About the song

Ah, yes, “Unwound” by the legendary George Strait. This song, released in April 1981, holds a special place in country music history. It wasn’t just another track on a new album; it was the very first major-label single for a young, then-unknown singer named George Strait. “Unwound” wasn’t just Strait’s debut, it was the spark that ignited a career that would span decades and redefine the genre itself.

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But before we delve into the song’s impact, let’s rewind a bit. The early 1980s were a time of transition for country music. The smooth, polished “politan” sound of the 1970s was starting to wane, and audiences craved something more raw, something that resonated with the everyday struggles and joys of working-class America. Enter George Strait, a young Texan with a smooth, baritone voice and a repertoire of songs that spoke of heartbreak, hard work, and the simple pleasures of life.

“Unwound”, penned by the songwriting duo of Dean Dillon and Frank Dycus, perfectly captured this new country spirit. The song opens with a now-iconic line: “Give me a bottle of your very best / Cause I’ve got a problem I’m gonna drink off my chest.” It sets the scene immediately – a man down on his luck, seeking solace at the bottom of a glass. The rest of the song unfolds this narrative, with Strait lamenting a love gone wrong: “That woman that I had wrapped around my finger just come unwound.”

There’s a beautiful simplicity to “Unwound”. The lyrics are direct and unpretentious, the melody is catchy yet melancholic, and Strait’s vocals deliver the heartache with a quiet intensity. The instrumentation is equally pared-down, featuring a prominent steel guitar that adds a touch of twang and a steady backbeat that keeps the song moving.

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“Unwound” wasn’t an immediate smash hit, but it steadily climbed the country charts, eventually peaking at number six. More importantly, it caught the attention of country radio programmers and fans alike. Here was a new artist who wasn’t afraid to buck trends and sing about real-life experiences. Strait’s traditional sound, his unwavering commitment to storytelling, and his undeniable charisma resonated with a generation hungry for authenticity.

“Unwound” became the cornerstone of Strait’s debut album, Strait Country, which further cemented his status as a rising star. The album launched a string of chart-topping singles and critical acclaim, and Strait quickly became a household name. Over the next four decades, he would become one of the most successful country artists of all time, selling over 100 million albums and winning countless awards.

But the legacy of “Unwound” goes beyond its commercial success. It marked the beginning of a new era in country music, one that prioritized authenticity and storytelling over flash and production. It paved the way for a generation of artists who would follow in Strait’s footsteps, keeping the heart and soul of country music alive. So, the next time you hear “Unwound”, remember that it’s not just a great song; it’s a piece of country music history.

Video

Lyrics

“Unwound”

Give me a bottle of your very best
‘Cause I’ve got a problem I’m gonna drink off my chest.
I’m gonna spend the night getting down
‘Cause that woman that I had wrapped around my finger
Just come unwound.

[Chorus:]
That woman that I had wrapped around my finger just come unwound.
She kicked me out of the house and tonight I’m whiskey bound.
Yeah I’m gonna be the drunkest fool in town
‘Cause that woman that I had wrapped around my finger
Just come unwound.

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Well she packed my bags and opened up the door.
And I got a feeling she didn’t want me ’round no more.
She caught me in a lie when I was messin’ around,
And that woman that I had wrapped around my finger
Just come unwound.

[Chorus]

And that woman that I had wrapped around my finger
Just come unwound.