Clint Black Week: Singer Shares 25 Year Retrospective on ‘Killin’ Time’
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Clint Black is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his debut album, Killin’ Time, by taking over Taste of Country and offering exclusive new video content every day this week. In today’s video, he and some of his longtime collaborators discuss the making of the landmark album.
Released in 1989, Killin’ Time was a career-launching success for Black, rocketing him to instant stardom after years of struggle and enjoying an impressively long chart run, landing five hit singles from a single project, including such career singles as “Killin’ Time’ and “A Better Man.” In the video above, which Taste of Country readers are seeing exclusively, Black gathers together his most important collaborators for the album to look back on its success.
The album not only launched Black’s career, it was a huge springboard for producer James Stroud, who has gone on to an enormously successful career of his own. Another producer initially turned Stroud on to Black’s demos.
“He called me up, and he said, ‘There’s a kid named Clint Black, and he’s coming to see you,'” Stroud recalls. “‘And don’t expect anything good … I just didn’t hear anything.'”
Fortunately for all involved, Stroud saw the situation differently, and he and Black decided to take an unusual approach, with Black writing or co-writing all of the songs and Black’s own band playing on the tracks, instead of slick Nashville studio players.
Many of those players are still with Black today, including longtime co-writer Hayden Nicholas.
“I knew at the time, your life could have been a lot easier,” Nicholas tells Stroud. “You could have just pulled in the studio musicians you were used to working with. [But] you gave us a shot at something that meant a lot.”
“You said, ‘You know what, you’re not gonna sound like everybody else’s record,'” Black adds. “That stuck with me.”
The resulting album was not only a launch pad for all involved, it has stood the test of time. Many of those songs will appear in Black’s set as he tours this year to promote his most recent album, On Purpose. Stroud has gone on to produce a Who’s Who of country’s top acts, but he still has a special place in his heart for Killin’ Time.
“This is my favorite record I’ve ever been involved with,” he tells Black, holding up the Platinum disc he received for it. “It’s a true story. It’s a book of how a bunch of guys gets together and makes music where we were in our lives. Everybody was struggling, and we were all sort of looking for our spot. We were all looking for that one thing. This record changed our lives more than any other piece of music that we’ve done.”
Check out the entire conversation in the video above, and visit Taste of Country every day this week for more exclusive content as Clint Black celebrates 25 years of Killin’ Time.
Backstage at the 2015 ACM Awards With Clint Black