Will his new album be out in time for Christmas?
-It was supposed to be released prior to his New York concert
By Jim Patterson Associated Press Writer
Nashville, Tenn.--Two days after Garth Brooks walked off a stage in new York Citys Central Park, EMI-Capitol Records reported sales leaps as high as 114 percent on his albums.
What they couldnt report are sales figures for Brooks new album Sevens which the HBO concert Aug. 7 was conceived to launch. Unhappy with Capitols marketing plans-and shaken by the recent departures of key executives, Brooks has refused to allow the release of the album.
Now, Brooks and Capitol executives are trying to reach an agreement to get Sevens out in time for the Christmas season.
I dont know when it will come out, Brooks said. It cant come any later than the year 2015. Thats when my deal is up, you know? I dont know, I really dont.
Brooks is adamant that hed rather delay the record than chance a repeat of the performance of his last project, Fresh Horses (1995).
Fresh Horses has sold over 4 million copies. Thats more than respectable buy Brooks measures himself his peak record, No Fences in 1990. That effort has sold 13 million.
Capitol marketing executive Pat Quigely agrees that 4 million isnt enough sales for an artist of Brooks stature. The Oklahoman has sold over 62 million, second only to The Beatles in U.S. sales.
Quigley last worked with Brooks on the plan that sold 9 million of 1994s The Hits.
How can a guy who sells 4 million records complain? Quigley said. He complains because we had a plan to sell 10 million of The Hits in 6 months, which we basically did. And within that we had a plan to sell his core audience, what I call fence sitters, people who are disposed to country music but maybe not Garth, and then 40 percent to people who never bought a Garth record before.
We didnt do that (on Fresh Horses). We let him down.
Quigley is the only capitol executive to whom Brooks was close who still remains at the company. Capitols New York headquarters closed in May, and CEO Charles Koppelman and vice president Terri Santisi were fired.
Quigley moved to the Nashville office, where hes working on marketing campaigns for artists like Deana Carter and John Berry. But his primary mission is repairing the companys relationship with Brooks.
Hes a friend of mine, Quigley said of Brooks. But I would say at this point, there is now (business) relationship.
Theres issues on both sides. There going to get resolved. When they do, the worlds going to hear one of the really great Garth albums.
Brooks, as usual, is trying to keep details of the new album under wraps until its released. He says it will cover a wide variety of styles, and that some of it is extremely strange.
Quigley said plans call for Sevens to be packed with more music than the typical 30-to 45- minute country music CD, without any price increase.
At Brooks album for Christmas could help other artists, as well. Superstar releases bring people into stores, said Jon Kerlikowske, general manager of Tower Records in Nashville.
Once theyre there, they tend to buy more than what they came for.
A new record from someone like Garth Brooks could sell probably a thousand copies over Christmas, Kerlikowske said. Thats a lot for here. He also appeals to a broad base of people. He crosses over to pop music.
Will it make or break me this Christmas? No. But it would sure be nice to have.
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