LOS ANGELES — Just as Tina Turner always boasted that she never does anything nice and easy, Garth Brooks never does anything small. So in capping his residency in Las Vegas, the biggest-selling country performer of all time has assembled a new eight-disc box set inspired by his relatively intimate one-man shows in the 1,500-seat Wynn Encore Theater.
"Blame It All On My Roots" will be released Nov. 28 as a Wal-Mart exclusive, featuring four CDs with all new recordings of Brooks' favorite songs of other artists, two CDs with 33 of his own hits, a DVD containing music videos for all those hits and a second DVD capturing one of his Wynn live performances.
In addition to vintage country material Brooks touched on throughout his run at the Wynn, the set will survey classic rock, R&B and soul music that influenced him while growing up in Oklahoma. Treating the performances almost like a living-room concert, Brooks would regularly include his favorite songs by other artists to share with the audiences how his music developed.
For this box set he went into the recording studio and made new versions of 44 covers that are spread across four of the album's CDs. The other two include 33 songs from his "The Ultimate Hits" compilation, plus one bonus track, "Leave a Light On."
Thanksgiving Day rollout
The set is priced at $24.96 and will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart, Sam's Club stores and at walmart.com starting Thanksgiving Day. The following day, Brooks will play a final show at the Wynn that will be telecast live on CBS-TV.
Because the new album is exclusive to a single retailer, it will not be eligible to chart on the Billboard 200 Album chart. But sales will count toward Brooks' overall sales as measured by the Recording Industry Assn. of America. Each box set sold will count as eight copies sold under RIAA rules, so if the set sells 1 million copies, his overall RIAA total will increase by 8 million.
Brooks ranks third on the RIAA's list of all-time bestselling album artists, behind the Beatles, with 177 million albums sold in the U.S., and Elvis Presley, with 134.5 million. Brooks' total according to the latest certification figures at RIAA.com stands at 128 million.
The Beatles figure to be pumping up their total as well with the release this week of the two-CD set "On Air -- Live at the BBC, Volume 2," as well as a newly issued remastered version of the 1994 set "Live at the BBC," also a two-disc set giving the Beatles double-figure increases for each sale.