Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The #22 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"No Fences" by Garth Brooks

Inside the Rock Era has presented 78 of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era* this summer.  We have 22 left to reveal.

The #22 album is from Garth Brooks.  It was the second album Brooks put out in his amazing career, reaching #3 for two weeks.  It remained in the Top 10 for 35 weeks and the enduring album was on the chart for 224 (over four years).  To date, the album has sold 17 million copies and has a Track Record of 8.75.

No Fences contains some great tracks.  You remember me saying at #74 that the Brooks album In Pieces deserved to be much higher.  This album is better than that one.  From the moment the listener hears the first notes of "The Thunder Rolls", you know you're in for a treat.  The drinking song "Friends in Low Places", "Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House", "Victim of the Game", "Wolves" and "Wild Horses" are all excellent tracks and "Unanswered Prayers" is one of the great Unknown/Underrated Songs* of not only the Rock Era but of all-time.  

Garth Brooks No Fences Album Cover

Brooks has his own unique way of inviting listeners in to his world.  It doesn't matter if you're a 9 to 5 kinda' guy who loves the city life or a cowboy on the rugged plain.  He writes songs about things that matter and he writes them and sings them in a way that portrays meaning and envelopes you into the story.  Many of the tracks on No Fences are written by others but Brooks sings them like his own.

Brooks won a Billboard Music Award for Top Album Artist and numerous country music awards.

No Fences:
1.  "The Thunder Rolls" (Pat Alger, Garth Brooks) --3:42
2.  "New Way to Fly" (Kim Williams, Brooks) --3:54
3.  "Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House" (Bobby Boyd, Warren Dale Haynes, Dennis Robbins) --2:31
4.  "Victim of the Game" (Mark Sanders, Brooks) --3:06
5.  "Friends in Low Places" (DeWayne Blackwell, Earl "Bud" Lee) --4:18
6.  "Wild Horses" (Bill Shore, David Wills) --3:08
7.  "Unanswered Prayers" (Alger, Larry Bastian, Brooks) --3:23
8.  "Same Old Story" (Tony Arata) --2:52
9.  "Mr. Blue" (Blackwell) --3:16
10.  "Wolves" (Stephanie Davis) --4:08

Note:  "This Ain't Tennessee" has been added to new releases of the CD but was not on the original studio album that is the one that we are judging.

Brooks plays guitar on No Fences, getting additional guitar work from Johnny Chrstopher, Chris Leuzinger, Mark Casstevens and Pat Alger (who also sings backing vocals). Bruce Bouton played steel guitar, Rob Hajacos played fiddle, Mike Chapman played acoustic bass and Bobby Wood played piano and keyboards--all four sang background vocals. Edgar Meyer placed acoustic bass on the album, Milton Sledge played drums and bass, Mike Palmer played drums and percussion, Dave Gant played fiddle and keyboards and sang vocals, Steve McClure played both steel and electric guitar, Ty England played acoustic guitar and sang backing vocals, James Garver played guitar and fiddle and sang vocals and the Nashville String Machine contributed great strings to the project. Stage Manager Brian Petree also pitched in with backing vocals. Additional credit for background and harmony vocals goes to:

"Friends in Low Places"
Pat Alger
Al "Shaggy" Barclay
Dewayne Blackwell
Bruce Bouton
Tim Bowers
Sandy Brooks
Stephanie C. Brown
Mike Chapman
Bob Doyle
The Englands
Dave Gant
Rob Hajacos
Joe Harris
Dan Heins
Rusty "Race Horse" Jones
Steve King
Earl of Bud Lee
Pam "The Chick" Lewis
Buddy Mondlock
Steve Morley
Mike "Palmerman"
Brian Petree
Dale Pierce
Jim Rooney
Tami Rose
Lee Sartin
Charlie Stefl
Scott Stem
Bobby Wood

"Unanswered Prayers"
Wendy Johnson
Jennifer O'Brien
Hurshel Wiginton
Curtis Young

Indian River: David McVay, Stephen Tolman, Neil Thrasher and Curry Worsham

The great No Fences album was recorded in 1990 at Jack's Tracks Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.  Allen Reynolds produced it for Brooks.  Mark Miller was the engineer and mixed the album; Dan Heins was the Audio Engineer and also contributed backing vocals.  Denny Purcell mastered this masterpiece.  Jerry Joyner produced the album design.  The Virginia Team handled art direction while Beverly Parker was the photographer.  The album was released to the public August 27, 1990 on Capitol Records.

They don't get much better than this one; in fact there's only 21 that are according to the American music consumers.

#22 is from Garth Brooks...No Fences.

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