With 13 multi-platinum albums and 61 No. 1 hits, George Strait earned his title of “King George.” As one of the best-selling artists of all time, the mild-mannered, country-to-the-core legend has made truly timeless music.
George Strait’s career is the kind a songwriter dreams about. Because the country star knew the perfect way to translate some of the best lyrics out there. His smooth, comforting voice gave life to hundreds of songs and helped define the careers of dozens and dozens of writers (among them, the legendary Dean Dillon).
So, naturally, ranking the top 15 George Strait songs is a total piece of cake. No way we’ll leave off anybody’s favorite song on this list. You know, tunes like “Unwound,” “Marina Del Ray,” “Run,” “The Cowboy Rides Away” and “Fool Hearted Memory.” And this list doesn’t even include his Christmas songs. But hey, everybody’s a critic!
The good news is that you really can’t find any bad George Strait songs to put on this list, so at least there’s that.
Though he’s done touring after his huge, epic 2014 farewell show at AT&T Stadium, you can still catch the King in Las Vegas on the off occasion. And he’s still releasing new albums. His 2015 LP, Cold Beer Conversation, proves he’ll never quit making honest traditional country music.
15. “I Got A Car”
One of his more recent tunes, George Strait’s “I Got A Car” proved that, even at the height of bro country (2013), the King could release a timeless love story and take it to the top.
14. “I Saw God Today”
One of Strait’s most touching tunes about non-romantic love, “I Saw God Today” means so much to many people. In particular, the song reminds us that, even in the difficult times, you can find beauty and love in the world.
13. “Give It Away”
Another from George’s 2000s-era, “Give It Away” is one of the few times Strait talks in a song, but he sure pulls it off. And even when he’s breaking your heart, Strait has a smooth easiness about him.
12. “All My Exes Live In Texas”
An absolute classic honky tonk tune, “All My Exes Live In Texas” dips into Strait’s love for true western swing music. The 1987 hit still gets quoted routinely.
11. “Write This Down”
“Write This Down” actually made its way into the 20s on the Billboard Hot 100, making it one of his most successful crossover songs ever. Released in 1999, it was his last No. 1 single before the new millennium.
“Troubadour” really kind of announced Strait as an “elder statesman” of country music in the mid-2000s, but the song absolutely pulls at the heart strings of every Strait fan — especially paired with images of his early days in Texas.
9. “Love Without End, Amen”
Pretty much the best country song about a father’s love, ever. And certainly one of the best George Strait songs about non-romantic love.
8. “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind?”
From the 1984 album of the same name, “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” is an absolute clinic on songwriting metaphors. Few have ever epitomized lost love as Strait does when he substitutes Cow Town for himself.
7. “Baby Blue”
A gorgeous song in its own right, “Baby Blue” brings you to tears when you think about Strait’s daughter Jennifer, whom he lost in a car accident at age 13 just a few years prior.
6. “Ocean Front Property”
From the same album as “All My Exes Live In Texas,” “Ocean Front Property” is a classic country tune employing downright lies to deny the singer’s love. It’s a classic anti-confession and just one of many tongue-in-cheek tunes Strait released throughout his career.
5. “I Cross My Heart”
Probably every country fan’s go-to first dance wedding song, and that’s all you need to know.
4. “Check Yes Or No”
One of the most adorable country love songs ever written, “Check Yes Or No” is about as close to a perfect story song as you can write. Combined with a super catchy sing-along chorus, the tune is ingrained in every country music fan. “I think this is how love goes — check yes or no.” Brilliant.
3. “Carrying Your Love With Me”
Probably the best song you could possibly listen to when you’re feeling far from your loved one and traveling long and weary roads. It’s 90s country at its finest.
2. “The Chair”
The rare song with no chorus, “The Chair” is one of the greatest country songs ever written. Early in Strait’s career, it set the singer apart as a truly special singer with an ear for truly special songs.
1. “Amarillo By Morning”
Off his second studio album, “Amarillo By Morning” pretty much epitomizes what makes George Strait songs so timeless. Amazingly enough, the song never reached No. 1 on the charts.