Buckley: Tim Buckley - Deluxe Edition
(January 12th, 2011) My introduction to the music of Tim Buckley
came by way of his second album, Goodbye & Hello,
and specifically the title track which was something of a
staple on the free-form FM radio of the time. I became a fan,
and bought all of Buckleys subsequent albums, but it
was only years later that I went back and checked out his
self-titled debut. Its not my favorite work of his,
but it is certainly an auspicious start.
Buckley grew up in the über-conservative Orange County,
CA of the 50s and 60s. It wasnt long before
he was trying to find a way out, and that way was through
music. By the time he was in high school, he had a band called
the Bohemians. The band included high school classmates Jim
Fielder on bass, and Larry Beckett on drums. In 1965, the
band recorded twelve tracks at a studio in Anaheim, which
they had the chance, the band made the sixty-mile drive to
LA in order to take in the vibrant music scene that was exploding
on Sunset Strip, where bands like the Doors, and the Buffalo
Springfield were holding court at clubs like the Whiskey A
Go Go, Ciros, The Galaxy, and the Sea Witch. It was
there that they met Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl
Black, who introduced them to the Mothers manager, Herb Cohen.
The good news was that Cohen was very impressed, the bad new
was that he was only interested in Buckley, and forced him
to dump the Bohemians.
wasnt long before Cohen had secured Buckley a deal with
Elektra Records. Shortly before recording began for his first
album, Buckley and Beckett made home recordings of nine songs,
several of which were later recorded for the album. Those
demos also remained unheard, until now.
it comes to popular music scholarship, no one does it better
than Rhino Handmade. It is readily apparent that music comes
first there, and that is a breath of fresh air in whats
left of the music business today. With Tim Buckley (Deluxe
Edition), they have come up with a release that tells
the story of an important voice in American music. In addition
to those early Bohemian recordings, and the home demos, the
albums first disc includes both stereo and mono versions
of Tim Buckleys self-titled debut album.
put together an amazing team to record the album in the summer
of 1966. Jac Holzman began by bringing in producer Paul Rothchild
and engineer Bruce Botnick to help him with the session. Rothchild
and Botnick were, of course, the team behind the Doors. There
was guitarist Lee Underwood. Buckley met Underwood in New
York, and the two became musical soul mates. Mothers of Invention
drummer Billy Mundi was on board, as was Van Dyke Parks, who
had spent most of that summer of 1966 working on SMiLE
with Brian Wilson. And if those musicians werent enough,
Jack Nitzsche was there to provide string arrangements.
was in place. There was a great young songwriter with an amazing
voice, a first class production team, and brilliant musicians.
It couldnt fail. But it did. Tim Buckleys debut
album only sold about 20,000 copies, and never even cracked
the Billboard Top 200. Fortunately, in those days record companies
still believed in building careers. Today Buckley would have
lost his deal, but back then Elektra was in it for the long
haul, which in this case amounted to only three more albums.
you are familiar with Tim Buckleys music, this package
does a great job of tracking his progress from his earliest
rough recordings to his polished debut. If you are not yet
familiar with Buckley, this is the beginning, and so you couldnt
find a better place to start.
the way, one more important event took place in Tim Buckleys
life in 1966. Buckley and his wife Mary separated, but on
November 17 she gave birth to a son. They named him Jeffrey
Shane is the New Music Editor at popdose.com.
can see his review of the 2009 Tim Buckley release 'Live at
the Folklore Center' here.