Garth Brooks is thinking outside the box—and inside the box—for his newest project.
Brooks and Target announced a partnership on Thursday (Sept. 15) that will give Garth fans a fresh look at material from a career that has spanned 25 years. Brooks will release an exclusive, 10-disc boxed set dubbed Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Collection, on Nov. 11.
The boxed set will include an exclusive version of his upcoming album, as well as nine discs of curated music from his catalog with bonus tracks exclusive to Target.
“It’s twice the size of any box set we’ve ever put out, and the first time we’ve gotten to put a new record in that box. I’m excited about this fall,” says Brooks, who released previous boxed set collections The Limited Series in 1998, a second boxed set collection (also named The Limited Series) in 2005, as well as the four-CD collection of covers Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences in 2013.
“We’ve done box sets before but they’ve always been restricted to the first half of the career or second half of the career,” Brooks explains. “This is all 25 years of selected music and they are in their own playlists. Like, I’ve always wanted to do just a cowboy CD where ‘Much Too Young’ can be put up there with ‘Rodeo,’ so it’s a pretty neat little playlist.”
Those playlists/track listings for the project have not been released, as Brooks says they are still curating them.
One new track he confirms will be part of the boxed set has already been previewed for fans, during Brooks’ recent debut full-band concert at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 8. The show was aired live as part of the launch of The Garth Channel on SiriusXM.
While Brooks spent the majority of that concert paying homage to his favorite iconic country songs such as George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning” and entertaining the energetic crowd with hit after hit, he did take the time to welcome one of country music’s top vocalists, his wife Trisha Yearwood, to the stage for a debut performance of “Whiskey To Wine.”
“Anytime you sing with Ms. Yearwood, it’s going to be powerful,” Brooks says. “You’re always scared of how someone’s going to accept this new music, especially the older you get, so I felt very lucky at the reception we got.
“I love ‘Whiskey To Wine’,” Brooks continued. “Very much like the promise that I told people that I would keep, that’s the most Garth piece ever.” Brooks co-wrote the song with Wynn Varble and Bryan Kennedy. “It’s got a tribute to a George Jones/Tammy Wynette kind of approach on it. I was scared that it was too country, but they sure acted like they were fine with it.”
He says the new music is in response to fan feedback he’s received during current The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood. The tour launched with 11 sold-out shows at Chicago’s Allstate Arena, and is approaching five million tickets sold. The fan attendance over the past nearly two years matches the attendance of his previous tour, which ran from 1996-1998, before Brooks temporarily retired in 2001.
“I’m enjoying the talent Nashville has in my generation and the next generation,” he says. “I hope fans know that I heard them when during the whole first year of the tour they said, ‘Where’s your pen? Where’s Garth stuff?’ To tell the truth I was scared to death that hustle was gone. I hadn’t used it in 14 or 15 years, so you force yourself to hole up, probably since November, and just start writing. It’s been a wonderful process. Whether it’s any good or not, the people will be the deciding factor on that.”
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