Big Eye's The Complete Tribute to Garth Brooks
compiles two previously released celebrations of Brooks
' catalog. Disc one was originally issued in 1999 by an imprint of Cleopatra as New Friends in Low Places
, while the second volume is Big Eye's own 2001 comp. The former disc is stronger, as it features fleshed-out arrangements performed by aging rockers like Dave Amato
, REO Speedwagon
) and Spencer Davis
, who joins drummer Carmine Appice
on "Standing Outside the Fire." While the second volume has its moments as well, it is a quickie performance by unknown studio players, and sounds like it. In a comparison of the discs' respective takes on "Friends in Low Places," the latter album's sanitized pop-country loses out to the former's blousy barroom take. Neither disc is perfect, and little of this material sizzles with the intangible spark that made Brooks a superstar. However, his longtime fans might find this set pleasantly entertaining.