Despite takes in recent years about his Chris Gaines album that include "my ribs are still sore from getting the s*** kicked out of me for it," Garth Brooks admits that we might not have seen the last of his rock star alter ego.
The 1999 "debut album" Garth Brooks in... The Life of Chris Gaines, also known as Greatest Hits, introduced the proposed lead character for an abandoned film project titled The Lamb. Although the album reached No. 2 on the all-genre Billboard 200 and got hyped by a "mocumentary" style episode of VH1's Behind the Music and a musical guest appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live, Brooks' departure from country music confused consumers and frustrated Capitol Records. Within two years, Brooks returned to country superstar form with the album Scarecrow.
During a March 2021 episode of his Facebook livestream series Inside Studio G, Brooks announced that the Gaines album's getting the reissue treatment soon.
"You're going to have it in every format you can possibly imagine. It's coming," he revealed. "You're going to have Chris Gaines stuff nobody's ever heard before, either... I love that project, so I'm excited."
In an interview with the Tennessean, Brooks admitted to the Don Was-produced project's poor reception while defending his falsetto performance on "Lost in You" "Way of the Girl," "My Love Tells Me So," "Unsigned Letter," "Right Now," Trisha Yearwood co-write "Main Street" and other tracks.
"Does the music still stand up to you?" Brooks said. "You bet your ass it does. I'll put that music up against any music or anybody. That music is undeniable."
Brooks followed up that statement with a shocking claim: "The Gaines project isn't done."
Sure, it was a weird flex 20 years ago from a classic country album like Double Live, but a future Gaines album would follow 20th anniversary hype (The Cobra in Nashville hosted Gainesfest on Sept. 28, 2019) while clarifying the Brooks alter ego's muddled backstory.
Plus, at least one country star would cherish a second Gaines studio album.
"Chris Gaines' album is one of the best albums Nashville's ever made, it really is. Garth making that album, it was confusing for a lot of people," Dierks Bentley told Radio.com. "I think there was a movie that was supposed to go along with it, but if you really sit down and listen to the album, which I have being a Garth fan, it's a great album."
This article was originally published in December of 2019.