Sunday, June 10, 2018

Chris Gaines.... Plus.... Battle of the Bands Results

Last week we talked a little bit about musical crossovers. After visiting all of the other Mondays Music Moves Me blog-hoppers, I realized there were quite a few artists that crossed genres that I had forgotten about.

A friend and I were chatting a day or so later, and they asked if anyone had mentioned Chris Gaines.  I don’t recall anyone including Chris Gaines in their posts, so my friend suggested that I include him in today’s post.


Who is Chris Gaines?

According to Wikipedia:

Chris Gaines is a fictional rock star persona created as an alter ego for Garth Brooks to explore rock and roll styles far removed from his success as a country singer.

Initially, Brooks planned to feature the Gaines persona in The Lamb, a motion picture which never materialized. In 1999, Brooks released one album as Gaines; the album produced two charting Billboard singles, including the Top 5 pop hit "Lost in You".

In 1999, Brooks and his production company Red Strokes Entertainment, with Paramount Pictures, began to develop a movie in which Brooks would star. The Lamb was to have revolved around Chris Gaines, a fictional rock singer and his emotionally conflicted life as a musician in the public eye. To create buzz for the project, Brooks took on the identity of Gaines in the October 1999 album Garth Brooks in ... The Life of Chris Gaines, which was intended as a 'pre-soundtrack' to the film. Brooks also subsequently appeared as Gaines in a television "mockumentary" for the VH1 series Behind the Music and as the musical guest on an episode of Saturday Night Live, which he hosted as himself.

This was not just a departure from Brooks' usual material, but was also meant to be an all encompassing “greatest hits” album spanning the career of Chris Gaines, which would later play out during the film.

Brooks' promotion of the album and the film did not seem to stir much excitement and the lack of success of the Chris Gaines experiment became fairly evident mere weeks after the album was released. The album received mixed reviews, and fan response was often bewilderment. Although the album made it to No. 2 on the Billboard 200, expectations had been higher and retail stores began heavily discounting their oversupply. Less than expected sales of the album (more than two million) and no further developments in the production of the film as a result brought the project to an indefinite hiatus in February 2001 and Gaines quickly faded into obscurity.
Despite the less than spectacular response to the Chris Gaines project, Brooks gained his first - and, to date, only - Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 single in "Lost in You", the first single from the album. Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic speculated that the alternate persona and elaborate marketing scheme backfired, writing, "When Brooks' new persona and his album were revealed to the public, they were unforgiving - they didn't think he was playing a role, they simply thought he'd lost his mind." However, Erlewine gave the album a 3-out-of-5 stars rating and in the same review later writes "Judged as Brooks' first pop album, it's pretty good, and if it had been released that way, it likely would have been embraced by a wide audience."


In this video, Garth Brooks tells the Chris Gaines story:




And for fun, let’s have a listen to that top 40 hit, Lost In You:




Personally, I don’t feel this is a rock song, but much closer to pop. What are your thoughts?


Before I go… I need to share with you the results of the most recent battle of the bands.
This last battle was in honor of all of the newcomers to Mondays Music Moves Me.  The song that was battled was “Stray Cat Blues”

The final results:

Smashing Pumpkins with 1 vote
Soundgarden with 8 votes

Be sure to check back on Friday for a new installment of Battle of the Bands.

Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers in this musical bloghop!






26 comments:

  1. Mary,

    The Crossover artists was a very fun theme and I'm glad to see you introduced another new-to-me country star who took a stab at it. Now, I would've never figured Chris Gaines and Garth Brooks is one-in-the-same. I wonder if fans were just baffled by the whole fictional character that threw them for a loop is the reason Garth's attempt at pop rock didn't go over so well? I remember when Pat Boone did something similar except he didn't pretend to be someone else and I really thought he was having a mid-life break down. lol I think Garth/Chris switch-a-roo was done well and I enjoyed this song. In fact, I'm curious to listen to more of his songs from the album.

    It looks like I went with the winner in your BoTB but so did most folks. lol The scale was definitely tipped super heavy for Soundgarden. Have a great week & thanks for joining the 4M gang on the dance floor, dearie!

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    1. Hi Cathy!

      Glad that I could introduce you to a new-ish artist. I like the new-to-me's as well. Thanks for stopping in, and I'll see you again on Friday for the next BOTB. I've got something lined up for the dog lovers this time around.

      ~Mary

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  2. So Chris Gaines was to Garth Brooks what The Blue Ridge Rangers was to John Fogerty? Gotcha. ;P

    And yes, it's more "pop" than "rock."

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    1. Yeah, that sounds about right. Good analogy!

      ~Mary

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  3. MMQE ~
    I'm pleased to see that you managed to avoid a BOTB shutout! (I think you should send Birgit a box of chocolates. [:-)} )

    >>... Personally, I don’t feel this is a rock song, but much closer to pop. What are your thoughts?

    I tried to listen to it on this work computer, but the sound level was too low and I'm unable to adjust it.

    To be totally honest, I've just never gotten the whole Garth Brooks phenomenon to begin with. I don't know a lot of his music, but I've heard enough songs to know that he doesn't appeal to me. I've always thought of him as "Country music for people who don't really like Country music".

    But then I think most Country music that came after the "Outlaw" phase (Waylon, Willie, Bocephus, Tompall Glaser, etc.) sounds closer to Pop than it does to Country. It's like they put Western wear on pretty Pop singers and called it "Country".

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

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    1. Hey there Stephen

      Yes, I do owe Birgit a huge thank you for preventing a shutout.

      >>...It's like they put Western wear on pretty Pop singers and called it "Country".

      It's as though you have read my mind.... How do you do that?

      ~M

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    2. >>... "It's as though you have read my mind.... How do you do that?"

      Very simple. ...I'm a mind-reader.

      OK, I got a chance to return here from my home computer and listened to that Garth Brooks / Chris Gaines song 'Lost In You'.

      I don't think it's Rock OR Pop.
      I'm pretty sure "Sap" is the word we're looking for.

      I could almost feel the cavities forming in my teeth as I listened. Well, I've been meaning to see the dentist, anyway.

      >>... "When Brooks' new persona and his album were revealed to the public, they were unforgiving - they didn't think he was playing a role, they simply thought he'd lost his mind."

      Frankly, I think they may have been on to something.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

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    3. >>... Frankly, I think they may have been on to something.

      I have to agree with you on this one... (although, I did tell 'the cute one' about your opinion on Joan Jett, and well... let's just say he thought those were fighting words!)

      ~M

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    4. Hmmm.... I don't remember what I said. But Joan Jett is a big boy; he can fight his own battles.

      [*Ha!-Ha! OK, now I'm just rubbing salt in the wound, huh? Well, you know me!*]

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    5. ;-O
      Ha! My Sister calls me that ALL THE TIME!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  4. I'm blown away by this actually being Garth Brooks. Definitely doesn't sound like him one iota. And it's a pretty good song--I can see why it charted so high. I agree; I think the album would have done fine on its own without the revealing of Garth Brooks as the actual artist.

    Mary, remember when Donny Osmond did a similar same thing? I remember in the late 80's, "Soldier of Love" was given to a radio station to play, with the singer's identity not being revealed. They were afraid Donny's reputation as a bubble gum pop teeny bopper would dampen interest in the song. The radio station's listeners went nuts over the song,and soon afterword the song was released as a Donny Osmond song. "Soldier of Love" hit #2 on Billboard, and paved the way for "Sacred Emotion" to hit #13, thus completing Donny's "comeback".

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    1. Hey Arn!

      I do remember when Donny Osmond did that. He did alright for a year or two, but it seems he fizzled out shortly after.

      Good to hear from you!

      ~Mary

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    2. He moved on to other things--broadway-type shows, TV talk show with Marie, long-time Vegas stint with Marie, etc. Now he's actually doing craft design with his wife!

      Great to hear from you too, Mary! You do a heckuva awesome job with this blog!

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  5. I actually thought that Garth did a great job with Chris Gaines. Loved that album.

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    1. He didn't too shabby of a job. I can't claim it as a favorite, but he did alright.

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  6. Lots of reincarnations of Garth Brooks. He even tried to be a baseball player. Remember when the 4 Seasons recorded a Dylan song as the Wonder Who?

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    1. I do remember when he tried to be a baseball player. It makes me wonder if he was unhappy with his life, or just couldn't make up his mind about what he wanted to do.

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  7. Wow, Guess I didn't do my homework now did I. I never knew about Chris Gaines/Garth Books, but dang what a voice & a looker. Thanks so very much for sharing! GREAT JOB! Woo Hoo!!! Wow, all this wild information is something here! Even about the Four Seasons and I was a huge fan of them, and I didn't know about the "Wonder Who?"!!! hahaha And Garth tried to play ball too?? Plus Donnie Osmond... I mean dang lady where do you get all this stuff... hahaha I know GOOGLE!!! You can find everything there they say!!! Oh boy, my head is spinning... y'all are bursting my bubbles in all my teenage idols. :( hahaha! Have a great week my friend!!!

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    1. hahaha Marie! You just start with one tiny bit of information, and it all snowballs from there. I'm extremely lucky to have a really good friend that pushes my boundaries and makes me learn about things I ignored in the past.

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  8. Now this is a Holy Cow kinda meaty post Mary! I had no idea about this Chris Gaines character. Sounded like a neat idea and according to the video of Garth talking about it all, he was pretty into it. Too bad it didn't take off. Maybe it was just too "out there" for people to "get"...I wonder if it would've turned out differently if Garth and Company just did a movie about this fictional character Chris Gaines with Garth starring as Chris and then released the album as the movie soundtrack, if that would've been a better plan?
    I don't know but it's too bad it didn't go anywhere. I actually kinda dig the idea. But I'm not "married" to Garth Brooks as a country fan, know what I mean? Him doing that, a change in music genre, wouldn't jolt me like it would a bonafide Garth Brooks diehard fan.
    I just wish now, hearing all about it, that I could go Netflix the movie...

    Very interesting stuff! I love it!
    Have a great week,

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I enjoy a good music documentary. This might be an interesting one to see. I'm not a bonafide Garth fan, either. I think you may be right that taking a different approach might have given better results.

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  9. This is such a revelation to me, Mary. I had NO idea Garth Brooks had an alter ego. "Lost In You" is definitely pop, not rock. He sure sounds different! As for your Battle results, I'm surprised it wasn't a bit closer. Glad to be on the winning side. Heard you were doing a dog-themed BOTB next time. Looking forward to that! ☺

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    1. Hi Debbie!

      Yeah, I thought the battle would be a bit closer, too. Oh well. Having had a few good battles earlier, I was due for one that had a wider margin. Leave it to the cats to just not care. LOL. Here's hoping the dogs come out in force for this next one.

      ~Mary

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  10. It sounds pop. I just keep thinking alter ego.

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  11. Garth Brooks? Really? Not that I get into much of his music, but I've heard enough that....I never in 10 zillion years would have guessed him for the singer. And, (forgive me, I am being serious here) I don't think that song is pop and I don't think it's rock. Is there a genre called Lullaby? I think what he just made is the best fall-asleep-to song in history. Don't know why, but I have...this...overwhelming....zzzz. Sorry, Garth! On the other hand, kudos to you, Garth, for trying to step out of the box, so to speak - that is the hallmark of true creativity.

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