Garth Brooks’ No Fences album celebrates its 30th anniversary today (8/27). With four number one singles, it was the album that made Garth a superstar.
On its anniversary, we gathered ten things that you may not know about the album that changed Brooks’ life forever and altered the direction of country music.
10 – With sales of over 17 million units, No Fences was the 4th best selling album of the ‘90s in all genres.
9 – The album was recorded at Jack Tracks Recording studio in Nashville. The studio, which first opened in 1971, is the third studio of songwriter and producer Jack Clement. After the 1975 failure of one of Clement’s other studios named JMI Records, Jack’s Tracks Recording Studio was sold to songwriter and publisher Allen Reynolds for $65,000. Reynolds operated the studio from 1975 until 2010 when he sold it to Garth Brooks. Two years later, Brooks renamed the studio to Allentown Studio in honor of Reynolds. As of 2019, the studio serves as Garth Brooks’ recording studio.
8 – No Fences was Garth’s first #1 album and his first album to sell more than 10 million copies, earning the RIAA’s Diamond Award.
7 – The album included four #1 hits: “The Thunder Rolls,” “Friends in Low Places,” “Unanswered Prayers,” and “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House.”
6 – The album won three CMA awards in 1991 including CMA Album of the Year, CMA Single of the Year for “Friends in Low Places” and CMA Music Video of the Year for “The Thunder Rolls.”
5 – The album won two ACM awards in 1991 including ACM Album of the Year and ACM Single Record of the Year for “Friends in Low Places.”
4 – In September 2015, it was announced No Fences would be reissued to commemorate its 25th anniversary. It was supposed to include a new version of “Friends in Low Places” featuring George Strait, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, and Keith Urban singing along with Brooks. The album and remix of the song was never released citing royalty disputes.
3 – The original recorded version of “Friends In Low Places” included 30 people singing background and harmony vocals including Garth’s then publicist Scott Stem, who told us of that day in the studio, “It’s been many years ago, but I do remember it being a fun and joyful time. Garth had invited his team, band, friends and family to come to the studio and record the crowd singing the chorus that you hear near the end of the song. The studio was filled with smiles and laughter, and it was a cool moment to sing on just a small piece of such an iconic song. Of course, at that time we had no idea it would have the success that it has had. We probably weren’t in the studio more than an hour, if that.”
2 – No Fences went on to win Billboard Awards and American Music Awards in 1991 and 1992 including Billboard #1 Country Album, Billboard Music Video Awards – Best Country Male Video for “The Thunder Rolls,” and AMAs for Favorite Album/Country and Favorite Single/Country for “The Thunder Rolls.”
1- No Fences remains Brooks’ best-selling studio album to date. It was his first album issued in Europe with the original European release containing the four singles from his U.S. debut as bonus tracks.