Garth Brooks’ ‘Friends in Low Places’ Remake Shelved Due to Royalty Dispute
A royalty dispute has put a planned all-star remake of Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” on hold. In addition, plans for a silver anniversary reissue of No Fences have been shelved, at least temporarily.
Brooks explained what happened to Billboard last week, revealing how he’d gotten an unnamed retailer to agree to purchase one million copies of the album, if all publishers involved would agree on a specific royalty rate discount. To his surprise, not all publishers would agree. "This is 100 percent my fault," Brooks says. "I’ve done this deal for 20 years. I know how this deal works. What caught me off guard — I just never guessed — is that the rate would go up."
The discounted rate tactic is how Brooks has previously released special box sets at staggeringly low prices. Most recently, he dropped Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences in 2013 for $24.96. Publishers and writers agree to the discounted rate on older material (often half price), because it means a large payday when there is a guaranteed number of copies being purchased. Brooks didn’t name which retailer he was working with for the No Fences reissue, but he's often paired with Walmart on such deals.
The “Friends in Low Places” remake was to feature George Strait, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban and was set to be the centerpiece of the No Fences reissue. It’s not clear how or if the package will be released in 2015. Brooks had previously said a new album of new music would be released this fall, also indicating a holiday albums of duets recorded with Trisha Yearwood would come soon, as well. There has been no definitive news about either of those projects.
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