Can an artist with the catalogue depth of Garth Brooks have a signature song?
It’s no secret that Garth Brooks is the most commercially successful country artist in history. The man can sell out literally any venue he wants, has sold over 170 million records, and continues raking in huge numbers, despite his music only being on Amazon and not the much more popular Spotify and Apple Music.
When thinking of his work, many people’s minds go straight to the all-time great bar song “Friends In Low Places”, but there’s no shortage of other songs which have absolutely dominated country music for decades, like “The Thunder Rolls”, “Callin’ Baton Rouge”, and my personal favorite “Unanswered Prayers”, but there’s another that many, many people, including himself, have long called his best.
On this date in 1990, G was topping the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with the all-time heartbreaker “The Dance”.
Written by Tony Arata, it was the final track on Garth’s self-titled debut album from 1989 and was the fourth and final single released from the project, the first three being “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old),” “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” and “Not Counting You.” The album is certified diamond by RIAA, denoting over 10 million copies sold.
As Garth explains in the intro to the music video, it was written with a double meaning, both of a story of romantic love lost and a person dying while trying to accomplish something they believe in.
“And now I’m glad I didn’t know The way it all would end The way it all would go Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain But I’d have had to miss the dance”
The music video itself features a number of people who fall into the category of dying while pursuing something they believed in, like Lane Frost, Keith Whitley, MLK, and John F. Kennedy.
In a 1994 interview with Playboy, Garth said he believed this song would be his “greatest success”, a sentiment still expressed by many fans to this day.
“And then there’s a song that you look forward to all night, like The Dance. I could play it four or five times a night, and I’d still be OK with it.
I think Friends in Low Places will probably be the biggest commercial success we’ll ever have as artists. But I’ll go even further than that and say that, unless I am totally surprised, The Dance will be the greatest success as a song we will ever do. I’ll go to my grave with The Dance.
It’ll probably always be my favorite song.”
With a catalogue as strong as Garth’s it’s undoubtedly hard to find that one song that really sums it all up and can be put forward as his signature song, but there’s no denying “The Dance” has everything needed to fit right into that role.
Let us know what you think Garth’s signature song is.