Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: George Strait, “Ocean Front Property”

“Ocean Front Property”

George Strait

Written by Hank Cochran, Dean Dillon, and Royce Porter

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

March 20, 1987


#1 (1 week)

April 4, 1987

George Strait reaches his first commercial peak with Ocean Front Property. 

Coming off of his domination of the Male Vocalist races at the CMA and the ACM Awards, Strait was a mainstay on the radio and retail charts.  He reached a new height of chart success when Ocean Front Property became the first album in history to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.  This is a common occurrence now, but was rare before the Soundscan era.  It went on to become his only multi-platinum studio album of the eighties.

It makes sense that this single powered that album’s record-breaking debut. “Ocean Front Property” features so many of the elements that was powering Strait’s superstardom at the time: a charismatic vocal performance, an offbeat song, and a pure traditional country arrangement that would’ve made Bob Wills and Lefty Frizzell proud.

It checks so many boxes that it’s easy to miss that there simply isn’t much song here.  The verses are short, and the chorus loses its ability to surprise after the first listen.

The next hit from the album is more compelling, but this one still has enough pleasures within to give it high marks overall.

“‘Ocean Front Property” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I agree the song is simplistic, but the song is pure excellence. A score of B+ seems low. At least an A, if not an A+, for a fantastic iconic song.

  2. Of all of Strait’s many hits in the 80s, this is the one that seems to have had the longest shelf life on radio. It’s easy to see why as the vocals and melody fuse together for a heavenly aural experience. It’s actually rare for me to give this kind of unconditional praise for a George Strait song as he’s been hit or miss for me over the years. I’ve certainly liked more of his material than not during his three-decade run, but I can’t quite muster up the degree of acclaim common with other reviewers and commenters on here. In general, I thought Strait had a better batting average with his 80s singles than in the 90s, and “Ocean Front Property” was Exhibit A of the kind of song I thought he hit out of the park.

    Grade: A

  3. Hark! The herald king sings!

    For me, this hit marked Strait elevating himself to that special place where he held court over all the emerging young guns, a king who had found his crown.

    This song’s simplicity is its greatest strength, concise and so clearly country in its sound.

    Strait would maintain this special dynamic whereby he commanded the attention of his peers, his admirers, and even the inevitable clones that would soon follow.

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