Bust out the black eyeliner and get ready to party like it’s 1999, because the G-man has promised that some new, unreleased Chris Gaines material is on the way along with a re-release of the previous stuff. During his “Inside Studio G” segment last week, Garth Brooks was fed a canned question from one of his fans about his controversial alter ego, and responded,
“When it comes to Chris Gaines, I can’t tell you anything except you’re going to have it in every format you can possibly imagine. It’s coming, even in vinyl. And, you’re going to have Chris Gaines stuff nobody’s ever heard before either. It’s all coming, but the Chris Gaines thing you just gotta handle it with kid gloves and put it together, but it’s coming. I love that project, so I’m excited.”
Chris Gaines was a fictitious emo pop character Garth Brooks debuted in 1999 on the album Garth Brooks in … The Life of Chris Gaines. The album was supposed to be the preamble to a full-blown motion picture called The Lamb where Garth would portray the dark and troubled character. They even put together a VH1 Behind The Music episode for him, and Garth hosted Saturday Night Live as Gaines.
But the idea was met with very mixed results for Garth, who at the time was a massive star in country, and commanded major attention. Though The Life of Chris Gaines went on to sell some 2 million copies—which would be astounding sales numbers these days—it was a flop by Garth standards and the motion picture project was scrapped. Chris Gaines was mothballed … at least by Garth. But the Chris Gaines episode is regularly recalled by Garth Brooks critics whenever his name is brought up.
The Chris Gaines project came at a time that Garth had absolutely dominated music, and was looking for other stimulation. In 1998, he unsuccessfully tried out for the San Diego Padres baseball farm system. When that failed, Chris Gaines became Garth’s foray into pop rock. It was shortly after Garth’s 2001 album Scarecrow that he announced his retirement entirely. He would return in 2014.
Garth’s announcement has stimulated conversation on if Chris Gaines may be hitting the comeback trail too. Maybe he is, but it’s more likely Garth is just looking for a good excuse to repackage the Chris Gaines material and give it a boost. After all, Garth Brooks is the master of selling fans the same songs and albums over and over. Like much of Garth’s music, availability is limited due to his exclusive deal with Amazon. But perhaps Chris Gaines doesn’t fall under that arrangement, and will be distributed everywhere.