The Tim Buckley Archives

Album Reviews


Lady, Give Me Your Key: The Unissued 1967 Solo Acoustic Sessions | Tim Buckley

By Inky Tuscadero

Given Tim Buckley’s initial artistic trajectory, from folk-rock troubadour to fearless explorer of the avant-garde, you’d quite easily assume that he was initially above the restrictive demands of a mere pop single. Not so. Elektra head Jac Holzman decided that the best way to follow Buckley’s self-titled debut would be to reposition him as a singles artist. Quite why is anyone’s guess, but Buckley and lyricist Larry Beckett set to it with relish, emerging with the pairing Once Upon A Time/ Lady, Give Me Your Key: hippie-fied romps with clear ambitions for the airwaves.

The single was ultimately scrapped – and perhaps that’s a good thing. Though, as revealed here, both sides’ demos offer yet more evidence of Buckley’s versatility, their release (and potential success) might have shone too bright a light on the still-emerging songwriter, forcing him off the path that led to masterpieces Happy Sad and Starsailor.

Along with a seven-track demo tape that sees Buckley cast around for his A- and B-sides, a further six acetate recordings here trace his steps from Tim Buckley towards Goodbye And Hello and the first hints at what he would truly become capable of.

Even in these bare-bones arrangements, the songs are fully formed, particularly the likes of Pleasant Street and Once I Was: as captivating as anything Buckley put to tape. Elsewhere, with its lascivious drive, Sixface (one of several newly surfacing songs) points as far ahead as Greetings From LA’s Get On Top. All of these dry runs attest to the versatility with which Buckley seemed preternaturally gifted.

2016 Tuscadero/

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