Brooks releases new single, wins digital battle

President Barack Obama talks with Garth Brooks, who was presented with the "Grammy on the Hill Award" for his leadership in advancing the rights of music makers, in the Oval Office, April 14, 2010. The President was also presented with the 2007 Grammy Award for best spoken word album for his book "The Audacity of Hope." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

When Garth Brooks releases new music, you can bet it’ll be an event. That excitement continues with the release of his latest single, “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance,” from his upcoming album “Gunslinger.”

The song is reminiscent of previous Brooks’ songs “Wrapped Up In You,” from 2001’s “Scarecrow” and “We Shall Be Free” from 1992’s “The Chase.”

Brooks said the song is one of three that were written/co-written by his late friend, Kim Williams. Williams had a long history in country music, and especially with

Brooks, writing songs like “Ain’t Going Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up),” “Papa Loved Mama,” and the Randy Travis classic “Three Wood- en Crosses.”

Brooks recently premiered another new song, “Pure Adrenaline,” with an exclusive intro to be played before each SEC college football game of the week. Though this was technically the first taste of the new album, the song’s lyrics vary based on each game, making “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” the first complete song released from “Gunslinger.”

Even though the release of this single was enough of an event, new Garth Brooks music doesn’t come without major news.

Brooks shocked the entire industry when he announced an exclusive agreement with Amazon that allows fans to stream his catalogue and purchase digital versions of his albums through the major online retailer. This, of course, means his music will disappear from Ghost- Tunes, the digital music service he helped start.

More importantly, this deal means that he won. For years, Garth Brooks had been absent from digital retailers because of the way the system is structured. He wanted albums to be sold as a whole, rather than each individual song being available by itself. GhostTunes was created because of the industry’s refusal to give artists that kind of control over distribution.

When the service was launched, Brooks said that if the major retailers came around and agreed to let the artists have that control, it would be a win for the artists, and it certainly is. Brooks proved that he could handle his own tour promotion, music distribution and social media presence without the industry. Now the industry has realized that it needs him more than he needs it.

“Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” is available for streaming on Amazon Music Unlimited and as a free download with specially marked bags of Fritos chips.

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