A 60's post-Dylan folk singer with an amazing voice, inactive since his 1975 heroin OD. "Song to the Siren" was revived via a Cocteau Twins rendition on a This Mortal Coil LP, but only people like Diamanda Galas and Mike Patton have fully grokked the Starsailor Tim -- stream-of-consciousness and as unpredictable as the first-take free jazz noodling of the backing band, which included some Mothers. Father of the equally-dead Jeff.

Tim Buckley was one of the under-discovered greats of the late 60s, very much on the scene in L.A. for a while (he apparently turned down a date with Janis Joplin at one point). Starting as a fairly typical folk-rocker, he became much more experimental later, before descending into sub-R&B dross. His son Jeff Buckley managed to achieve much of the success that Tim never found, but arguably Tim was always just as good and is due for rediscovery. Jeff performed some of his father's songs during his own career, but was always uncomfortable about his relationship with the father who abandoned him. Songs covered by Jeff include 'Once I Was' and 'I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain', the latter of which some say was written to Jeff's mother and partly about Jeff. Another song which is supposed to be about Jeff is 'Dream Letter' on the album Happy/Sad

Tim Buckley's eponymous debut is a fairly pure folk-rock album, with hints of his Irish heritage (through his grandfather), but it's amazing to hear the power of his voice and think that he was still in his teens when he made it. Hello and Goodbye sees him getting more adventurous, sexier and more powerful in his songs ('Once I Was', 'I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain', the title track).

By the time of his third album, Happy/Sad came out, he'd played a sell-out show in London, England, immortalised (and damn right too) on the 'Dream Letter' album. This album is a bit more experimental and not all its tracks succeed ('Gypsy Woman' is a bit dire in places) but those which do ('Strange Feelin', 'Buzzin' Fly') are some of his very best.

By all accounts, 1970 was a very productive year for Tim Buckley. The albums he made that year are now very difficult to find, but both Lorca and Blue Afternoon are very highly rated by most people, while some people consider Starsailor to be his best album (though some others find it unlistenable - it all depends on whether you like those noodlings described in the other Tim Buckley node). Slightly bizarrely, 'Song To The Siren' was also performed on The Monkees Show. Damn good performance too.

With Goodbye and Hello Tim had hoped to gain commercial success, and the record company had put a lot of money towards ensuring this, with big billboard advertisements all over L.A. It didn't work, though, which was one thing prompting Tim into the more experimental direction of the 1970 albums. When these, too, failed to gain a big audience, many say that he gave up and that his last three albums reflect his defeat and his last desperate attempts to gain an audience, with R&B stylings and simpler songs, lacking the sincerity of his earlier work. His voice, one of the most impressive in rock music with a fabled three and a half octave range, also loses some passion on these records, seeming to express virtuosity for its own sake and without the lightness of touch that saw him soar on such songs as 'Troubadour'. Even on these albums, though, there are some classic moments, with 'Sally Go Round The Roses' being judged one of the few songs from this period fit to go on the anthology Morning Glory.

Here's a list of the albums Tim Buckley made during his life time, with details of tracks and musicians as well as producers for each one. Some of his best work can be found on the Morning Glory compilation, which is also the best start for those unfamiliar with him.

Tim Buckley 1966

1. I can't see you (2.40)
2. Wings (2.30)
3. Song of the magician (3.05)
4. Strange street affair under blue (3.10)
5. Valentine melody (3.40)
6. Aren't you the girl (2.01)
7. Song slowly song (4.13)
8. It happens every time (1.49)
9. Song for janie (2.43)
10. Grief in my soul (2.03)
11. She is (3.05)
12. Understand your man (3.06)

Tim Buckley - guitar
Lee Underwood - lead guitar
James Fielder - bass
Billy Mundi - drums and percussion
Van Dyke Parks - harpsichord, piano and celeste.

Produced by Paul Rothchild and Jac Holzman.

Goodbye and Hello 1967

1. No man can find the war (2.58)
2. Carnival song (3.10)
3. Pleasant street (5.15)
4. Hallucinations (4.55)
5. I never asked to be your mountain (6.02)
6. Once I was (3.22)
7. Phantasmagoria in two (3.29)
8. Knight-errant (2.00)
9. Goodbye and hello (8.38)
10. Morning glory (2.52)

Tim Buckley - 6 and 12 and string guitars, bottleneck guitar, kalimba, vibes
Lee Underwood - lead guitar
Brian Hartzler and John Forsha - guitar
Jimmy Bond and Jim Fielder - bass
Eddie Hob - drums
Carter CC Collins - congas and percussion
Dave Guard - kalimba and tambourine
Don Randi - piano, harmonium and harpsichord
Jerry Yester - piano, organ and harpsichord.

Production supervisor - Jac Holzman.

Happy/Sad 1969

1. Strange feelin' (7.49)
2. Buzzin' fly (6.00)
3. Love from room 109 at the Islander (on Pacific Coast highway) (10.47)
4. Dream letter (5.10)
5. Gypsy woman (12.19)
6. Sing a song for you (2.36)

Tim Buckley - 12 string guitar
Lee Underwood - lead giutar
Carter CC Collins - congas
John Miller - acoustic bass
David Friedman - vibes and bass marimba.

Produced by Jerry Yester and Zal Yanovsky.

Blue Afternoon 1970

1. Happy time (3.15)
2. Chase the blues away (6.10)
3. I must have been blind (3.40)
4. The river (5.47)
5. So lonely (3.27)
6. Cafe (5.40)
7. Blue melody (4.55)
8. The train (7.53)

Tim Buckley - 12 string guitar
Lee Underwood - guitar and piano
David Freeman - vibes
John miller - acoustic and electric bass
Jimmy Madison - drums
Carter CC Collins - congas.

Produced by Tim Buckley.

Lorca 1970

1. Lorca (9.53)
2. Anonymous proposition (7.43)
3. I had a talk with my woman(5.55)
4. Driftin' (8.10)
5. Nobody walkin' (7.30)

Tim Buckley - 12 string guitar
John Balkin - upright bass, fender bass, pipe organ
Lee Underwood - electric guitar and electric piano
Carter CC Collins - congas.

Executive Producer - Herb Cohen.

Starsailor 1970

1. Come here woman (4.09)
2. I woke up (4.02)
3. Monterey (4.30)
4. Moulin Rouge(1.57)
5. Song to the siren (3.20)
6. Jungle fire (4.42)
7. Starsailor (4.36)
8. The healing festival (3.16)
9. Down by the borderline (5.22).

Tim Buckley - 12 string guitar
John Balkin - string bass and electric bass
Lee Underwood - electric guitar, electric piano and pipe organ
Buzz Gardner - trumpet and flugelhorn
Maury Baker - timpani, traps
Bunk Gardner - alto flute, tenor sax.

Produced by Tim Buckley.

Greetings From L.A. 1972

1. Move with me (4.49)
2. Get on top (6.35)
3. Sweet Surrender (6.48)
4. Nighthawkin' (3.21)
5. Devil eyes (6.51)
6. Hong Kong bar (7.13)
7. Make it right (4.06).

Tim Buckley - 12 string guitar
Chuck Rainey and Reinhold Press - bass
Joe Falsia - guitar
Ed Greene - drums
Carter CC Collins and King Errison - congas
Paul Ross Novros and Eugene E Siegel - saxophone
Kevin Kelly - piano
Clydie King, Venetta Fields, Lorna Mazine Willard - vocals
William Kurasch, Louis Kievman, Robert Konrad - violins
Ralph Schaffer and Harry Hyams - viola
Jesse Ehrlich - cello.

Produced by Jerry Goldstein.

Sefronia 1973

1. Dolphins (3.10)
2. Honey man (4.10)
3. Because of you (4.25)
4. Peanut man (2.52)
5. Martha (3.10)
6. Quicksand (3.22)
7. I know I'dd recognise your face (3.58)
8. Stone in love (3.27)
9. Sefronia - after Asklepiades, after Kafka (3.15)
10. Sefronia - the king's chain (2.23)
12. Sally go 'round the roses (3.43)

Tim Buckley - 12 string guitar
Bernie Mysior - bass guitar
Buddy Helm - drums
Mark Tiernan - keyboards
Joe Falsia - guitar.

Produced by Denny Randell.

Look At The Fool 1974

1. Look at the fool (5.10)
2. Bring it on up (3.26)
3. Helpless(3.18)
4. Freeway blues (3.10)
5. Tijuana moon (2.38)
6. Ain't it peculiar (2.34)
7. Who could deny you (4.20)
8. Mexicali voodoo (2.23)
9. Down in the street (3.20)
10. Wanda Lu (2.37).

Tim Buckley - 12 string guitar
Joe Falsia - guitars
Mike Melvoin - piano
Jim Fielder and Chuck Rainey - bass
Earl Palmer - drums
King Errison - congas
Mark Tiernan - electric piano
Jesse Ehrlich - cello
David Bloefield - clarinet.

Produced by Joe Falsia.

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