Garth Brooks has concluded his exclusive arrangement with Wal-Mart and will once again make his works available through all retail channels, Billboard.biz has learned.
The country star is also understood to be prepping a slate of releases. According to retail sources, Brooks will issue a three-disc boxed set, "The Ultimate Garth Brooks," that will street either Nov. 6 or 13. The set will contain a 34-track, two-CD greatest hits retrospective with four new songs, and a DVD with videos, many of them recently filmed, for all tracks on the CDs.
In addition, Brooks is re-releasing his catalog titles, some of which have been on moratorium at general retail since 1998.
Brooks split from Capitol Records in 2005 and left with ownership of his
Nashville-based Big Machine Records is involved with promoting the new cuts to radio; the first single is expected in September. One of the new cuts is reportedly a remake of Huey Lewis' 1982 hit "Workin' for a Livin'," on which Lewis plays harmonica.
Programmers from across the country have been invited to an Aug. 17-18 event in Nashville. Brooks has also scheduled an Aug. 18 press conference there.
The new box will carry a $12 wholesale cost, the typical major label wholesale price of a front-line single-disc album, while catalog titles will carry a $7.85 wholesale cost, sources say.
For more details on Brooks' potential return to retail, radio and the stage, turn to the current issue of Billboard.