The famed country music artist has been releasing hits since the early ‘90s, that includes 77 singles up to 2019 and even some Christmas songs with a country twang. How many of those has he written on his own?
Garth Brooks (real name Troyal Garth Brooks) has co-written 30 of his own songs, although the only two songs he has solely written are “Not Counting You” (1990) and “Mr Right” (1992) which is one of his more lesser-known singles from his album The Chase.
Keep reading to see exactly which songs Garth had a hand in writing during his longstanding career, and which ones were his greatest successes.
Writer From the Start
Born in 1962, Brooks was heavily influenced by a movement in the 1970s while growing up known as the singer-songwriter movement. The term was widely mainstreamed all over the world, celebrating artists who would write, create the melody, and perform their material often accompanied by a single instrument.
Rock and roll icon James Taylor was one of his absolute favorites, and he also largely idolized Billy Joel, Freddie Mercury of Queen, and Bruce Springsteen.
In many of his live performances he is seen with a band, though he frequently moves around the stage with a guitar and wearing a microphone headset. These kinds of performances emphasize his admiration for the singer-songwriters of the ‘70s, but with a theatrical rock-inspired twist.
Garth’s first single he ever released was in 1989 called “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” and was written by himself and Randy Taylor. “If Tomorrow Never Comes” and “The Dance” were also co-written with Taylor and went on to win several awards.
“Not Counting You” is the first song he released that was only written by himself, and reportedly the first he ever recorded as well. It reached peak position on the Canada Country Tracks charts and second spot on the US Hot Country Songs charts.
His career in the music industry continued to thrive well into the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, releasing chart topping hits like “She’s Every Woman” (1995) and “Two Piña Coladas” (1998).
More Comfortable Co-Writing
Speaking to American Songwriter magazine and podcast network, Garth thinks of himself as more of a performer than an expert songwriter.
“I just happen to be somebody that sings who also happens to work a little bit with a pen. I found out if you surround yourself with those people, for some reason they call you a songwriter too, but all of those guys are definitely writers.”
He clarifies that co-writing has demonstrated itself as the best method for him, adding, “I haven’t written alone in so long I’ve probably forgot how to do it. With me things get old real quick.”
“I’ll write one or two lines and quit. Co-writing is cool because it keeps you on it, it keeps you pushing. I make my living entertaining, but if you’re working with someone who knows writing is his only source of income, he’s going to push ‘til it’s done.”
In terms of his objective as a songwriter, he said that he wants “to relate, definitely. To have somebody sit there and say, ‘man, he had to write this about me.”
The last song he co-wrote was “Midnight Sun” in 2008, which was part of his The Ultimate Hits album.
He took a small break, before returning to publish “The Call” in 2013. Since then, he is yet to release a song written by himself, and prefers performing tracks that others have written.
Even though he is more interested in co-writing his songs, Brooks was still initiated into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) in 2011 to celebrate his talents of writing widely popularized music.
Following the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, Brooks hosted a drive-in concert event where over 300,000 fans tuned in nationwide. He livestreamed his performance, singing some of his best tracks.