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It's the music, Garth

Country Standard Time Editorial, January 1999

Congratulations are due Garth Brooks on the initial success of his "Double Live" disc.

The CD was the biggest selling release of any kind ever in its first week of sales in November. The 25 songs, including three new ones, represent a cross-section of Brooks' musical career.

At just about exactly the same time, Brooks completed a three-year world tour in Texas and now is going to take a break.

Brooks may become further involved in other artistic endeavors, including developing movies.

Frankly, the break away from music may be a good for those of us suffering from oversaturation.

While Brooks certainly can put it across musically, his hyperconcern about marketing makes you wonder what is most important to him at times.

There is a long litany of marketing plans designed to put Brooks' total sales at 100 million, which would make him the first artist to ever achieve that goal.

First, there was "The Limited," a box set of his first six CDs with a set amount pressed (which quickly increased). Part of the deal was that each box sold actually counted as six CDs sold, edging him closer more quickly to the magical 100 million.

With "Double Live," Brooks put out six different CD covers. The fanatic would be tempted to buy all six, again getting him closer to 100 million.

The day after "Double Live's" release, Brooks staged three consecutive TV "concerts" designed for each time zone. The East Coast show, anyway, was far from enthralling. Dull may be a better word from his comments to the questions posed by fans. And while Brooks made it seem like it was spontaneous, that seemed hard to believe.

It would be nice if Brooks could ever stop worrying about the marketing of music and worry more about the music itself. If that happened, both he and the state of country would be far better off.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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