.

Customer Reviews

It's George Strait....'nuff said!

The term "legend" gets thrown around so often that it has lost it's meaning. However, even in it's purest definition the term "Legend" does not do this man justice. George Strait has more #1 hits than any other artist or group in music history, constantly sells out every show he plays and is probably the most respected man in country music, bar none. This set is for those that are just getting to know his music as well as those that have been fans for years. The only thing that tops his cd's are seeing him live in concert.

My Dad (Practically)

When I was on my way home from the hospital the day after I was born, we were in my Dad's 1979 Ford F250 and this was the first music I heard. I have the whole Strait Out of the Box on my iPod and 50 number Ones. George is my idol.


I Love George, and I'm only 21. There are so many great songs on here, he's the best.


Born: May 18, 1952 in Poteet, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Out of all the country singers to emerge in the 1980s, George Strait stayed the closest to traditional country. Drawing from both the honky tonk and Western swing traditions, Strait didn't refashion the genres; instead, he revitalized them. In the process, he became one of the most popular and influential singers of the era, sparking a wave of neo-traditionalist singers from Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam to Clint Black, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson. Strait was born and raised in Texas, the son...
Full Bio