By 1987, George Strait was well working his way towards what would become a King-sized career. By then, he had already released his first Christmas album and first greatest-hits compilation before laying the groundwork on his seventh studio album Ocean Front Property, which was released 34 years ago today, January 12th, 1987.
Ocean Front Property would ultimately garner three No. 1 hits, including “Am I Blue” and one of Strait’s most well-known hits, “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” the album would go on to break records in the country music genre. Upon its release, it became the first LP to debut at No. 1 on “Billboard’s Top Country Albums” chart. Two weeks after it dropped, the album was certified gold. Since then, it’s gone on to sell more than two million copies worldwide.
George Strait: ‘Ocean Front Property,’ the Single
Out of the chart-topping hits produced by the album, one song that stood out was “Ocean Front Property.” George Strait released the song in 1986 as the first single off the album of the same title.
After a four-months of climbing the charts, “Ocean Front Property” hit No. 1 in April of 1987. In addition to being a success in the U.S., the song also hit No. 1 in Canada.
In the song, the narrator speaks to his lover, who is preparing to leave for good. As the song begins, it appears the narrator won’t miss her, as he sings “I won’t ever take you back. Girl your mem’ry won’t ever haunt me. Cause I don’t love you.“
But then, the narrator switches things up when he sings, “I got some ocean front property in Arizona. From my front porch you can see the sea.“
It soon becomes clear that the narrator is telling lies and that it would be just as impossible for him to stop loving her as it would for him to have ocean front property in Arizona.
Ben Foster of Country Universe praised Strait for his perfect delivery on the song, “Strait’s vocal interpretation is just straightforward enough to keep the song’s left-of-center metaphor from coming across as campy, keeping the undertone of sadness fully intact.”