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Music / In the Life of Chris Gaines

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Garth Brooks In...The Life Of Chris Gaines (also known as Chris Gaines: Greatest Hits) is an album released by Garth Brooks in 1999 as a prequel soundtrack to an upcoming movie called The Lamb. It proved to be an unpopular album with his longtime fans (though he did manage to score his his only Top 40 pop hit with the song "Lost In You"), and plans for the movie fell through because of it.


  1. "That's the Way I Remember It" (4:29)
  2. "Lost in You" (3:05)
  3. "Snow in July" (4:20)
  4. "Driftin' Away" (4:56)
  5. "Way of the Girl" (3:44)
  6. "Unsigned Letter" (4:17)
  7. "It Don't Matter to the Sun" (4:21)
  8. "Right Now" (3:24)
  9. "Main Street" (4:12)
  10. "White Flag" (4:43)
  11. "Digging for Gold" (5:08)
  12. "Maybe" (5:11)
  13. "My Love Tells Me So" (4:33)

Principal members:

  • Garth Brooks — acoustic guitar, lead vocals
  • Gordon Kennedy — electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass and vocals (lead vocals on "My Love Tells Me So")
  • Wayne Kirkpatrick — acoustic guitars, keyboards, drum programming, clavinet and vocals
  • Tommy Simms — keyboards, bass, acoustic guitars, drum programming and vocals
  • Chris McHugh — drums, percussion and drum programming


It's just the way of the tropes

  • All There in the Manual: Chris Gaines' life is described in the liner notes: he was born in Australia to an Olympic swim coach and swimmer, but moved to America and was raised there until he dropped out of high school to form his band Crush, which scored their only hit song, "My Love Tells Me So". After the band's lead singer - and Chris' best friend - died in an airplane accident, Gaines went solo with his first album Straight Jacket in 1989, followed by Fornucopia in 1991, Apostle in 1994, and Triangle in 1996.
  • Badass Soulpatch: Chris in his later years.
  • Breakup Breakout:invoked In-universe, Chris from CRUSH. Notable because Chris was not the singer of the band, he was their guitarist.
  • Break-Up Song: "Driftin' Away", where the protagonist wants to give his former partner another try, but is afraid that she has forgiven him one too many times. And thus he is afraid to give his heart again, just to have a change of mind.
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  • Everything Is an Instrument: "My Love Tells Me So" has the sound of snapping fingers during the bridge section. The liner notes has Chris say that this was supposed to be a temporary filler until the band found something better to replace it with.
  • Face on the Cover: Garth-as-Chris's face in close-up. The album's reversible cover lets it be displayed as either a Garth Brooks album or a Chris Gaines album.
    • For the fictional albums of Chris Gaines in the liner notes: Triangle has Chris' face arranged in a kaleidoscopic triangular pattern, while Fornucopia has a younger Chris looking toward the camera with a female model lying down in front of him.
  • Gold Digger: In "Digging For Gold" the millionaire wonders whether his loved one loves him for who he is or for his wealth? When they go broke it turns out she does not want to stay with him.
    Black Tuesday when that wall of wealth came crashing down
    Bad news day when that little queen had to give back her crown
    And he said, hey babe, we can live on love
    'Cuz love is worth much more
    But he barely got his feelings out, she was half way to the door
    And she never even heard him cry
  • Greatest Hits Album: This album is presented as one for the fictional artist.
  • Grief Song: "Maybe" and "It Don't Matter To The Sun", which was sung as a tribute to his mother at the time of his father's passing.
  • Hospital Hottie: On the cover of Straight Jacket, young Chris is flanked by two attractive nurses, but that's all we really know about them.
  • Institutional Apparel: Chris in a strait-jacket on the cover of Straight Jacket.
  • List Song: "Right Now", based on Cheryl Wheeler's "If It Were Up To Me" (a list of things that may be the contribution of what's wrong in this world)note  and combining it with the chorus of the Youngbloods' "Get Together".
  • Love Letter Lunacy: "Unsigned Letter". The subject receives a mysterious three-word letter that just read "come to me" and she ends up traveling to Boston to find out who wrote the letter, with no specific outcome mentioned.
  • The Makeover: Chris after his automobile accident and reconstructive surgery took on a more Goth appearance for his later albums.
  • May–December Romance: The marriage relationship of the millionaire and his wife in "Digging For Gold", with the verse saying that the wife is young enough to be his daughter. However, she quickly proves that she's not in the marriage for love, but for money.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: On the cover of the fictional album Apostle, the shot of an open door leading to a bright glowing light from the other side.
  • New Sound Album: The album as a whole attempted to be this, although not all of its songs fully departed from Garth's own style.
    • In-universe, Apostle is most likely this, with its songs "The Way Of The Girl" and "Unsigned Letter" sounding much different from his earlier works.
  • Nostalgia Filter: "That's The Way I Remember It". It's arranged as the first song on the album to show how Chris chooses to remember his past work.
  • One-Hit Wonder: In-universe, Chris' band Crush has only one hit, "My Love Tells Me So".
  • One-Word Title: "Maybe".
  • Portmantitle: Fornucopia, which is a portmanteau of "fornication" and "cornucopia".
  • The Power of Love: "My Love Tells Me So" and "Lost In You".
  • Record Producer: Don Was, in real life. This was the only Garth album that was not produced by Allen Reynolds from Garth's first to Reynolds' retirement.
  • Riches to Rags: The millionaire and his Gold Digger wife in "Digging For Gold."
    Black Tuesday when that wall of wealth came crashing down.
    Bad news day when that little queen had to give back her crown.
  • Shout-Out: "Unsigned Letter" mentions Pandora's Box from Greek Mythology.
  • Small Town Boredom: "Main Street".
    In my dreams I've seen
    Things that only seem to happen on the silver screen
    When it's over there's no walking out
    'Cause out there all they talk about
    Is what ain't goin' down on Main Street
  • Spoken Word in Music: Done three times. In the middle of the chorus of "Way Of The Girl", he says "it's just the way it is, can't do nothing 'bout it." And near the end of "Right Now", he says "you know, if we don't talk about it, it ain't going to get better." There's also a spoken section in the bridge of "My Love Tells Me So."
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Gordon Kennedy does the lead vocal of "My Love Tells Me So".
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Way Of The Girl".
  • White Flag: "White Flag".

Example of: