Garth Brooks - Garth Brooks (Self Titled)
In this episode we're featuring the debut record of a fresh-faced 27-year-old Oklahoma boy singing good country music: "Garth Brooks" (Self Titled) (1989). From the look on his face on the front cover of this album, I'd say he didn't have any clue of the fame about to come his way on the strength of this release - and fame did come, sure enough. This record achieved diamond certification (sales of 10 million plus in the USA alone) and catapulted Garth's career into the stratosphere, turning him into the household name that millions grew up with. But right here at the beginning of it all, this is as country as Garth Brooks ever was, in this reviewer's opinion - honky tonk tracks like "Nobody Gets Off In Town" and "Not Counting You" combine with twin story songs in "Cowboy Bill" and "Alabama Clay" to speak of a country musician possessing of layers, to say nothing of the big hits from this album. You'll never hear a more stripped-down, straight-ahead traditional country release from Garth Brooks, and as one review put it: "If his pop-crossover experiment "Chris Gaines" made you sick and longing for the country Garth, just listen to this album and remember why country fans fell in love with him and his music."