On This Day: George Strait’s ‘Strait From the Heart’ Goes Gold in 1987

by Emily Morgan

In 1987, 37-years-ago to the day, George Strait’s Strait from the Heart album became one of Strait’s 38 records to hit gold status. Five years earlier, Strait released Strait from the Heart as his second studio album on June 3, 1982, by MCA Records. 

The album gave Strait his first No. 1 single, “Fool Hearted Memory,” as well as other fan favorites such as “Marina del Rey,” “Amarillo by Morning,” and “A Fire I Can’t Put Out.” “Marina del Rey,” “Amarillo by Morning,” and “A Fire I Can’t Put Out” reached the No. 6, No. 4, and No. 1 respectively on Billboard’s “Hot Country Singles” chart. 

The album peaked at No. 18 on the US Billboard “Top Country Albums” chart. In addition to Strait’s original songs, he also included numerous covers such as “Honky Tonk Crazy,” which had been released by Gary Stewart and Dean Dillon on their Brotherly Love album months earlier in 1982. Another cover was Guy Clark’s “Heartbroke,” which was first recorded by Rodney Crowell on his 1980 album, But What Will the Neighbors Think. He also covered “Amarillo by Morning,” which was first recorded by Terry Stafford in 1973. 

George Strait’s Strait From The Heart Made Him ‘A Man Who Can Do It All

After its release, Strait from the Heart received positive reviews, with AllMusic giving it five out of five stars. Music critic Thom Jurek called Strait “a singer of uncommon vitality who could sing honky-tonk, countrypolitan, and the new traditional sounds.” During Jurek’s review, he singled out Strait’s first number one hit, “Fool Hearted Memory,” as one of the best from the record. In addition, he also gave stellar reviews for ballads “Amarillo by Morning,” “Marina del Rey,” and “A Fire I Can’t Put Out,” as well as the traditional “Honky Tonk Crazy,” “Heartbroke,” and “I Can’t See Texas from Here.” 

As for “The Steal of the Night, Jurek described it as a song that “offers a portrait of Strait as a man who can do it all.” Jurek concludes, saying, “His work is not over-produced, and his voice rings clear and true, offering only what the song needs to reveal itself to the listener. Strait from the Heart may not be the exact beginning of the story, but it is the first part of the legend.”