Will Oldham is the guy behind the Palace (Palace Brothers, Palace Music, etc.) recordings and he sometimes uses his own name. When he goes by Bonnie "Prince" Billy, he makes my favorite recordings, and they tend to be more listenable. Will Oldham is the only musician who can make me cry.
see Palace, Will Oldham, Tortoise
Information: The Royal
Suggested first purchase: I See a Darkness
Bonnie "Prince" Billy: I See a Darkness (1999) -- The best thing by Will Oldham so far. Where lots of the Palace stuff was good, sometimes it was a bit too strummy on the back porch and didn't leave as strong of an impression. With the Bonnie Prince stuff, everything is more focused and the songs are more... songy, in a good way. Every single song on this album is good, especially "A Minor Place," "I See a Darkness" (aka, The Song That Makes Rusty Cry), "Death To Everyone," and "Morning in Darling."
The Marquis de Tren and Bonny Billy: Get On Jolly EP (2000) -- An odd recording, even for Oldham, but a pretty good one. Notice the slight shift in his name.
Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Ease Down the Road (2001) -- A little more happy sounding than I See a Darkness, with all good stuff. Very pretty, sometimes even bouncy. Some highlights include "Just To See My Holly Home," "At the Break of Day," "After I Made Love To You," and "The Lion Lair."
Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Master and Everyone (2003) -- Not as instantly catchy as the first two Bonnie Prince albums, mostly because of the redundant use of a specific drum machine, but okay.
Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Greatest Palace Music (2004) -- Will Oldham decided to "professionally" record some of his favorite Palace songs with a overblown Nashville feel. It actually doesn't work incredibly well, certainly doesn't have the same goodness of that other produced record, All Most Heaven. That said, it's still more or less listenable, maybe more than some others.
Matt Sweeney and Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Superwolf (2005) -- Music by Sweeney, lyrics by Oldham. Although not the most engaging album from Bonnie "Prince" Billy, it's among the most purely pretty and works great as beautiful background music.
Tortoise and Bonnie "Prince" Billy: The Brave and the Bold (2006) -- From the guy who makes filing your CD collection an impossible task comes a pairing with Tortoise where they do cover songs, few of which are recognizable (which is more or less a good thing). The project isn't as interesting as you'd expect or hope -- it ends up just being okay songs instead of something mind-blowing -- but worth having for fans of either artist.
Copyright (c) Jan 2003 - Jan 2007 by Rusty Likes Music