Pay­ing homage to early days

Garth Brooks highlights first five years of ca­reer in new book

Cape Breton Post - - ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT - BY LINCEE RAY

With tons of be­hind-thescenes pho­to­graphs of writ­ing ses­sions and his early mu­sic gigs, Garth Brooks has writ­ten a book that de­tails the chronol­ogy of the first five years of his boom­ing ca­reer.

As a re­cent CMA “en­ter­tainer of the year’’ re­cip­i­ent, Brooks pays homage to the days when he didn’t sell out huge sta­di­ums and are­nas.

The book cov­ers the pe­riod span­ning from 1989 to 1993. Brooks cre­atively di­vides the book into chap­ters each high­light­ing a dif­fer­ent song. Each sec­tion is set up in an in­ter­view style, with Brooks re­count­ing the foun­da­tion of how the track de­vel­oped.

He spares no praise ac­knowl­edg­ing pro­duc­ers, writ­ers and vo­cal­ists for help­ing him flesh out ideas and tak­ing some­thing ba­sic and trans­form­ing it into some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary.

Brooks is an emo­tional sto­ry­teller, which works well for coun­try mu­sic. In fact, Brooks wrote so many songs that he would oc­ca­sion­ally of­fer them to other artists.

“The Thun­der Rolls’’ was al­most recorded by a prom­i­nent fe­male artist at the time, but the deal fiz­zled. Brooks recorded the edgy sin­gle about in­fi­delity and it be­came one of his big­gest hits.

The suc­cess of a song with dark sub­ject mat­ter opened new av­enues for Brooks. Sud­denly, he was able to swing from the poignant lyrics of “The Dance’’ to bois­ter­ous party an­thems like “Friends in Low Places.’’ Iron­i­cally, both were al­most passed up for other projects.

“The First Five Years’’ is so much more than a book about melodies and No. 1 hits. It’s the story of one man’s con­stant pur­suit to achieve a very big dream and the po­etry that paved the way. Sur­rounded by good friends, wise coun­sel and tal­ented artists, Brooks gives all the credit of his first five years to the mu­sic. “Garth Brooks: The An­thol­ogy Part 1 The First Five Years’’ (Pearl Records), by Garth Brooks.

AP PHOTO

This cover im­age re­leased by Pearl Records shows “Garth Brooks: The An­thol­ogy Part 1 The First Five Years,” by Garth Brooks.

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