Hi My Loves
Something I am beginning to learn about the music business is their not a big fan of change (dispute Madonna best effects and successes) They bagged out Led Zeppelin for the untitled album ( even though it’s one of their most brought and downloaded albums, ever. Yes it’s my favourite, if you can’t tell) but I guess the case of the fickle industry really hit home for me because of one of my favourite albums. The Life of Chris Gaines – Chris Gaines was also an alter ego of country mega star Garth Brooks
Originally, this album was intended to be the soundtrack for a movie called The Lamb that would star Garth Brooks as a rock star recalling the different periods of his life. Sadly The Lamb was never filmed, which is disappointing such I think it would have been interesting to watch. The album was intended as a ‘pre-soundtrack’ to the film Chris Gaines even appeared in a VH1 mock/documentary and made an appearance on SNL. The album received mixed reviews, and fan response was often bewilderment.
As himself, Garth Brooks has sold almost 100 million albums. If he’s lucky, many of those fans will forgive him for Chris Gaines. –Rick Mitchell via Amazon
Clearly the public didn’t like Brooks assuming the role of a mysterious Australian-born pop singer. In Garth Brooks defense and in defense of the album – imagine if he had walked into the record label and said “Hey guys, I want to make an alternative rock, country rock/pop album” they would have said no within seconds and laughed him out of the building. So it’s kind of genius coming up with another personality, so he could recorded these songs and I will be forever grateful that he put his heart and soul out there.
“Lost in You”, was the first single from the album and I cannot tell you how much my heart grows when I listen to this song. It’s so beautiful, heartfelt and warm. If I actually decide to get married, this song will be played.
“Digging For Gold” is a lot of fun. As all great songs do, this one tells a story about a man who married a much younger woman who inadvertently drags his heart through the mud but strangely enough – it’s a surprisingly upbeat song
“Right Now” – Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines raps – yes that’s right people- I said RAPS– but also lacing in the hippie classic “Get Together”
So here is the thing, there have been songs on this album that have been covered for the album itself and have been covered by other people since its release that have been relative hits. I have only rediscovered this album a few weeks back and I fell in love with it again ( I mean if you fall in love with an album twice. It’s a damn good album, right?) So I was sitting at my dining table writing listening to my iPod and I heard ‘Yesterday the odds were stacked in favor of my expectations’ – I knew I had heard that line before – I had heard it sang by a female – I knew it was a song that loved – but for the life of me, I could who this female singer was. I racked my brains for a fortnight because i knew this information was in my brain, somewhere and I was determined to find and know for sure. After two weeks I gave and googled it. ‟Maybe‟ was originally recorded the year previous to the Chris Gaines release by Alison Krauss and The Union Station and the public loved it.
It Don’t Matter To The Sun was covered by Rosie Thomas in 2005 for her album If Songs Could Be Held and used in the hit song ‘Grey Anatomy’ in an emotional filled scene between Meredith and her
absentee father who abandoned her.
So was it just that fact that Garth Brooks did something different and left of field that made this album flop by industry standards and had people calling it – “Garth’s Mistake” or saying “Obviously, he doesn’t have to worry about the money anymore” – I urge you to listen to this album with open ears and an open mind. Don’t think of it as an album by Garth Brooks. Think of it as an album by Chris Gaines.
“In the Life of Chris Gaines” or Greatest Hits as it was known by in some countries is a grossly underrated album which deserves a listen on its own merits. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.