The Tim Buckley Archives

Album Reviews


Venice Mating Call, Greetings From West Hollywood | Tim Buckley

By Kris Needs

Even those long convinced that Tim Buckley ranks among the 20th century's most innovative singers and musical visionaries will find these newly-discovered tracks from manager Herb Cohen's vaults a jaw-dropping revelation.

Culled from the five sets performed over two September 1969 days at LA's Troubadour that produced 2001's Live At The Troubadour, they further affirm that, like other great jazz singers, Buckley never sang a song the same way twice, reaching for unknown heights as his telepathic band coloured in his iridescent vapour trails.

He was at a creative peak in autumn 1969, evolving from the jazzy shimmer of Happy Sad and getting excited about soon recording Lorca, his most revolutionary (but overlooked) work.

Venice Mating Call boasts the latter's prototypes, including a time-stopping Driftin' that could be his most breathtaking performance on any record anywhere. He also unveils Blue Melody and Chase The Blues Away from the recently-recorded Blue Afternoon, rejuvenates some Happy Sad numbers and showcases songs he'd never record.

The crucial point made here is that the studio was where Buckley had to make a record while, the remarkably-conceived Lorca excepting, live performances were where he could release the music in his head, unfettered and free as a bird.


© 2017 Needs/

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