Garth Brooks Is Back With 'Ultimate Hits'

Garth Brooks on Saturday confirmed what Billboard.com first reported on Aug. 10 -- that he will release "The Ultimate Hits," a 34-track, two-CD greatest hits retrospective with four new songs, and a D

Garth Brooks on Saturday confirmed what Billboard.com first reported on Aug. 10 -- that he will release "The Ultimate Hits," a 34-track, two-CD greatest hits retrospective with four new songs, and a DVD with videos on Nov. 6.

The album will be self-distributed via his Pearl Records to all retailers. "We're doing deals one-on-one with retail," Brooks' said. His two-year exclusive deal with Wal-Mart expired on July 7.

Brooks, who confirmed that longtime marketing partner Joe Mansfield will head sales efforts, said the package will likely be sold for a retail price of $11-14. Interestingly, Brooks' release will not be available via iTunes since the artist does not want songs to be sold individually, only as a package.

The collection will sport two different album covers, one of which will be a limited edition.

Big Machine Records, which will handle promotion of the new cuts, will deliver power ballad "More Than a Memory" to radio on Aug. 27. The song, about the singer's inability to move on from a broken relationship, was written by Lee Brice, Kyle Jacobs and Billy Montana.

Big Machine is the new label home of Brooks' wife Trisha Yearwood, but he joked that he didn't turn to the label for promotional support because "my wife told me to."

The announcements came at a press conference in Nashville during which Brooks and Big Machine president Scott Borchetta addressed the media. Radio programmers were flown in for a two-day event during which they heard the new music and attended a seminar that provided a retrospective of Brooks' career.

Brooks, who retired in 2001, is maintaining his stance that he'll be a stay-at-home-dad until his daughters are grown. His youngest daughter should graduate high school in 2015.

Still, some sort of live component to the project's release seems imminent. "If we're going to do something on that scale, we're going to find a way to bring it locally into your town," he said, noting that country radio would somehow be involved. While Brooks wouldn't give details on what is rumored to be an extended run in a single market, he did allow that he would be doing a "thank you" concert for Wal-mart.

He also said he would actively promote the album via television, radio and other media venues. "You're going to see us everywhere," Brooks said at the press conference. "It's my job to let people know it's out there. And then after February, I'm going to go back to whatever I was doing before this."

The other new cuts on the release include "Midnight Sun," a song Brooks co-wrote with Jerrod Niemann and Richie Brown, and "Leave the Light On," which was penned by Randy Goodrum and Tommy Sims. Also included is a duet on Huey Lewis' "Workin' For a Livin'."

In an interesting twist, songwriters who penned the included hits have agreed to a reduced royalty rate. Meanwhile, the songwriters who wrote the collection's new songs will be paid at a normal rate.