“A Fire I Can’t Put Out”
Written by Darryl Staedtler
#1 (1 week)
September 3, 1983
George Strait’s style is so well defined now that it’s a real kick hearing his oldest records, where he’s still trying on different influences in the studio.
Strait leans heavily into Haggard on “A Fire I Can’t Put Out,” using Merle’s phrasing and vocal licks throughout the track. The boots are a little too big for him.
But given how many young male artists have since modeled themselves after Strait, it’s cool to hear a young George doing his own vocal homage while he’s still finding his own voice.
My God, is the fiddle work on this track fire, though. It’s so refreshing to hear such pure twang during this era’s run of No. 1 hits.
The elements are there for a great George Strait record, and if he’d recorded this an album or two later, he would’ve made it fully his own.
“A Fire I Can’t Put Out” gets a B.
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