The first installment of a planned five-part multimedia memoir, Anthology, Pt. 1: The First Five Years
pairs a 240-page book with five CDs, all covering the years between 1989 and 1993. Brooks
has never told this story in print, so the combination of oral history and memorabilia clearinghouse may be the main attraction for hardcore fans, who have had the opportunity to purchase various reissues of Garth Brooks
, No Fences
, Ropin' the Wind
, The Chase
, and In Pieces
over the years. Those are the albums that form the basis of the five discs here -- each of the CDs mirrors its original album -- and if these 52 songs are heavy on well-known masters, there are previously unreleased alternate cuts here as well. All of these are alternate takes, demos, and "day-writes" (aka, quick demos recorded the day the song was composed), so the songs aren't new, but hearing these rough versions helps restore a bit of freshness to well-trod territory.