Garth Brooks Leaves RCA, Announces Independent Albums

 

BY JEREMY BURCHARD Wide Open Country

Garth Brooks is going independent. The country star announced his departure from former label RCA Records and plans to release two albums independently this year.

That’s exciting news for Garth Brooks fans, who waited thirteen years for new music last time. Brooks says he and wife Trisha Yearwood have a Christmas duets album on the way as well as a follow-up solo album.

Those aren’t the only big changes in store. Brooks also hinted that his music may come to at least one streaming service soon. Brooks said the outlet is” neither of the two partners you think it’s going to be, but it’s one of the biggest partners in the world.”

Previously, Brooks’ own service GhostTunes had exclusive rights to digital distribution of his music. He remained one of the last holdouts from any major digital service, such as iTunes.

Brooks only recorded one album with RCA Records, 2014’s Man Against Machine. The comeback album fell shy of expectations, and RCA Records’ parent company Sony Nashville underwent a lot of internal changes.

The star will release the upcoming albums on his own Pearl Records, which he founded in 2005. Brooks released several compilation albums on Pearl, along with Man Against Machinein a joint partnership with RCA.

“I’ve always enjoyed being part of a team,” Brooks said. “I think you can always be part of something bigger with a team than you can be by yourself. Would I love to be part of a label group? Sure I would. But with the new streaming income now, I can’t make them money.”

Of course, Brooks still operates one of the most profitable tours in all of music. He brought in nearly $115 million in gross tour revenue in 2015 alone. Most label deals now operate on taking a portion of that money, but Brooks does just fine without their help.

Garth emphasized a focus on radio for the new album, however. “Radio might not want to be the place where you discover things, but they still are,” Brooks said. “Artists and radio will always be brothers in the discovery process of bringing new music to people. Between country radio and the artist, it’s our job to bring music to people that changes people’s lives — good, bad, makes them cry. It’s what we do.”

Brooks expects to release both new albums in the fall.

Garth Brooks Has Left RCA Nashville

By Angela Stefano August 9, 2016 8:41 AM

Garth Brooks has left his record label, but the country superstar has a plan — or, rather, a series of plans.

Nashville’s Tennessean reports that Brooks has departed from RCA Nashville — with which he released 2014’s Man Against Machine — and will release his forthcoming solo album via his own label, Pearl Records. Brooks established Pearl Records in the early 1990s and has released and co-released a number of projects, including Man Against Machine, on the label.

“I’ve always enjoyed being part of a team. I think you can always be part of something bigger with a team than you can be by yourself,” Brooks says. “Would I love to be part of a label group? Sure I would. But with the new streaming income now, I can’t make them money.”

Brooks originally planned to follow Man Against Machine with another new album in 2015 or 2016, but in March, he announced that he was delaying the project so that he could write what he calls “the most Garth thing I have ever done.” The Tennessean reports that Brooks now hopes to release that solo album, as well as a Christmas record with wife Trisha Yearwood, this fall.

In addition to his label change, Brooks is working on a deal with a streaming partner — “neither of the two partners you think it’s going to be, but it’s one of the biggest partners in the world,” he tells the Tennessean, adding that his digital music platform, GhostTunes, may be absorbed into a larger company — and working on a retail deal. He is also hiring a radio promotions staff to help with his new album.

“Radio might not want to be the place where you discover things, but they still are. Artists and radio will always be brothers in the discovery process of bringing new music to people,” Brooks says. “There’s a lot of different ways to promote now and a lot of options that are open, and I feel very, very lucky about that. The word the management group is using is collision or connectivity — how do you put all of those things together and make them work toward the music? They’re not just individual things out there going — they all tie together.”

Beginning Sept. 8, Brooks will launch his own SiriusXM satellite radio channel, featuring a playlist of music from Brooks and the artists who influenced him; Brooks-hosted shows and behind-the-scenes commentary; and live concert recordings, other rarities and shows hosted by the singer’s friends and fans. He’ll celebrate the new venture with an invitation-only concert at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium — his first-ever full show at the historic venue.

Since the fall of 2014, Brooks has been on the road, with Yearwood, on his World Tour. Following the conclusion of his North American World Tour dates in 2017, Brooks says he’s exploring options for shows overseas, including in Europe and Australia.



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