Thursday , December 13 2018

Brooks on new anthology – Seal opens on ‘Standards’

NEW YORK, Nov 18, (AP): Garth Brooks says he’s happy to share the first of five anthologies he created with his fans while he’s still alive and kicking.

“Every artist seems to wait ‘till they’re dead, and I just don’t know how you enjoy that. Or everybody is so old that nobody can remember the stories, it just gets kind of all muddied up,” he said in an interview this week. “So just to be able to do this while you’re up and running really was cool.”

The 55-year-old singer released “Garth Brooks: The Anthology Part 1 The First Five Years” on Tuesday. It includes a book written by Brooks, five albums — including songs never heard before — and behind-the-scenes stories and photos focused on the years 1989-1993.

“This has kind of been the request of the people that allow me to do what I do. And they want to know every nook and cranny of how this whole thing all started,” said Brooks, who released his debut in 1989.

Brooks plans to release the other four anthologies in the next few years. He said he’s halfway through creating part two. The first one took two years to produce.

The multi-platinum singer, who is currently on his top-grossing tour, spoke with The Associated Press about the anthology, his decision to lip sync at last week’s Country Music Association Awards and more.

AP: What was going through your mind when you looked at the first five years of your career?

Brooks: To be honest I was scared because I’ve told these stories my whole career. Now I was scared that I’d have to go back and find, “Well maybe that wasn’t exactly how it happened. Maybe we were stretching the truth a little bit or whatever to make a good story.” And then what I love is you go back — there it is; there is a first take of “Much Too Young” and that whole thing of you’re looking at all these guys who know what they’re doing and you don’t know what you’re doing.

AP: What would the Garth Brooks today tell the 1989 version of Garth?

Brooks: What I’ll tell him is, “You’re just so full of (…), you’re scared to death and you’re running and you’re praying to God that each day you don’t kill yourself,” you know. But I think that’s all young artists. We got a kid named Mitch Rossell with us right now (on tour), sweetest kid on the planet, but … I am telling you, he’s so far in the dark simply because the greatest lessons in life cannot be taught. You have to learn them. And it’s just cool to see. So what we do to him is the same thing everybody did to me — they run alongside me with their arms out trying to keep me from falling … and that’s what those guys did for me. Everyone in that book did that for me.

AP: What was it like to win entertainer of the year at the CMAs for the second year in a row?

Brooks: It was very sweet. …Everybody was saying “Hey ringer,” they were calling me ringer … “You’re a shoo-in” and I was going, “(…), we’re not going to take it home this year” because everybody thinks (we will). …We’re still celebrating!


BEVERLY HILLS, California: Seal is in crisis mode. The Grammy-winning singer says he’s deeply concerned about anti-social social media and the emotionless conversations enabled by technology.

He stepped back recently to observe how he and his children used social media and messaging apps — and didn’t like what he saw.

“I’ve been going through my own sort of crisis if you like, of late — trying to make sense of it all,” he said. “There’s a lot of contact, a lot of traffic, but very little dialogue. So people are texting each other, but actually having zero dialogue at all, or very little. They’re not saying anything. Because they’re not real conversations. … Because there is no emotion, or very little. And if there is emotion, it’s contrived emotion.”

Among his responses: He doesn’t shake hands — only hugs. He texts as little as possible, preferring FaceTime or other video apps when holding a phone conversation.

And he immersed himself in the “dialogue” of classic pop and jazz songs like “Autumn Leaves” and “Smile” for a new “Standards” album released this month.

“I feel that because so much emphasis is on storytelling and the ability of the great singers of these standards — the Sinatras, the Fitzgeralds, the Nat King Coles — and the ability of these great singers, these great voices, to carry this narrative, to tell the story — everything is focused on that. … If that is not intact, everything else falls to pieces,” Seal said. “It has to be dialogue. … That kind of seems to be the theme with me at the moment — both kind of personally and professionally.”

His 10th studio album was recorded at Capitol Records in Los Angeles, with a band that included musicians who performed alongside Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. The 54-year-old British crooner has been more focused on storytelling in his own songwriting since delving into the classics songbook.

“It taught me relaxation, slowing down, and having to be more reflective and focused again on this thing of the narrative. Because that’s really what resonates with people,” he said.

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