Garth Brooks is returning from retirement in a big way. On Thursday, Garth Brooks announced that he will finally reverse his long-standing stance about not allowing his songs to be sold on iTunes. He is also making his entire back catalog of songs and any new music he releases available for his fans to download in a few weeks. However, the music will only be offered through his website.
Besides this news, Brooks, 52, said that he will be releasing a new album later this year on the Sony Music label. It will be his first new music to hit the stores since 2001. It will be coming out, according to Brooks, around Black Friday. Until that happens, though, it will reportedly only be a few weeks before Garth’s past music will be available at his website to download.
The country musician had been among only a handful of the remaining musicians who still had refused to put their music on iTunes. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Garth Brooks is one of country music’s top-selling artists, having sold over 134 million albums. Brooks stated that he has nothing personal against Apple. It is just that he has not liked how iTunes went about selling music in the past.
Other major musical acts who originally refused to have their songs available on iTunes but who currently have reached arrangements with the company include Radiohead, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. Back in 2001, Apple introduced iTunes to consumers who were eager to download their favorite music to their Apples and other electronic devices.
Garth Brooks made the announcement at a press conference he held in Nashville, Tennessee. He stated that “we’ll be doing our digital the best way we can, the only way we know how.”
The Friends in Low Places singer will also embark on a concert tour to support the album. According to Sony, on July 15 the first city on Garth Brook’s upcoming tour will be announced.
Brooks will be returning from his so-called ‘retirement” with the release of the new album and his planned tour. The country singer went into a sort of semi-retirement in 2001 so that he reportedly could spend more time with his wife, Trish Yearwood, and their three daughters. Despite being in “semi-retirement,” Brooks has appeared in concert for some charities and he has also performed in an extended run of shows in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Also, Brooks had planned to perform a series of concerts in Dublin, Ireland this summer, that would have been called his “Comeback Special,” but those concerts have unfortunately been cancelled over a dispute between the owners of the venues and the Dublin City Council. He had planned to increase the number of shows he was going to perform at Dublin’s Croke Park stadium from the original two that had been scheduled on July 25 and July 26 to five, to meet the public’s demand.
The demand was evidently there, as the first show sold out in 30 minutes. When Brooks added a second show, 240,000 tickets were sold within just 90 minutes. Reportedly, the cheapest seats were selling for 65 euros. As The River singer kept adding more concerts, even more tickets were sold.
However, the request to add more shows was turned down by the Dublin City Council. It stated that businesses and residents of the city would experience “an unacceptable level of disruption” if extra concerts were added, though it would allow there to be a third concert.
Garth Brooks informed the Dublin City Council that tickets for the five shows had already been sold. He added that if he was not permitted to play all of the shows, then he would not perform in any of them.
If being allowed to perform all five shows meant addressing the prime minister, Brooks stated he would fly over to Ireland for that purpose. He said that he would “drop on my knees and beg for those 400,000 people to just have fun and let them come see.”
Perhaps Ireland’s Garth Brooks fans will not be disappointed, after all. Brooks and the Dublin City Council may have reached a compromise agreement. The Irish Times, according to San Antonio Express-News, reported in an article that a ship was headed to Ireland with the country singer’s musical equipment aboard it.
If the five concerts, or at least some of them, take place in Ireland, that would be a great beginning to the return of Garth Brooks from his retirement. Those shows, the soon-to-be availability of Garth’s songs on iTunes, the announcement he will be releasing a new album and that he will go on tour to support it, might all make the comeback of Garth Brooks one of the biggest ones ever.
Written By Douglas Cobb