From the Vault...


George Strait
"Pure Country (Soundtrack)"

© MCA Records

Year of Release: 1992

track listing
  • Heartland
  • Baby Your Baby
  • I Cross My Heart
  • When Did You Stop
    Loving Me
  • She Lays It All
    On The Line
  • Overnight Male
  • Last In Love
  • Thoughts Of A Fool
  • The King Of
    Broken Hearts
  • Where The Sidewalk Ends
  • Heartland
    (Movie Title

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    George Strait
    "Pure Country (Soundtrack)"

    George Strait had become a Country music superstar by the year 1992. Pure Country would be his first starring role. The movie was an American dramatic musical, directed by Christopher Cain. Lesley Ann Warren, Isabel Glasser and Kyle Chandler were also in the film. Although the movie was a box office bomb, the soundtrack was a huge success, and became Strait's best selling album.

    The movie storyline, taken from the Pure Country Wikipedia page:
    Wyatt "Dusty" Chandler (George Strait) is one of the hottest performers in country music. Dusty feels that his elaborate stage show is overwhelming his music, a suspicion confirmed one night when he purposely forgets several bars of a chart-topping hit and his fans don't even notice. Disillusioned, Dusty walks off after the concert without telling his manager, Lulu (Lesley Ann Warren). The only person he tells is his best buddy and drummer, Earl (John Doe), and that he's taking a walk, but he doesn't say where he's going or for how long.

    After shaving his beard and cutting off his ponytail, Dusty heads for the small farm town where he grew up, visiting his wise old grandmother (Molly McClure) and ending up at the ranch of the Tucker family, where nobody recognizes him. He stays on at the ranch, paying room and board and taking roping lessons, all the while earning the respect of owner Ernest (Rory Calhoun) and falling in love with Ernest's granddaughter, Harley (Isabel Glasser), a woman determined to save the struggling spread with victory in a Las Vegas rodeo.

    When Dusty learns that Lulu has secretly replaced him onstage with her boyfriend, Buddy Jackson (Kyle Chandler), dressed like Dusty and lip-syncing to a recording of Dusty, he returns to the stage. He demands that his stage shows be toned down, without all the smoke and elaborate light show of which he had grown weary. His first appearance after his "vacation" is in Las Vegas at the same time as the rodeo Harley Tucker is competing in. He writes a special love song just for her and arranges for her and her family to have front row seats to the concert. True to his wishes, he does the show without all the hoopla and sits on the edge of the stage - playing and singing "I Cross My Heart", which wins him Harley's love.

    The soundtrack itself is pretty good. It defines Country music, as it should sound. In 1992, Country's sound was basically a good-sounding style. Maybe not as compared to the "real good Country" of the 1970s, or even before. The 1990s Country by far was better than the 21st Century Country.

    George Strait accomplished two #1 Country songs from this soundtrack: "Heartland" and the great ballad, "I Cross My Heart." As I say, I was never really a huge George Strait fan. However, I do enjoy some of his hits, it's just that there are better Country artists better. Such as Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, to name a few. Yes, George Strait is a Country giant legend. I can actually say George Strait is better than Garth Brooks. (More on that later...) Since Brooks & Dunn is mentioned, I could easily hear them sing "I Cross My Heart," and I think they probably would have recorded it better than Strait.

    "Baby Your Baby" sounds like an early song from Tim McGraw's career. A good song, even by George Strait. Strait accomplished his own style, somewhat, with songs such as "When Did You Stop Loving Me," having not only the typical Country style, but a typical Country & Western songtitle. Other good tunes are "She Lays It All On The Line," having a good Honky Tonky Country sound. "Overnight Male" is another upbeat, typical Country sounding, George Strait Country.

    But then as I listen to the next song, I realized why I wasn't such a huge George Strait fan -- "Last In Love" is a ballad, yet Strait's voice sounds a bit nasal, yet not as bad as Garth Brooks' "whining." "Thoughts Of A Fool" and "The King Of Broken Hearts" are nice songs. "Where The Sidewalk Ends" is another upbeat Country tune. The last track is "Heartland" again, yet it is slowed down, and it was featured as the movie's title sequence. As you listen, a very young child is singing, and it turns out to be George Strait Jr. George Sr. also sings later on. George Jr. (who goes by the name "Bubba") was born in 1981, therefore he was 11 years old in 1992. Bubba is a graduate of Texas A&M in College Station, and is pursuing a career as a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) team roping competitor. George Sr. was able to watch his son compete at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2006 shortly before taking the stage for his own performance. George Sr. also had a daughter, Jenifer. But sadly, she was killed in an auto accident in 1986. She was 13 years old. A charity was made in her name, in the San Antonio area.

    A sequel for Pure Country was released in 2010, entitled Pure Country 2: The Gift. George Strait did not appear in the sequel as the character he portrayed in the original movie. The main character in the sequel was a female Country singer named Bobbie, and was portrayed by Katrina Elam. In the movie, Bobbie was the opening act for George Strait, in which Strait played himself. In the movie, Bobbie prepares for a live show where she will open for George Strait. Her drunken father comes into her dressing room (escorted by security). After exchanging harsh words, Bobbie tells him she hates him, wishes she'd never met him, and tells him to get out. When he refuses and becomes violent, Strait intervenes and has a physical altercation with him. She has, sadly, broken the third rule - never break a promise. As she heads out on stage, a strong wind blows and takes her voice - her gift - away with it. When Bobbie opens her mouth to sing, only a hoarse noise issues forth. She runs from the stage.

    I have yet to see either movie. The soundtrack was #1 on the Billboard Country Album chart, for one week, in the summer of 1993. It's a pretty good soundtrack, where "Heartland" and "I Cross My Heart" (the #1's) are the standouts. I'm sure the music was much better for the movie. Although the movie was a failure, the music stands out for George Strait, and his acting. No other major movies did he appear afterwards. He mostly played himself in the movies "The Soldier" (1982), Grand Champion in 2002, and the Pure Country sequel. He provided the voice of Cornell in the TV show King of the Hill. George Strait will always be remembered as a Country singing legend. Like others, his music is great. Some albums/songs better than others. All in all, he is a Country giant, and will always be part of Country's greatest artists.

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    Previous Review: #1497
    Utopia--Adventures In Utopia/Deface The Music/Swing To The Right
    Next Review: #1499
    Various Artists--The Disco Years, Volume 2: On The Beat (1978-1982),