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rhd13
04-14-2018, 01:50 PM
The discussion of what album Garth should "retire" got me to thinking about how I would personally rank his 10 (11 if you count Chris Gaines) studio albums. I'm not sure if we have ever done a thread like this before, but if we have it has been quite a while.

I know this thread will be all over the map, with tons of different viewpoints, but I actually find it quite interesting to see what you guys think. Here is my list of Garth's albums ranked.

11. Gunslinger - I promise I'm not trying to be critical or poo-poo on this album. If this album was done by any other artist I'd probably view it a little more favorably. I just expect so much out of Garth and this just did not deliver for me personally. Sure, there were some amazing songs on this record. I love "Ask Me How I Know", "Whiskey To Wine" and "8Teen", but for the first time there were actually Garth songs that I almost hated on this record. I thought "Bang Bang" and "Sugarcane" were borderline abominations and "Honky Tonk Somewhere", "Weekend", and "He Really Loves You" were three of the most overhyped songs only to be average at best in my opinion. Is the album an OK listen every now and then? Sure. Do I listen to it as much as the others? No.

10. Man Against Machine - For me personally this album was a pretty big step up from Gunslinger. The good songs weren't just good, they were great. "Tacoma", "She's Tired of Boys", "All American Kid" and even "Cold Like That" were all very good tracks. The problem was he chose two of the weakest songs on the record to be the singles - "People Loving People" and "Mom". It's not that those songs are bad, but the production on the first and the cheesiness of the second just seemed like an awful one-two punch at radio.

9. Scarecrow - I think the beating Garth took over Chris Gaines had a major impact on this album. I feel like Garth played it a little "safe" here. I'm not sure I can explain it, but this album has always felt the same way Gunslinger felt when it came out. I felt like he released Gunslinger, and then said look over here at all the stuff I've accomplished in the past by putting it in the box set and putting the box set out at the same time. Scarecrow felt like that. It was almost like his retirement, the Coast to Coast specials, etc. took the wind out of this record's sails before it was even released. This album definitely has its moments though. I think "When You Come Back To Me Again" and "Why Ain't I Running" are two of the most heartfelt, authentic songs he's ever released. There were also some fun tracks like "Squeeze Me In" and "Rodeo or Mexico".

8. Chris Gaines - I HATE putting this record this low, but I just can't put it above the 7 albums coming ahead of it. This low placement is not a fair representative of how great I think this album is so I'll put it this way. I think this record is the most ambitious, interesting, risk-taking album of his career. This album makes me proud to be a fan because I know at one point he was willing to take HUGE career chances. Unfortunately, because of how this album has become a punch line I fear we will never get the musical risk-taking this record got us. "Driftin' Away" is my 3rd favorite Garth song of all-time (behind "Shameless" and "Which One of Them"). I love about 10 of the 13 songs here. Man, I so wish the movie would have gotten made because I would have loved to hear the soundtrack.

7. Garth Brooks - Much like the Chris Gaines record I feel awful putting this album this low, but I can't find a spot for it above the albums above it. The 4 singles and "Alabama Clay" are country music perfection.

6. The Chase - I do feel like The Chase is a step down among the albums of the 90s. This can be seen by how little representation this record gets in the live show. "That Summer" is really the only staple now and we will occasionally get "We Shall Be Free". The crazy part is my favorite tracks off this record are "Learning To Live Again" and "Every Now and Then". An amazing record, but it just can't crack the Top 5.

5. In Pieces - I feel like In Pieces was the end of an era for Garth and he ended the era with a bang. Garth talks about Gunslinger being a "stupid fun" record, but I kind of feel that way about In Pieces. "Ain't Goin' Down", "AHBA", "Callin' Baton Rouge" and "Standing Outside The Fire" all rock.

4. Fresh Horses - This is by far the most UNDERRATED record in Garth's catalog. I get the feeling that a lot of people don't really like this album, but I have never understood why. My two least favorite songs here are "Ireland" and "Cowboys and Angels" and I would argue those are GREAT songs. This album might be Garth's most solid album from top to bottom. Sure, the highs aren't as high as other records, but I don't think the lows are that low.

3. Sevens - For some reason I have always seen this album as sort of a comeback. If you remember there was a lot of drama leading up to the release of Sevens and I think a lot of people were tired of Garth and hoping he would fail. If you remember, Central Park was originally supposed to coincide with the release of this record and it just felt tenuous in the Garth world. When this album came out though it really smoked expectations. "In Another's Eyes" was such an exciting release as the first official duet between the two and then "Longneck Bottle" became the first song ever to debut inside the Top 10 on the Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart at the time. Beyond the singles though we got some really powerful songs like "I Don't Have To Wonder", "Fit For A King" and "A Friend To Me". When you couple that with the fun of songs like "Cowboy Cadillac" and "Two Pina Coladas" this became, in my opinion, one of Garth's peak moments.

2. No Fences - I get it, almost everyone will rank this as Garth's #1 record, especially the critics. It deserves every ounce of praise it gets because there are really no weak moments here. The 4 singles, particularly "FILP" would send Garth's career into the stratosphere and it wasn't just about hype but it was about quality. This record will forever be the record that made Garth Garth.

1. Ropin' The Wind - For me personally this is the quintessential Garth album. I have always felt like this record was his peak. Yes, I know No Fences sold more and had bigger hits, but this would be the record that solidified Garth was a force to be reckoned with. This was the first country album to debut at #1 and he was now selling albums at the rate of acts like Michael Jackson and Metallica. The 5 singles alone make this album epic - "Shameless" (my favorite Garth song), "What She's Dong Now" (maybe Garth's most underrated single), "Papa Loved Mama" (the classic live tune), "Rodeo" and "The River" just proved that No Fences was no fluke. If someone came to me and said they wanted one Garth album I would literally suggest they buy The Ultimate Hits to get most of the singles, but to buy Ropin' The Wind if they wanted to explore more than just the hits. To me it is the perfect way to introduce someone to the phenomenon that is Garth.

G&TTreknTech77
04-14-2018, 02:21 PM
Before I provide my ranking, let me preface with some context. I hate twang and accents in my music. I also dislike rural American lifestyle tropes. I do like albums with songs containing impactful lyrics but generally prefer songs with an upbeat tempo. I also give extra points to country songs whose lyrics or musical style offend "traditional" country listeners. I will rank from favorite to least:

Favorite: Chris Gaines
In Pieces
Fresh Horses
The Chase
Man Against Machine
Gunslinger
Sevens
Scarecrow
Ropin' The Wind
No Fences
Garth Brooks
The Lost Sessions

Skywise
04-14-2018, 05:42 PM
Hmm.. I like this idea.. gotta get some stats on this before responses (if there are any ;) ) get to be too much... will have to think about it.. and then give my pers. rankings too.. nice idea...

I assume we're talking studio releases, not GH comps, or box set release, etc (ala the lost sessions or the influences in the blame it all on my roots set)



******EDIT--- stats sheet set up....*******

Brett Dale
04-14-2018, 07:00 PM
1: No Fences
2: Ropin the wind
3: Garth Brooks
4: Sevens
5: Fresh Horses
6: In Pieces
7:The Life of Chris Gaines
8: Scarecrow
9: The Chase
10: Gunslinger
11: Man against Machine

Brett Dale
04-14-2018, 07:01 PM
Before I provide my ranking, let me preface with some context. I hate twang and accents in my music. I also dislike rural American lifestyle tropes. I do like albums with songs containing impactful lyrics but generally prefer songs with an upbeat tempo. I also give extra points to country songs whose lyrics or musical style offend "traditional" country listeners. I will rank from favorite to least:

Favorite: Chris Gaines
In Pieces
Fresh Horses
The Chase
Man Against Machine
Gunslinger
Sevens
Scarecrow
Ropin' The Wind
No Fences
Garth Brooks
The Lost Sessions

wow, Chris Gaines is your number one!! Awesome!

rhd13
04-14-2018, 07:51 PM
Really digging you putting Chris Gaines at #1. I considered putting it as high as #3, but just couldn't do it. Love that album though.

Skywise mentioned looking at stats. The list above is obviously just based upon my personal preferences, but I think if you were going to use RIAA sales numbers (and Billboard charts to break any ties) it would look something like this. Again only including studio albums. No comps or live albums.

1. No Fences (17 million)
2. Ropin' The Wind (14 million)
3. Sevens (10 million; #1 on Billboard 200)
4. Garth Brooks (10 million; #13 on Billboard 200)
5. The Chase (9 million)
6. In Pieces (8 million)
7. Fresh Horses (7 million)
8. Scarecrow (5 million)
9. In The Life of Chris Gaines (2 million)
10. Man Against Machine (1 million; #4 on Billboard 200)
11. Scarecrow (1 million; #25 on Billboard 200; box set it was in peaked at #6)

G&TTreknTech77
04-14-2018, 08:25 PM
wow, Chris Gaines is your number one!! Awesome!

Thanks! While I was only half serious about my background for my choices, what I will say is that I want to see creative freedom, risk taking and originality in the music I listen to. For me Chris Gaines is the clearest evidence of those things. I look for songs and albums that don't sound like any other country artist or song.

CharlieBarton
04-15-2018, 11:20 AM
Wow, this was much tougher than I thought. The only easy choice was Gunslinger as dead last. I wrote them down, shuffled them up and then reshuffled them a few more times. My preface would be that 11 of the albums all get 10 out of 10 stars and it's nearly impossible to separate most of them. (Gunslinger is more like 4 stars in comparison lol) On any given day, these could be in vastly a different order. In the end, it became obvious to me that, when forced to choose, I prefer his earlier sound. So here goes my listing.

12. Gunslinger

11. In Pieces
10. Scarecrow
9. The Lost Sessions
8. Fresh Horses
7. Man Against Machine
6. In the Life of Chris Gaines
5. Sevens
4. The Chase
3. Garth Brooks
2. No Fences
1. Ropin' The Wind

CharlieBarton
04-15-2018, 11:29 AM
Favorite: Chris Gaines
In Pieces
Fresh Horses
The Chase
Man Against Machine
Gunslinger
Sevens
Scarecrow
Ropin' The Wind
No Fences
Garth Brooks
The Lost Sessions

I too, think the Gaines album is a stroke of genius. I really, truly believe that if another high profile pop artist had done that album, it would have been very highly regarded.

randa16
04-16-2018, 01:49 AM
1. Garth Brooks - My favorite still to this day. There is not one throw away track on the entire album. I just still love this album and will always be my favorite

2. No Fences - It is another solid album. Again not one track that is a throw away or that I would skip

3. Lost Sessions - While this album may not have been a stand alone release it is just so solid. It reminds me of the old Garth and is an album I listen to a lot.

4. Ropin The Wind - Another great album. This is the album Garth started getting a little pop country going with shameless.

5. The Chase - I really liked this album but a few songs were just not there for me

6. Gunslinger - I know I am one of the few who liked this album. If you get rid of the back half of this album it is really good

7. Fresh Horses - It was a good album but had a few songs that did not do it for me

8. In Pieces - It was another good album but still only a few songs I did not like

9. Scarecrow - I did not mind this album. The tracks were split for me on either great or bad.

10. Sevens - I did not care for this album. There was only 3 tracks on the entire album I liked. It was way to pop country for me

11. Man Against Machine - There is just no easy way to say it but I hated this album and felt screwed. Loved Tacoma hated the rest. It felt rushed and had no real feel to it.

Skywise
04-16-2018, 01:53 AM
1. Garth Brooks - My favorite still to this day. There is not one throw away track on the entire album. I just still love this album and will always be my favorite

2. No Fences - It is another solid album. Again not one track that is a throw away or that I would skip

3. Lost Sessions - While this album may not have been a stand alone release it is just so solid. It reminds me of the old Garth and is an album I listen to a lot.

4. Ropin The Wind - Another great album. This is the album Garth started getting a little pop country going with shameless.

5. The Chase - I really liked this album but a few songs were just not there for me

6. Gunslinger - I know I am one of the few who liked this album. If you get rid of the back half of this album it is really good

7. Fresh Horses - It was a good album but had a few songs that did not do it for me

8. In Pieces - It was another good album but still only a few songs I did not like

9. Scarecrow - I did not mind this album. The tracks were split for me on either great or bad.

10. Sevens - I did not care for this album. There was only 3 tracks on the entire album I liked. It was way to pop country for me

11. Man Against Machine - There is just no easy way to say it but I hated this album and felt screwed. Loved Tacoma hated the rest. It felt rushed and had no real feel to it.

would you rank the CG album last then? (I'm tabulating responses)

randa16
04-16-2018, 02:24 AM
I liked the Chris gains album but hard for me to put it up against the rest cause it’s a different feel. I would put it 10 ahead of sevens and man against machine

Skywise
04-16-2018, 02:27 AM
I liked the Chris gains album but hard for me to put it up against the rest cause it’s a different feel. I would put it 10 ahead of sevens and man against machine

gotcha- I'm trying to tabulate the responses, but only w/ the non lost sessions albums (I am putting note though of lost sessions inclusions and what they are 'ranked' by participants)

YouSoundBitter
04-16-2018, 02:42 AM
Then you have the Christmas albums...this is harder than it seems! I kid, but honestly I would put BTS above 3-4 albums, if I made a list.

garthcop
04-16-2018, 11:30 AM
It depends on the day

Steven75407
04-16-2018, 12:54 PM
1. No Fences
2. Sevens
3. Ropin the Wind
4. In Pieces
5. The Lost Sessions
6. Garth Brooks
7. Fresh Horses
8. Gunslinger
9. Scarecrow
10. The Chase
11. Man against Machine

Skywise
04-16-2018, 03:22 PM
how do you feel / where would you rank the CG album?


1. No Fences
2. Sevens
3. Ropin the Wind
4. In Pieces
5. The Lost Sessions
6. Garth Brooks
7. Fresh Horses
8. Gunslinger
9. Scarecrow
10. The Chase
11. Man against Machine

Skywise
04-16-2018, 03:23 PM
It depends on the day

very true- average a few days? just as a guest/for the poll's sake

GBJR77
04-16-2018, 06:11 PM
Just stopping by to see what I may have missed the past year or so. I'll drop my 2 cents in as well:

1. Fresh Horses
2. Man Against Machine
3. …In The Life of Chris Gaines
4. The Chase
5. In Pieces
6. Scarecrow
7. Ropin’ The Wind
8. Sevens
9. The Lost Sessions
10. No Fences
11. Garth Brooks
12. …..silence……
13. …..k-pop covers….
14. britney spears remixes
15. Gunslinger (yes, I hate it that much)


A lot of how I rate these though really boils down to how I felt about them when they were originally released, and if they still stand up today and either make me feel the same way or evoke the nostalgia of the time.

Fresh Horses was huge for me, beginning as a songwriter, coming out of college. I still get the same feelings hearing "That Ol' Wind" or "She's Every Woman". The nostalgia side of me has vivid recollections of "The Old Stuff" and "Midnight Cinderella" at concerts, seared into my brain.

Machine has an incredible collection of songs - many that deserved to be treated far better than they were produced. The 'return' factor, coupled with this new album leaked to me the night of my first 'return' show in Minneapolis. The songwriting was tight in a lot of spots, even though it was by others, and felt like 'home'. It still holds up for me, and it makes me angry that the production of the album killed what could've (and should've) been a home run. That crap production lead to the crap turd of Gunslinger, a knee-jerk overreaction to poor 'comeback' sales. If not for Mitch Rossel, Gunslinger wouldn't be worth anything more than a Toby Keith album. Which is already priced below Milli Vanilli.

As for Chris Gaines - I love the risk that was taken. I love the songwriting on what were considered 'throwaway' songs just meant to be a 'backstory' for a character, and combined with the honesty in the way the voice was performed and produced, really stood out. There was heart in this album, even though the majority of the world was laughing at it. Like Machine, it was another album that I believe never had a fair shot - only for different reasons.

GB, No Fences.....I'm just tired of the songs on them really. They haven't stood up for me. Other than "Everytime That It Rains", I could do without hearing either album again. I am so sick of "The Dance", "If Tomorrow Never Comes", "Unanswered Prayers", "Thunder Rolls"....and drunk people singing "Friends In Low Places". Both albums have meld into one giant, monotonous tone for me. I know they are 'classics', and people love them. I'm just done with them. People would use the 'new' stuff for potty breaks at shows last tour. I used "The Dance" and "Unanswered Prayers".

Cheers.

Skywise
04-16-2018, 06:17 PM
KRR! Great to see ya (hear from ya!) again .. been a while!! how are things? I'll put your stuff into the mix...

Scarecrow
04-16-2018, 09:36 PM
I find it hard to rank his album's cos they are all great in my mind. It probably would look something like this.
1. Chris Gaines - Pure Genius
2. The rest of his albums

Skywise
04-16-2018, 10:09 PM
aw come on Scarecrow.... they may all be great (heck most of them are in my own mind) but for participations' sake- can ya rank em?


I find it hard to rank his album's cos they are all great in my mind. It probably would look something like this.
1. Chris Gaines - Pure Genius
2. The rest of his albums

Scarecrow
04-16-2018, 10:36 PM
So I said earlier that it's hard to rank them so I guess I will do it by how often I listen to them.

1. Chris Gaines - I played this album more times than there are miles from the earth to the moon.
2. Fresh Horses- a lot of good songs
3. In Pieces - straight up fun album
4. Man Against Machine - I really like a lot of songs on this
5. Scarecrow - you are probably wondering why Scarecrow is not
Higher on Scarecrow's list.
6. The Chase - very personal album
7. Sevens - many songs I like to crank up
8. Gunslinger - I really like the songs here.
9. Ropin' The Wind - fun album to play
10. The Lost Sessions - a bunch of stories brought together
11. No Fences - I know what you are thinking but I have my reasons
12. Garth Brooks - same here, great songs but played too often and found elsewhere.

ElectricOutcast
04-17-2018, 12:09 PM
Not gonna lie to y'all, I hadn't listened to the Gaines album in a long while so I don't know where it would rank in my list. But in terms of the main albums I'm gonna put mine on and some of my picks and ranks might be interesting.


In Pieces
No Fences
Ropin the Wind
The Chase
Sevens
Fresh Horses
Scarecrow
Man Against Machine
Lost Sessions
Gunslinger
Garth Brooks


Now the reason why I've put In Pieces at Number One is because out of all the albums I've played in my car, In Pieces is probably my most played record ever and I'm even talking about the days when I was a kid and didn't even drive, the cassette tape played a whole lot of times in my car to the point of being worn out, the CD I had contained a lot of laser scratches and was still able to play. And I play this album a lot on my phone even with my custom Lost Sessions tracks I've put in. So yes, In Pieces is my all-time favorite Garth album ever.

StormHawk
06-01-2018, 12:16 AM
I did this a while back. I scored based on my personal song preferences and also factored in the overall popularity to come up with a score for each out of 10.

10 "Man Against Machine" (2014) (4.1)
9 "Gunslinger" (2016) (4.3)
8 "Scarecrow" (2001) (4.7)
7 "Sevens" (1997) (5.5)
6 "Fresh Horses" (1995) (6.3)
5 "The Chase" (1992) (6.6)
4 "No Fences" (1990) (6.8)
3 "Garth Brooks" (1989) (7.0)
2 "In Pieces" (8.0)
1 "Ropin' The Wind" (1991) (8.1)