I’m starting to think that Garth Brooks doesn’t even want people to listen to his music.
The country superstar famously keeps his music off of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, opting to have his music found only on Amazon Music (which nobody uses).
And now he’s announced a new album – sort of – but the only way you can get it is by pre-ordering a box set from Bass Pro Shop.
What are you doing, G?
During last night’s edition of Inside Studio G, which is possibly the greatest show on Facebook, Garth announced new music on the way – sort of – and revealed the hoops fans will have to jump through to get it.
Basically, we don’t know the name or the tracklist for the album, or really anything else about it, but Bass Pro Shop is releasing a Garth Brooks CD box set (isn’t this like the 50th box set he’s released at this point?) and it contains the mysterious new Garth album. Except it’s only available for pre-order right now, so if you order it now, you won’t get it until December.
And it sounds like Garth wasn’t quite ready to break the news yet, but Bass Pro went ahead and did that for him:
“It’s out. We weren’t ready for it but it’s out, because we had to do Bass Pro, big box retailer, they had to release their catalog for Christmas…and so we already had the ad in the catalog, but none of us thought to tell the rest of us that we had it in there, and it came out.
So Nancy, my publicist, says, ‘What is this?’ And I’m like, ‘Well for one it’s why you haven’t been able to find me for the last four months, I’ve been living in the studio.’
Try to understand what this is. For anybody that’s a Garth fan from way back, the first limited series came out in the late ’90s… What it was was a chance for everyone to get all the music for a really cool low price…
Did the same thing in 2007, I think, so the second limited series came out there. And now the third, and I’m gonna tell you right now, I guarantee you this will be the last limited series that we’ll do as an artist…”
The new box set contains Garth’s previous albums, including Fun, Man Against Machine, Gunslinger, and Triple Live, along with the mysterious new studio album.
Now, I only see a couple problems with this plan: First of all, fans have no idea what they’re buying. The new album hasn’t been officially announced, no new songs have been released (though there is a new song called “Only Country Music” that’s been playing on his new radio station, The Big 615 on TuneIn Radio), and there’s not even an official release date for the album yet.
And who the hell has CD players anymore? I wouldn’t be able to listen to this collection even if I bought the box set (which, sorry Garth, but I won’t be doing). It’s not 1998 anymore, can’t we get the music on some form other than CD? Will there be an 8-track or cassette version released too? What are we doing here?
Of course I’m sure the new album will eventually be released on Amazon Prime, but again, nobody uses Amazon Prime so chances are, the vast majority of country fans will never hear the new album.
But if you’re itching for new music from Garth, you can go to Bass Pro Shop’s website, pre-order a CD box set, wait four months, get the CD player out of storage, and finally you’ll be able to listen to the new album.
Does Garth even realize there’s an easier way for all this now?
Of course he probably doesn’t care. Garth has long been known for re-packaging old music and getting fans to buy it again, boosting his album sales numbers in the process and making him the first and only artist to have nine albums certified diamond by the RIAA for selling over 10 million copies each.
But damn, does he have to make it so hard to listen to his music? It’s harder to find than the bodies buried under his front porch at this point.