Search - Billy Bob Thornton :: Private Radio

Private Radio
Billy Bob Thornton
Private Radio
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

You wouldn't expect the man behind Sling Blade to turn out a pedestrian album, but Billy Bob Thornton's country debut turns out to be surprising both for its risks and for its routine. To his credit, Thornton, with Marty S...  more »


Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details

All Artists: Billy Bob Thornton
Title: Private Radio
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Umvd Labels
Original Release Date: 1/1/2001
Re-Release Date: 9/25/2001
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Styles: Americana, Country Rock, Roots Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 008817023625, 0008817023625

You wouldn't expect the man behind Sling Blade to turn out a pedestrian album, but Billy Bob Thornton's country debut turns out to be surprising both for its risks and for its routine. To his credit, Thornton, with Marty Stuart producing, bypasses radio formula for a different kind of connection with his listener, veering from lengthy spoken verse to retro hillbilly deluxe. But does the listener want to hear what he has to say? In the opening song, "Dark and Mad," Thornton seems to telegraph the brooding danger of his most famous film role. Yet almost immediately he gets lost in ruminations so personal that he almost forgets there's an audience waiting to be involved. Past the kinky charm of "Forever," a bluesy, one-way telephone conversation in which he tells his main squeeze he's wearing the feathered pink panties she left in his car, there's a love song to his wife that's 180 degrees from passion, a revamped salute to John F. Kennedy, and a nine-and-a-half-minute piece of theatrical Southern gothic about witnessing a disturbing sexual encounter as a child. It's a weird trip, and totally unfocused, as if he just recorded whatever came into his head. But there's no denying Thornton's out-there charisma or the croaky appeal of his Arkansas twang. --Alanna Nash

Similarly Requested CDs


CD Reviews

What's that smell?
April Winchell | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/01/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I didn't so much hear the mail man deliver this CD as I smelled it on my doorstep. This is easily the biggest stinker in my collection. Billy Bob makes Fabio sound like Pavarotti. Of course, if you like drug induced, self indulgent, incoherent monologues set to improvised guitar licks, look no further. This is the yardstick by which all other deluded non-singing celebrities should measure their maiden efforts.There is actually a track on here that is NINE MINUTES long. It is completely ad libbed, and includes such lyrical gems as "there's an old rock well where we clean the squirrels" and "She was built like a brick s**t house". Move over Maya Angelou, I smell a new Poet Laureate!But the most fascinating aspect of this CD are the liner notes, in which Billy Bob proudly relates which songs were done in "one take" and how the album was "conceived in the cotton fields of our minds".I couldnt have said it better myself."
The Best CD in my 300+ collection....
J. Fryer | Nicholasville, KY | 05/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"And I should have expected nothing less from Billy Bob Thornton. I rarely review CDs, because as much as I love music, and as eclectic as my tastes run, I just don't feel knowledgeable enough to write on this subject.I thought however I would be remiss not to add my few comments to the previous reviewers who really know their stuff. I bought this album because I believe Billy Bob Thornton is the most creative talent in the entertainment industry today. Being a native Kentuckian, I of course then promptly feel in love with the music itself as well. While I am at a loss to describe the genre into which the CD fits, I just have to say it is like everything else BBT does, a unique offering of a variety of entertainment performed in his own unique personal style - offbeat and great.I have tried to persuade as many friends to listen to this CD as I have to watch 'Sling Blade'. Being just as unsuccessful (which sort of explains why I don't write about music), I finally resorted to purchasing copies for my best friends. So far, they all love it!My favorite cuts are 'Forever' (unlike other reviewers, I can't imagine anyone else singing it) and 'My Blue Shadow'. Anyone who is a Billy Bob Thornton fan and anyone who is interested in a wide-variety of musical genres should do themselves a favor and listen to this CD once, or twice. After that you won't be able to stop listening. There is no question, it grows on you with every enjoyable listening experience."
Billy Bob's Magical Mystery Tour-- Great Country Blues
J. R. Hobus | New Mexico | 03/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Country music legend has it that songwriter Steve Goodman once claimed to have written the perfect country song, "You Never Even Called Me By My Name". He took it to his friend David Allan Coe, but Coe objected because the song had nothing about trains, trucks, being in jail, or Mama. The songwriter added a verse with all four, and the rest is country music history.Billy Bob Thornton's "Private Radio" covers all these requisite topics and more-- but from an alternative perspective. For example: ...*** In Thornton's renditions, jail isn't the county drunk tank; instead, it's the every-day jail created by poverty, tribal knowledge, and childhood traumas that are hard to shake. ("Private Radio", "Beauty at the Back Door", "Your Blue Shadow") *** Mama and trains make it onto the album too, but this time Mama hears the train in the distance but never makes it out of the holler to see it. ("Over That Mountain") Perhaps the weakest link on this album is Thornton's acknowledgment/homage to his wife, Angelina Jolie. ("Angelina") It's not that the song is particularly weak; the lyrics are unique and sweet without being sugary. However, this tune has a subtle "pop" flavor that doesn't quite fit the rest of the album, even though Randy Scruggs plays guitar and bass for the track. It's a likeable tune though, and after a few listens, you'll find yourself humming the chorus at odd moments.The final cut is a cover of Hank Williams' "Lost Highway", an homage perfect in every detail, right down to the steel guitar used for Williams' original version, played once again in this recording by the legendary Don HelmsWith this album, Billy Bob Thornton shares a bit of his experiences, both those growing up in Arkansas and those he has out in the rest of the world when he's no longer strictly a country boy. In particular, these later experiences are common to all, whether we're former country folk or not. From the one night stand to the blue shadows we carry of those in our past, there is something here that will resonate for everyone.Marty Stuart both produced this album and played guitar, mandolin, and/or bass for a number of tracks. His liner notes are particularly interesting and help to place the album in the context of its intent.If you buy CDs to function as musical wallpaper-- background music about which you don't have to think too hard-- this is not the album for you. If all your country CDs are hat acts or pop crossovers, this is definitely not the album for you. But if you like to mine for the subtext beneath your twang, you won't be disappointed in this CD. Steve Earle, Steve Goodman, and Jerry Jeff Walker fans would probably also like the alternative/progressive kind of country-blues music that Thornton (with the help of Marty Stuart) has put on this album."