Saturday, July 30, 2011

The #11 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"Ropin' the Wind" by Garth Brooks

This album finds itself one spot out of the All-Time Top 10*.  It belongs there.

Garth Brooks released his third album Ropin' the Wind on the heels of No Fences, which at the time was the top country album ever made.  This one topped it.  Ropin' the Wind was not to be denied, spending four separate runs at #1, a total of 18 weeks.  The album accomplished the then-rare feat of debuting at #1. 

Garth Brooks Ropin the Wind Album Cover

The singles were "Rodeo", "Shameless", "What She's Doing Now", "Papa Loved Mama" and "The River" but this album is so much more than that.  "Against the Grain", the album's lead track, is excellent.  "Shameless" is an outstanding Brooks version of the Billy Joel song which Garth sings with great passion.  "We Bury the Hatchet" is great comic relief, "Burning Bridges", "Cold Shoulder" and "Lonesome Dove" are also excellent, which means the album is a perfect 10-10, out-of-the-park home run.

Brooks was at his absolute peak on this album; the music is sensational and his vocal style is amazing.  One could argue a long time about this album being in the Top 10.  The fact is that as sales and airplay figures are updated from time to time, these albums in the Top 13 or so are so close that they will shift up and down.

Ropin' the Wind:
1.    "Against the Grain" (Bruce Bouton, Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson) --2:22
2.    "Rodeo" (Larry Bastian) --3:53
3.    "What She's Doing Now" (Pat Alger, Garth Brooks) --3:26
4.    "Burning Bridges" (Stephanie C. Brown, Brooks) --3:35
5.    "Papa Loved Mama" (Kim Williams, Brooks) --2:51
6.    "Shameless" (Billy Joel) --4:19
7.    "Cold Shoulder" (Kent Blazy, Williams, Brooks) --3:55
8.    "We Bury the Hatchet" (Royal Wade Kimes, Brooks) --3:05
9.    "In Lonesome Dove" (Cynthia Limbaugh, Brooks) --4:48
10.  "The River" (Victoria Shaw, Brooks) --4:25

Brooks got help from Chris Leuzinger on electric guitar, Mark Casstevens on acoustic, Bruce Bouton on lap & pedal steel guitars and Dobro Jerry Douglas played the Dobro, Mike Chapman was on electric bass, Edgar Meyer played acoustic bass, Bobby Wood played keyboards and Milton Sledge was on drums and percussion.  Sam Bush played mandolin on the album, Rob Hajacos played fiddle, and Trisha Yearwood, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle and Susan Ashton sang backing vocals.

Ropin' the Wind was recorded from 1990-1991 at Jack's Tracks Recording Studios.  The album was released September 10, 1991 on Liberty Records.

Garth Brooks comes in at #11 All-Time with Ropin' the Wind.

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