Saturday, September 28, 1991

Garth Brooks' Ropin' the Wind is first country album to debut at #1

First posted 2/22/2008; updated 12/3/2020.

Ropin’ the Wind

Garth Brooks

Released: September 2, 1991

Peak: 118 US, 133 CW, 41 UK, 22 CN, 21 AU

Sales (in millions): 14.8 US, -- UK, 19.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Against the Grain (3/21/92, 66 CW)
  2. Rodeo (8/12/91, 3 CW)
  3. What She’s Doing Now (12/6/91, 1 CW)
  4. Burning Bridges
  5. Papa Loved Mama (2/1/92, 3 CW)
  6. Shameless (10/19/91, 1 CW, 71 UK)
  7. Cold Shoulder
  8. We Bury the Hatchet
  9. In Lonesome Dove
  10. The River (4/27/92, 1 CW)

Total Running Time: 39:21


3.986 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“It makes sense that this was the first country album to debut atop the pop charts, for Garth Brooks was as omnivorous a commercial force as music will ever see. With an advertising degree from Oklahoma State in his pocket, he invaded Nashville in the mid-80s with unparalleled instincts for how to walk the line between corn pone and pop.” TL

“Music Row was suspicious – (particularly of his liberalism) but his tastes and influences were truly catholic – which explains how he careens so easily from the honky-tonk of Merle Haggard to the tenderness of James Taylor in a single verse.” TL “With Ropin’ the Wind, Garth Brooks begins to make his ‘70s rock influences more explicit. Naturally, that is most notable in his reworking of Billy Joel's Shameless, which he transforms from a rock power ballad into contemporary country. But that influence is also evident on ambitious epics like The River and even the honky tonk ravers of Papa Loved Mama and Rodeo.” STE

“Some might say that those rock influences are what make Brooks a crossover success, but he wouldn't be nearly as successful if he didn't have a tangible country foundation to his music – even when he comes close to standard arena rock bombast, there are gritty steel guitars or vocal inflections that prove he is trying to expand country's vocabulary, not trying to exploit it.” STE

“That Ropin’ is only his second-best selling album…probably sticks in Garth's craw, but it is his best, and ‘The River’ and We Bury the Hatchet (‘but leave the handle stickin' out’) endure as monuments to the cleverness of his songwriting and the intensity of his genre-busting ambition.” TL

Notes: On the Limited Series box set, the song “Which One of Them” was added to Ropin’ the Wind.

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