Garth Brooks Being Unfair to Fans with “Time Traveler” Release

Garth Brooks has just announced his 14th studio album called Time Traveler to be released on November 7th. Consisting of 10 songs, the album was produced by Garth Brooks himself. But to purchase and listen to the new album, you’ll have to purchase six other albums that you either might already have or may not particularly want. It’s the latest scheme from the country superstar to drive up his sales numbers.

Time Traveler will only be available—at least initially—by purchasing it in a bigger box set exclusively available at Bass Pro Shops. As Garth explains, the Bass Pro release is part of his “Limited Series,” which has released two other box set collections in the past. Overall, Garth has now released eight box sets total. This third limited series also comes with the albums Man Against Machine (2014), Gunslinger (2016), and Fun (2020), along with Triple Live (2018).

Garth says about the new album, “There are a lot of different eras on this album, thus the name. Country music’s core is sincerity, after that, you can dress it up a thousand different ways. I am so lucky to live under the flag of Country Music.”

Will Time Traveler be available by itself at some point? Maybe, but Garth is not mentioning anything about this at the moment and wants you to purchase the box set first. Will Time Traveler eventually be available via streaming services? If it is, it would be exclusive to Amazon, since Garth has an exclusive streaming deal with them. But at the moment, there is no guarantees if or when this will happen either.

All of this is to funnel fans toward purchasing the $29.95 box set. Perhaps if you don’t have physical copies of any of the box set albums, that is not a bad deal. But if you do, you’re being forced to purchase albums you don’t want or need to get the one that you do. Garth has been doing this for years.

Garth Brooks first announced the new Bass Pro Shops box set back in August. But at that time, he didn’t even reveal the name of the new album, nor the track list. We still don’t have the detailed track list at this point.

On Garth’s first “Limited Series” release in 1998, it included his first six albums, with each album including an additional song. On the second “Limited Series” released in 2005, it included four previously-released albums, as well as The Lost Sessions that included 11 unheard tracks, including the Chris LeDoux tribute single “Good Ride Cowboy.” In that case The Lost Sessions was also issued separately later, but with an expanded 17-song track list. So even if you got The Lost Sessions in the box set, you still needed to buy the album separately to complete the catalog.

It is likely Garth Brooks will release Time Traveler separately at some point as well, but who knows when. As some fans are also pointing out, even though the Limited Series box set will be available at Bass Pro on November 7th, if you purchase it online from the retailer, it won’t ship until November 27th to December 4th. Perhaps this is to push people toward going to the physical stores. But with only 200 Bass Pro locations, this is not a possibility for many Garth Brooks fans, especially ones that live in rural areas.

Others have been quick to point out that they don’t even have a CD player anymore. Most newer cars do not come with one. At this point, CD would be the only way to listen to Time Traveler. People may have to travel back in time to find a CD player to hear it.

According to the RIAA, Garth Brooks is the top selling solo artist of all time in the world, even beating out Elvis. He’s sold 157 million albums in the United States alone. Though Garth’s popularity is unquestionable and his country bonafides are hard to dispute, his marketing and packaging schemes sometimes precede the positive sentiments about his music. This is certainly the case for Time Traveler.

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