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I Spent Money on This? Sunday, July 13, 2008

Posted by JB* in I Spent Money On This?, JB*, music, Reasons why I was single.
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Sometimes, having owned and enjoyed an artist’s previous seven studio albums, a greatest hits disc, a live cd, a box set and a holiday cd will convince you that purchasing of the next album is a good idea.

Sometimes, that loyalty is rewarded (everything by U2, for example). Sometimes, that loyalty is not rewarded, and not just in a “That wasn’t quite as good as the last album way”. Join me after the jump for one of, if not THE, greatest musical flops of my lifetime.

Which of course, I owned.

In The Life of Chris Gaines
If you have not yet recalled or guessed, this is “I Spent Money on This? – The Chris Gaines Experience”.

In the late 1990s, Garth Brooks was hands down one of the biggest stars on the planet. He became the number one selling solo artist of all time in the early 2000s. The idea of a rock album, even under a pseudonym, was not all that far-fetched, especially given the status of country music as turning more into softer rock of the 80s and 90s at the time (I blame Faith Hill). Hell, Ray Charles did a country album. Jessica Simpson is going country. Artists cross over.

Somehow, the rock album turned into a project which no one entirely understood. The first (and only) album was a greatest hits, which was to then lead to a movie of the performer’s life and, ultimately, death.

The disc spanned Chris Gaines’ entire musical career; performances were in the vain of the Beatles with “Maybe”; a Prince-like tune, “The Way of the Girl”; and one like the band of everyone’s favorite Dylan offspring, “Unsigned Letter”.

But the first single, which was to drive the album, was a mix of Cheryl Wheeler’s “If It Were Up to Me”, and an uptempo “Get Together” from The Youngbloods, called “Right Now”.

Feel free to say it with me – What in the hell???

To the standards of Garth Brooks, the album was a flop… going “only” double platinum, selling less than half of his next lowest album. It was so poorly received, the movie was killed off quietly and the push of the album halted. While I have not pulled it out in quite some time, it actually was not that bad – it just was not good.

Like much of country music nowdays (still giving you the stinkeye, Faith Hill), no one knew what to do with it – rock fans disregarded Garth Brooks, while country fans were turned off by the concept album being different. Unsurprisingly, it has since faded away and doesn’t get spoken of very often.

But hey, maybe I will give it a spin and get a bowl haircut.

Join me next week as I continue to tally the hundreds upon thousands of dollars spent on ill-fated purchases of music. And don’t tell my mother, lest she want me to pay her back.


1. DougOLis - Monday, July 14, 2008

Wow, you actually bought this? I’m a huge fan of his and even I didn’t buy it.

After watching that video, I am strangely reminded of Ryan Adams. The chorus parts sound kind of like they could be Ryno and he looks like a cross between him and Johnny Reznik (sp?, the singer from Goo Goo Dolls). He’s got a bit of the Will Leitch emo bangs going on too.

On a sidenote, Hootie (Darius Rucker) apparently has a country album out because I heard his song on a country station the other day.

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