Buckley: Tim Buckley - Deluxe Edition
Rhinos new two-disc Tim BuckleyDeluxe Edition
isnt the first CD reissue of Buckleys debut LP,
but it does bring something new to the table. The first disc
consists of two versions of the album, one with stereo mixes
and the other with mono. The second disc contains two recordings
made prior to the album.
sessions on the second CD are quite different from each otherand,
for that matter, the overall Deluxe Edition is a well thought-out
package that sheds new light on Buckleys early development
as an artist. Its also well-designed, with a cardboard
folio housing the discs as well as a booklet with extensive
liner notes that (like the music) help to fill some gaps.
1966, when Tim Buckley was released, even though stereo
had become the norm, record companies still released mono
copies of LPs, although in smaller runs. Often mono vinyl
copies dont come cheap, and to this rule Buckleys
first is no exception; with Deluxe Edition people who prefer
mono have a less expensive alternative.
fidelity doesnt enter the picture on the second disc,
which was culled from tapes that werent intended for
official release. On the November 1965 recordings, Buckley
fronts a band called the Bohemians. In a simpler, more stripped-down
and lo-fi form, the sound of his first record is there, plus
a couple of the songs. Its interesting that 10 cuts
from this session didnt appear on the debut, even though
it was released only nine months later. This suggests that
Buckley, who often wrote in tandem with lyricist Larry Beckett,
kept returning to the drawing board during the period that
preceded his first album.
wisely so: If the 12 Bohemian cuts had become his first LP,
it wouldnt have been as good. On the Bohemian recordings,
Buckley seems ill-suited for the bluesy folk swagger of
Put You Down and Let Me Love You and the 50s
rock feel of Ive Played That Game Before and
Wont You Please Be My Woman. The lyrics on some
also contain sophomoric jabs at the opposite sex, which seems
silly for someone whose songs about women usually had considerable
is, however, plenty of strong material on the session: It
Happens Every Time and She Is ultimately became
standouts on the first album, and Here I Am, Call Me If
You Do, and No More are the kinds of previously
undiscovered gems that make plunging through old tapes worth
the acoustic demos recorded shortly before the debut LP, a
warmer and more self-actualized Tim Buckley appears. Sometimes,
when you hear demo tapes, you sense that youre hearing
the songs in miniature, but on these cuts nothing is missing,
and its easy to imagine what would have occurred if
Buckley had recorded a better sounding, better rehearsed,
less casual recording with the same instrumentation.
Tim Buckley have had more of an impact? Maybe so, because
in 1966 few artists could make such memorable music with just
an acoustic guitar and a voice, and clearly there was an audience
eager for that kind of music.
is not to suggest, however, that Buckley should have gone
that route. By all accounts he was about as interested in
increasing his market share as Moondog, and he was wary of
being pigeonholed as a folkie; a highly successful solo acoustic
debut could easily have become an albatross.
besides, Tim Buckley ultimately turned out just fine with
a full electric band. Often first albums are viewed as bridges
into the stuff that really matters, but Buckleys fine
tenor voice was already soaring as he sang compositions that
could haunt you, break your heart, or both.