Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks/The Hits

GARTH BROOKS/THE HITS (Liberty Records, 1994)

By Sandra L. Toney

A Garth Brooks Greatest Hits release has been way overdue. So, it was good news to loyal Garth fans and even part-time Garth followers when Garth Brooks/The Hits stormed into the music world. With eighteen songs packed onto the CD, listeners will get to hear the best of Garth . . . and then some.

With six previous albums under his belt, Garth Brooks could have released a greatest hits package much sooner than he did. Many musicians will put out a greatest hits after two or three releases. With the country and mainstream following Brooks has, he probably should have released one earlier. But, as most people already know, Garth Brooks never has been one to do what he should do. And so, after Garth Brooks, No Fences, Ropin' the Wind, The Chase, In Pieces, and his Christmas album, Beyond the Season, Garth has finally given in and produced his greatest hits album. With that many recordings behind him, it must have been a difficult choice to decide which singles would appear on the album and which would have to wait for perhaps a The Hits, Part II album.

If you want to dance or party to this CD, you have plenty to choose from. Such honky-tonk, fast-paced selections as "Ain't Goin' Down (Til the Sun Comes Up)," "American Honky-Tonk Bar Association," "Standing Outside the Fire," "Callin' Baton Rouge," and the hit single, "Friends in Low Places," will keep your foot tapping until your toes can't take any more.

When Brooks performs an emotional ballad, however, you can't help but feel the song is coming straight from his heart. That is what makes his music so good and so real. And this album includes the very best of the balladeering Brooks. "Unanswered Prayers," "The River," "What's She Doin' Now," "The Dance," "If Tomorrow Never Comes," and the popular single, "Shameless," will absolutely give listeners to this album much more than just their money's worth.

This album will give you the true Garth Brooks . . . and he is indeed shameless.

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