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Unreleased Tim Buckley Live Music From 1969 Coming From Manifesto Records


by Unknown

While Tim Buckley’s album Dream Letter (recorded in 1968 but not released until 1990) is the perfect, sublime example of his in-concert genius, Live at the Troubadour 1969 (released in 1994) has long been a fan favorite, with its improvisational raw energy in songs that stretch toward or past the 10-minute mark, and combinations of acoustic and electric guitars, Fender Rhodes piano and electric bass, drum set and congas — all throbbing and brewing in a dynamic jazz-folk stew. On drums is Art Tripp from Frank Zappa’s stable of musicians; the bass player is John Balkin, who helped conceptualize Buckley’s legendary Starsailor LP.

But this is the not the free-form, avant-garde jazz of the Starsailor era, nor is it the funk-soul of 1972’s Greetings From L.A. Rather, Live at the Troubadour 1969 represents a brief period of the ever-evolving explorations of Tim Buckley.

Maverick reissue producer Bill Inglot recently discovered more Troubadour tapes in the archives. He and fellow reissue producer Pat Thomas uncovered five different sets of material from three days’ worth of shows. These revelatory tracks have been assembled into a 2-LP package, Greetings From West Hollywood, and a 2-CD set, Venice Mating Call, both to be released October 13, 2017 on Manifesto Records.

With the exception of “Buzzin’ Fly,” there were no other songs in common with Dream Letter, and furthermore, these early September 1969 shows featured a slew of songs that had yet to be recorded in the studio (at that point), songs that would turn up on Lorca and Blue Afternoon, and even songs that were unique to this run of shows!

The improvisational nature of the music meant that Bill and Pat could assemble a couple of albums worth of material that would duplicate the track listing from the Troubadour 1969 album but present the listener with radically different versions of each song, plus add songs that did not appear on Troubadour 1969, including one that didn’t make it onto any Buckley studio LP at all.

To further add to the confusion AND to satisfy Buckley fans around the globe, they constructed two different packages — the 2-CD Venice Mating Call and 2-LP Greetings From West Hollywood, each of which contain none of the recordings (versions) from the 1994 Live at the Troubadour 1969 release and have only two songs (versions) in common with each other.

So, if you’re doing the math, there are seven songs (recordings) unique to the Greetings From West Hollywood vinyl and 11 on the Venice Mating Call 2-CD set. Why do you need both releases? Because Buckley is liberally borrowing and stealing from himself during this run of shows: he occasionally moves lyrics from one song into another (or constructs an entirely different lyric), he folds the riff from “Buzzin’ Fly” into other songs, and so on. The whole band is vamping together — going into exploratory flights at other points. The energy coming off the stage and into the tape recorder is effortlessly exciting.

Thomas also penned the liner notes, which center on an extensive new interview with long-time Buckley guitarist (and on these recordings keyboardist) Lee Underwood that reveals incredible details into Buckley’s working methods. The packaging also includes piles of previously unseen photos and memorabilia from the era. In addition to the two new and previously unreleased Tim Buckley packages, Manifesto Records will also release re-mastered versions of the two Tim Buckley classic albums, Sefronia (1973) and Look At The Fool (1974). Original master tapes were discovered after more than 40 years and now these brilliant albums have beautiful high quality packaging along the best sound possible.

© 2017 Vintage Vinyl

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