Sunday, 24 April 2016

"Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology" by TIM BUCKLEY (2001 Elektra/Rhino 2CD Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...





"...Song To The Siren..."

Blessed with an angelic ring-them-bells voice that would literally make women swoon and Male Sopranos nervous - Tim Buckley's artistry has nonetheless always been a strange thing in collecting circles. Despite his stunning set of pipes and beautiful song arrangements - I've seen this superlative Rhino 2CD Anthology fall as low as 75p on some online sites – while at the same time his original British sixties vinyl albums easily command fifty, sixty, seventy pounds – especially masterpieces like "Happy Sad" on orange-Elektra and "Starsailor" on Straight Records. Cheap or no - I'd like to argue that this 2CD star-in-a-reasonably-priced-car is genuinely essential listening you need in your man cave. Here are the Hellos and Goodbyes...

UK and Europe released 31 March 2001 (April 2001 in the USA) – "Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology" by TIM BUCKLEY on Elektra/Rhino 8122-76722-2 (Barcode 081227672225) is a 33-Track 2CD Set in a Card Slipcase and plays out as follows:

Disc 1 (77:21 minutes):
1. Wings
2. She Is
3. Song Slowly Song
4. It Happens Every Time
5. Aren’t You The Girl
Tracks 1 to 5 from his debut album "Tim Buckley" – released October 1966 in the USA (December 1966 in the UK) on Elektra Records EK-4040 (Mono) and Elektra EKS-74040 (Stereo) - same LP catalogue numbers for both countries. The STEREO MIX is used.

6. Pleasant Street
7. Hallucinations
8. No Man Can Find The War
9. Once I Was
10. Morning Glory
11. Goodbye And Hello
Tracks 6 to 11 from his 2nd studio album "Goodbye And Hello" – released September 1967 (December 1967 in the UK) in the USA on Elektra EKL-318 (Mono) and Elektra EKS-7318 (Stereo) - same LP catalogue numbers for both countries. Reissue copies (about October/November 1967) have the catalogue number Elektra EKS-74028. The STEREO MIX is used.

12. Buzzin' Fly
13. Strange Feelin'
14. Sing A Song For You
Tracks 12 to 14 are from his 3rd studio LP "Happy Sad" – released March 1969 in the USA and UK on Elektra Records EKS-74045 (Stereo only).

15. Phantasmagoria In Two (Live)
16. I've Been Out Walking (Live)
17. Troubadour (Live)
Tracks 15 to 17 recorded Live in London, England on 7 October 1968 – finally released June 1990 in the UK as "Dream Letter/Live In London 1968" on Demon DFIEND 200 (2LPs) and DFIENDCD 200 (2CDs) and in the USA on Bizarre/Straight/Rhino R2 70361 (Stereo).

Disc 2 (73:27 minutes):
1. Happy Time
2. Chase The Blues Away
3. I Must Have Been
4. The River
5. So Lonely
6. Blue Melody
Tracks 1 to 6 are from his 4th studio album "Blue Afternoon" – released November 1969 in the USA and UK on Straight STS-1060 (Stereo) - reissued January 1970 in the USA on Warner Brothers WS-1842.

7. I Had A Talk With My Woman (Live)
Track 7 from his 5th album "Lorca" – released October 1970 in the USA on Elektra EKS-74074 (Stereo) and in the UK on Elektra 2410 005 (Stereo)

8. Moulin Rouge
9. Song To The Siren
10. Monterey
Tracks 8 to 10 from his 6th album "Starsailor" – released November 1970 in the USA (January 1971 in the UK) on Straight STS 1060 (Stereo) – reissued July 1971 in the USA on Warner Brothers WS-1881.

11. Sweet Surrender
12. Hong Kong Bar
13. Make It Right
Tracks 11 to 13 from his 7th album "Greetings From L.A." – released August 1972 in the USA on Straight/Warner Brothers BS-2631 and in the UK on Warner Brothers K 46176.

14. Sally Go 'Round The Roses
Track 14 from his 8th album "Sefronia" – released September 1973 in the USA on Discreet MS-2157 and May 1974 in the UK on Discreet K 49201.

15. Who Could Deny You
Track 15 from his 9th and final album "Look At The Fool" – released November 1974 in the USA on Discreet DS 2201 and in the UK on Discreet K 59204.

16. Song To The Siren (From 'The Monkees TV Show' - Introduced by Mickey Dolenz)
Recorded live on set in November 1967 - it features Tim Buckley on Vocals and 12-String Guitar and is PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED.

"Morning Glory" is housed in a fetching card slipcase (dig that Velvet Underground & Nico advert on the wall behind him) that houses a three-way foldout card digipak within with a 32-page oversized booklet in one of its flaps. JAMES AUSTIN does the 'foreword' that's followed by comprehensive liner notes from BARRY ALFONSO and Lead Guitarist on Buckley's first few albums LEE UNDERWOOD. There's track-by-track annotation, the 10 LPs from "Tim Buckley" in October 1966 through to the posthumous "Dream Letter/Live In London 1968" 2LP set in June 1990 are pictured too. But the best news is the Audio that after years of crappy 80s CDs is fab across the board. Long-time engineer associates with Rhino DAN HERSCH and BILL INGLOT have handled the transfers and remasters and done a wonderful job. It's thrilling after all these years to hear gems like "Once I Was" and "Buzzin' Fly" sound this good. Sure there's hiss on some tracks but the music is alive and clear and tracks like "Happy Time" and the ethereally atmospheric "Song To The Siren" make the hairs on the back on my neck stand up.

As you can see from the detailed track list above – Disc 1 concentrates on 1966 to 1968 – his first three albums "Tim Buckley", "Goodbye And Hello" and "Happy Sad" encompassing the fantastic Demon Records 2LP reissue "Dream Letter" (Live 1968 recordings finally released in 1990). You can chart his journey from straight-up Folky on the lovely "Wings" through the Harpsichord 60ts Pop of "Pleasant Street" on to his exploration of vocals and jazz rhythms on "Buzzin' Fly" and "Strange Feelin'". Buckley's 12-String Guitar and Lee Underwood's Lead Electric underpin the mournful "Chase The Blues" (a little hiss on this one) while the duo appear again on the beautiful live cut "I Had A Talk With My Woman" recorded at the Troubadour in West Hollywood in September 1969 for the "Lorca" album. I can only imagine what it must have been like for that audience to hear this extraordinary vocal come out of that microphone – "I Had A Talk With My Woman" is showcase - amazing stuff.

It's a damn shame that only 3 tracks turn up from the ever-elusive "Starsailor" LP - but at least the cod-French "Moulin Rouge", the beautiful "Song To The Siren" and the slightly Zappa-esque "Monterey" all sound great – the remaster really lifting them. Having said that only 1 track from "Lorca" and "Look At The Fool" isn't enough. I would have liked his covers of Fred Neil's "Dolphins" and Tom Waits' "Martha" from 1973's "Sefronia" on here too as well as the Soulful title track "Look At The Fool" – all songs that still showed his magic at a time of drugs and problems. And the "Forever Changing..." 1999 Box Set covering the history of Elektra Records uncovered the magnificent 1967 outtake "Wayfaring Stranger" - the set is a little less by their absences. By way of compensation there's a previously unreleased solo acoustic take of  "Song To The Siren" introduced by Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees. It's pure Buckley magic and at 3:18 minutes – a warm and musically fitting way to end this exceptional retrospective.

As I replay the oh-so-pretty "Morning Glory" and he sings "...tell me stories...I call to the hobo..." – I'm awash with admiration – moved too.

Tim Buckley was a musical genius, a mercurial talent and a songsmith you need in your home. This is the one to buy...

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