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