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Ropin' the Hits

1998 in Review
Garth Brooks

After ten years, Garth Brooks stills rides high in the saddle of popular success.

Also serving cross generations was Garth Brooks, who nearly 10 years after his debut continues to be the monster of sales. He scored a hat trick of the 10-gallon variety in 1998. His six-CD boxed set, The Limited Series, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, making it the first multi-CD collection to do so since Bruce Springsteen's live collection in the mid-80s. His three-year-tour ended in November after playing to more than five million people and grossing over $105 million, making it the top-grossing country tour of all time, and perhaps biggest arena tour ever. All this with an average ticket price of $20. Then, in November, his new 2-CD live album, Garth Brooks: Double Live, sold 1,085,000 copies in its first week, setting a Billboard record for weekly sales. Brooks vowed to take much of 1999 off and assess "if there was a place for him" in the new millennium.

Brooks also appeared on the soundtrack to Hope Floats, covering Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love." That was just one of a number of soundtracks that spiraled upward in 1998. Others included Armageddon, City of Angels, I Got the Hook-up, Dr. Dolittle, and The Players' Club. While soundtracks had been growing in importance and market share for years, nothing prepared the industry for the success of Titanic and a number of other top movie albums. At one point in July, five of the top 10 albums were soundtracks. Even movies that were considered box office bombs, such as Godzilla, had tremendously successful soundtracks. Always looking to overdo a good thing, a number of labels released more than one soundtrack per movie. But the ultimate came in November, when DreamWorks released three soundtracks on the same day for its animated feature The Prince of Egypt.




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