As the name implies, the installment focuses on the first five years of Brooks’s career and includes the backstory on “The Thunder Rolls,” including that it was almost released by another artist, how “The Dance” and “Friends in Low Places” almost weren’t recorded and a look into the famed Jack’s Tracks recording studio in Nashville.
“My favorite thing about Part 1 was what I learned,” Brooks told Billboard. “I had no idea that (songwriter) Tony Arata’s first cut in Nashville was ‘The Dance.’ I would have thought it had to be his 20th. I was very aware of my stuff, but there are so many stories from (producer) Allen Reynolds, (songwriter) Pat Alger, Bob Doyle and others.”
The book also includes more than 150 rare photos, session charts and tracking sheets packaged as a 240-page hardcover.
Included with the book are five CDs that will offer never-before-heard songs, outtakes, demos and the first time Brooks’s wife, Trisha Yearwood, sang on one of his songs – long before the release of his debut album.
Billboard reported that each part of the anthology will have a two-and-a-half-hour documentary, totaling a 10 to 12 hour documentary series when all parts are released. The doc for the first part is set to be released in Spring 2018.
To preview the release of “The First Five Years,” Brooks will broadcast an episode of “Inside Studio G” on his official Facebook page at 7 p.m. Oct. 2.