Best George Strait Album Cuts

We all know the King of Country Music’s biggest hits, after all the legendary Texan has a record setting Sixty #1 hit singles on country radio. From classics like All My Exes Live in Texas and Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, to more recent hits like I Saw God Todayand Give It All We Got Tonight, the list of well-known George Strait songs is extensive. However, as many dedicated country music fans know, some of an artist’s best material never makes its way to the air waves of country radio, and are rather left hidden as from the world as album cuts. For those unfamiliar, an album cut is a song featured on an album, such as the track Everything I See off of George Strait’s Cold Beer Conversation album, but never released to radio as a single. That means the only way for fans to hear these songs is to buy the entire album, something music fans do less and less of these days. That’s kind of a shame, because some of an artist’s best or most daring material are often left as album cuts, never to gain mainstream popularity. Considering George Strait has released 28 studio albums, the list of album cuts from his career is extensive. But not to worry dear reader, we here at Honky Tonk Haven have painstakingly combed through ever Strait album and compiled a list of some of the King’s lesser known work. All that’s left for you to do is to kick back, grab a beer, fire up the old juke box, and scroll through the article! Let us know what y’all think and if we missed any of your favorites.

  • Poison

Released off of the Here for a Good Time album in 2011, the song Poison is without a doubt one of the King’s most stirring works. The song tells the heartbreaking tale of a protagonist who can’t resist the destructive temptations of life, even when he knows that his choices will wreck him in the end. It’s a relatable theme for a lot of people, as folks often find themselves returning to destructive relationships or habits even though they know how the story will turn out. Give it a listen here. Best Line: “You can learn to love anything, even a bird in a cage will sing a song.

  • If Heartaches Were Horses

This tear-jerking ballad was originally released in 2008 on the excellent Troubadour album, and is a favorite of the Honky Tonk Haven crew. Telling the story of heartbroken rancher, this song uses a compelling mix of western imagery and classic country sound to tell a tale as old as time, but in a way that only George Strait can do. Listen to it here. Best Line: “If heartaches were horses/ and hard times were cattle/ I’d ride home at sunset/Sittin’ tall in the saddle.”

  • Everything I See

George Strait proved that he still hadn’t lost a step with age when he released his most recent album titled Cold Beer Conversation in fall of 2015. While filled with his usual excellent work, one of the standouts of the album proved to be the emotional and personal Everything I See. Co-written by George Strait and his son Bubba, Everything I See shares what it’s like in the aftermath of losing a loved one. Penned as an ode to George Strait’s late father, the song perfectly mixes the feelings of regret after loss as well as the celebration of the lost loved one’s life. Losing family is a sad part of life everyone must endure, but George Strait handles the topic with grace and class. Listen to it here. Best Line: “Everywhere I look there’s one more memory, there’s a little bit of you in everything I see.”

  • You’re Dancing This Dance All Wrong

Released as an album cut off of the 1984 classic album Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, this mellow tune has everything in it that makes a country song great. Heartbreak? Check. Hanging on to lost love? Check. And finally finding new love? Check. You’re Dancing This Dance All Wrong checks all the country boxes. The story of the song is one that’s played out in dance halls across America nearly every night. When dancing with a new flame, inevitably the song of an old love with spring onto the speakers, often invoking memories of days past. Will it may remind one of failed relationships, it can also lead to new beginnings, and it’s that story that plays out in this song. Y’all can listen here. Best Line: “I’m finding I’m falling as the music plays on, keep dancing this dance all wrong.”

  • Where the Sidewalk Ends

The 1992 album Pure Country and it’s awesome accompanying movie represented the peak of George Strait’s commercial arc. Selling over six million copies, the album is one of country music’s bestselling albums ever. And while the song Where the Sidewalk Ends was featured prominently in the film, it never made its way to country radio. While the tune is upbeat, the lyrics prove to tell the tale of a conflicted man whose relationship ended in goodbye. Listen to the tune yourself here. Best Line: “Where the sidewalk ends and the road begins, we said goodbye on a cold dark night.”

  • When The Credits Roll

George Strait’s 2013 album Love is Everything produced a number of country hits, including Strait’s sixtieth #1 hit with the song Give it all We Got Tonight. However, it’s the final song on the album that serves as one of my all-time personal favorite George Strait songs. Tilted When the Credits Roll, the tune deals with a question every human being ponders throughout life: how are people going to view and remember me when I’m gone? Did you have your priorities straight, was life about the journey or the destination, were you someone focused on money or family? All these are questions people ask themselves when evaluating their life choices, and Strait sings about each of them masterfully. Fire up the juke box to hear the song right here. Best Line: “When the curtain comes down someday I wonder what the critic’ll say.”

  • Easy as You Go

Released as part of the album Twang in 2009, Easy as You Go represents one of the catchiest story songs ever written. The song tells the tale of two young high school students that fall in love, end up pregnant, and struggle to build a life together afterwards. It’s a common story in small towns across America, and Strait is able to tell the well-worn tale in effortless fashion. What sets the song apart is the listener doesn’t get to really hear how the story ends, but Strait does leave listeners with a hopeful final line, reminding people to “take the highs and lows of life” and continue on their way “easy as you go”. Listen to it here. Best Line: “He saw her after school, sippin’ on a coke. Acted like a fool, crackin’ crazy jokes.”

  • Arkansas Dave

Just like the song Easy as You Go, Arkansas Dave was also released as a track on the 2009 album Twang (Old King George was really firing on all cylinders with this album). The tune Arkansas Dave feels like an old western movie, something from the heyday of Hollywood westerns with John Wayne leading the way on horseback in a hail of gunfire. Another song written by George Strait and his son Bubba, the tune tells the story of real life outlaw Dave Roudabough, who died in a hail of gunfire in 1886. Strait takes some liberties telling the story, and it’s not a strict historical account of the famed cattle rustler’s death, but boy is it a great story and song. Listen here. Best Line: “I shot till I could shoot no more, and Dave Rudabough fell to the floor.”

  • As Far as it Goes

One of the toughest parts of this entire article was figuring out which songs to cut from the list, and some tough decisions had to be made to decide what songs would be included. Including the song As Far as it Goes however, was not one of those tough decisions. In fact, it was easy, as this gem of a song off the 2003 album Honkytonkville is one of the best love songs George Strait has ever recorded. A simple but infectious song, As Far as it Goes is all about a man reminding his woman the lengths he’ll go to keep on loving her, telling her “I’m gonna love you one day past forever, but that’s as far as it goes.” Sweet, memorable, catchy, and based around a memorable hook, As Far as it Goes is the perfect country love song. Crank up the tune here. Best Line: “I’m gonna give you this heart of mine, but that’s where I draw the line.”

  • Three Nails and a Cross

Gospel hymns and spiritual songs have always been a hallmark of country music, so it’s no surprise that George Strait has recorded a few of his own over his lengthy career. The moving Three Nails and A Cross was another album cut off of 2011’s Here For A Good Time album, and it represents the best of country music spiritual songs. Life, as everybody who has ever entered a smoky honkytonk knows, can be really tough. Mistake after mistake can lead a person into a hole where it feels as if there’s no way out, that there are is no way to overcome life’s biggest challenges. Songs like Three Nails and a Cross serve as a gentle reminder that there is always a way out, an answer for life’s problems in Jesus Christ. Praise the good Lord and give this spiritual tune a listen here. Best Line: “Three nails and a cross, equals forgiveness. Lord help me ’cause I’m lost, and that’s hell to have to live with.”

What did y’all think of our favorite George Strait album cuts? Anything we missed? For more country music lists and news, keep tuned in right here to Honky Tonk Haven! Y’all come back now!

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