Today might be described as a bloglet post.
I don’t intend for it to be very long, but my gripe will require a little more space than a typical Facebook post would allow for. With that said, here we go:
Is there a bigger ego out there than Garth Brooks? I realize the irony of this question in light of the recent Presidential election. But seriously, if you boil it down, I think ego-wise Mr. Trump and Mr. Brooks are fairly competitive. The major difference would be…at least Donald Trump acknowledges his ego. Mr. Brooks would rather try to hide his in this treacly sweet faux-humility that makes me want to vomit.
So where is this coming from you might ask? Well, it’s Christmas time again AND it has been a few years so it must be time for another box set of Garth Brooks music. You know the ones I’m talking about. The collections that contain multiple disks, can only be purchased at one store, contain hits from days gone by as well as other music he’s already released before, sprinkled with the occasional new song you can’t get anywhere else, and all slickly packaged with Mr. Brooks on the front in some newly designed pose that always manages to require him to not smile and look like he’s constipated.
Don’t get me wrong. Back in the day I was a huge Garth Brooks fan. To this day I can still rattle off a number of songs that I truly enjoy: Wolves, In Lonesome Dove, What She’s Doing Now, The River, American Honky Tonk Bar Association, etc., etc., etc. The dude can sing. I am not debating that in the least.
But seriously, is there an artist alive and still producing music today who has bilked, swindled and taken advantage of their fan base more than Garth Brooks?
He won’t release his music on iTunes because he claims he feels so strongly about the importance of the album experience versus individual songs taken out of context. Hmmm…well that’s handy. I mean, heaven forbid you allow people to purchase just the two songs that will be available only on Target’s Ultimate Collection this year because they won’t be able to enjoy them in the context of their album. Except…THERE IS NO ALBUM THEY BELONG ON!!! They are two songs thrown into this collection just so Target can force you to purchase it from them, right now, if you want to have them. So, if you do the math, instead of allowing his fans to download those two songs for $1.29 each, he is going to force everyone to pay $15 each so that they can own these two priceless tunes…along with 77 other songs they don’t necessarily want, or that they already own. Now there’s a guy who loves his fan base, let me tell you.
And furthermore, if “the album experience” is so sacrosanct, how come Mr. Brooks released a different boxed set (he has released five, along with four compilation albums since the mid ’90s) called The Limited Series back in 1998 which basically was just a box set of each of his previously released albums with a single new song wedged onto to each disc for a total of six new songs not available for purchase any other way?
I personally bought my last Garth Brooks album back in college. It was called In Pieces. I still think it’s his strongest stand alone album bar none. Unfortunately, I lost it many years ago, long before I owned an iPod. Every once in a while, I’ll hear one of his tunes on the radio and think, “Man, I would love to download some of those old Garth Brooks songs.” Except, I can’t. And I absolutely refuse to pay upwards of fifty bucks just so I can get five or six songs that I’ll probably remember with fondness for about two weeks and then delete them from my iPod because I’m on to something new.
So here’s to you, Mr. Garth Brooks. While others are actively claiming that they hope the other ego maniac fails, I’m gonna forego that and instead make my declaration that I hope you fail. I hope your new album fails and I hope your new boxed set fails. You have more money than God (To be clear, I personally don’t believe God has a need for money so this statement is obviously for shock value and sarcastic imagery only) so it’s not like you’ll be hurting. And the sooner you go away, the sooner I don’t have to see fifteen hundred Facebook posts of you crying about your Mom on Good Morning America. That raw emotion shtick of yours stopped working for me decades ago.
Instead, if I want a good stroll down memory lane with a classic country tune, I’ll go with The Man. Because every single one of George Strait’s classic hits is available on iTunes…and there’s not a big ol’ box with his gastrically backed-up mug on it anywhere in sight.
Disclaimer: To those who might be offended by my aggressive language, I apologize for the ferocity of this post. But to be honest, my animosity towards Mr. Brooks on this subject has been building for decades. Nevertheless, if I have truly caused offense with my tone, I apologize.