Garth Brooks in…the Life of Chris Gaines

Do you regret any of your vinyl purchases? Do you have any records that make you think “damn, I wasted money on this…”?

I spent a lot more than I’m usually comfortable spending on this record and I’m pretty confident that I will never regret it (famous last words, right?).

Story time: there’s a company out there called InTheClouds that will press anything you want on vinyl. So, naturally, I ordered a copy of the universally panned alter-ego pop project from 90s country superstar Garth Brooks.

Lots of people hate this record. Critics, fans, radio people. Garth has explained it over and over, SNL made fun of it, Family Guy made fun of it……this record gets very little love.

So, why did I spend $82.25 for a record that no one seems to like? Because I fucking love this album. No shit. No joke. I’m not trying to be funny or ironic. I fucking love this record.

I was a freshman at MTSU when Garth Brooks in…the Life of Chris Gaines came out and I could not listen to it enough. I lived about 40 minutes off-campus. There I was, in my 1989 Acura Integra, driving and jamming out to this album on repeat every single day for weeks and weeks and weeks until I failed honors English and decided that college just wasn’t for me.

However, listening to this record takes me back to the time when I thought I was going to be a college success.

Plenty of much more talented people have reviewed this album into the ground. So, I’ll give it just a couple of quick thoughts: The songs are actually pretty good. If this had just been Garth’s pop album people wouldn’t hate on it so much. He was one of the biggest stars in the world at the time, it shouldn’t surprise you that the writing and the production is well done.

Now, how does the questionable bootleg sound? About as good as you’d think. Which is to say, not that great. It’s ok, I suppose. It is a little tinny and the volume is pretty low, but it isn’t so bad that it is enjoyable.

It scratches the itch I have of wanting to hear these songs again. But, if this record ever gets an official release I will definitely be buying it and then I might actually regret spending so much on it.

For now, I’ll be happy with owning what might be the only vinyl copy of Garth Brooks in…the Life of Chris Gaines in existence.

My favorite track: Main Street

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