Garth Brooks/Amazon

He needs a hit.

This is what happens when you put commerce in front of career, when you’re too inured to the old ways, when you try to have one foot in the old world and one foot in the new.

You fail.

Oldsters love Garth. He tours at low ticket prices to satisfied fans. It’s just that he’s left the public discourse. And Garth cares. He’s not Bob Dylan speaking not a word to the press, nor Def Leppard and Foreigner happily making their way through sheds every summer… Garth is a self-satisfied star who speaks of himself in the third person who believes he’s entitled to be front and center at all times.

But that only happens if you progress, if you move on, if you make a hit record and have it available EVERYWHERE!

The enemy is obscurity. You can put out an album and it can be over in a weekend. And that which happens in the morning doesn’t make the evening news, assuming someone’s tuned in at all. It’s what have you done for me lately, and we only care about that which rises above and access is everything, he who restricts availability ultimately loses.

Wouldn’t Garth want everybody checking out his new stuff when the buzz is hot?

Obviously not.

And whatever promo/hype Amazon is promising, the sales site is not where music lives, not now, maybe ever. How can a guy so caught up in the past be so invested in the future? If Amazon triumphs in music, it will be a long time coming.

Country fans love CDs and downloads. Streaming hasn’t been embraced in quantity yet. It will be. So, if you’re Jason Aldean and keeping your music off Spotify you might win today, but not tomorrow. We’ve got a whole business that looks at today and thinks it matters. If you believe Adele will be focusing on sales with her next release, “29,” you’re delusional. The marketplace moves. You need to move with it.

Amazon could never compete in downloads. That market is owned by iTunes. Selling on Amazon instead of Apple is like keeping your material out of Wal-Mart, a place where Garth had a previous triumph. As for keeping albums intact… Garth, you made a deal with Sirius, when you’re driving do you stay on one station and one station only? Not unless it’s Howard Stern, no way.

So Garth just boxed himself out. By trying to do it his way instead of the fan’s way. There’s not a fan in creation who thinks Garth’s Amazon move is friendly. Did Garth miss Napster? The public rules now. People want it all and they want it at their fingertips everywhere they go. And Garth ignores this.

Keep acting like this Mr. Brooks and next time the media won’t even care about your new release. There will be no press at all. Like with all those old acts who can’t get arrested. Timothy B. Schmit put out a new album and the only reason I know is I saw it on Spotify, otherwise I’d have no idea it came out, and he was in the EAGLES!

Imagine stumbling upon a good Garth track in your playlist. That’s how music is spread these days. But it won’t happen, the sound won’t go viral, because Garth’s music is unavailable. It’s like going to war with no rifle, how do you expect to win?


But in a nation that’s rejecting the NFL on television how powerful is music radio anyway? At best it’s a starting point, someplace the conversation gets ignited. But today tracks drop on Spotify and Apple Music and blow up from there, deejays are the last to know.

As for Amazon doing this exclusive…

Reminds me of “Hit Men,” Dick Asher gets rid of indie promo and everybody else swoops in and pays. Want to gain a toehold, provide a better service, exclusives just piss people off and keep the masses from subscribing. But exclusives pay, and the artists can’t keep their hands out of the cookie jar.

But the payments hurt your career, you have a very brief window to gain traction, don’t mess it up. And the real money is in the live experience, and you want a giant lasso that ties up all, you want to close the looky-loos, but Garth Brooks just kept them out of the tent.

I’m sick of the aw-shucks act. I’m sick of everybody giving Garth a pass. He’s a self-centered mercenary prick who just can’t do the right thing. Who wants to do it his way as opposed to our way. Whose hits are in the rearview mirror.

Give me Luke Bryan any day. Who puts out themed EPs in between albums. Give me Kenny Chesney, who sells out stadiums. Give me Sturgill Simpson, who speaks the truth.

Don’t give me old dad who wants to go back to the last century and is only dragged into the recent past reluctantly.

Hey Garth, do you still use a flip-phone?

Ever been in a Tesla?

Then why are you releasing music like it’s 2003 in a bizarro universe where Amazon dominates?

Damned if I know.

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