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TIM BUCKLEY

Prog Folk • United States


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Tim Buckley biography
Young rebellious and fatherless lad that grew in the shade of Dineyland in Orange County in LA, Tim discovered soon enough his excellent vocal properties and he was soon enough managed into a folk singer/songwriter by one of the specialist label in LA, Elektra, a mould that didn't sit right with Buckley himself. Reluctantly married way too soon to Mary Guibert (that is Jeff Buckley's mother), Tim never really accepted that "ball and chain" family as he had his own vision to become a jazz musician, despite his label's intent to get him in folk circles with his debut album (he's got songs telling his wife off and one for his lover Jainie) and later with the chart-breaking Goodbye And Hello.

This second album started cementing a young future singer/songwriter star reputation, one that Tim did everything to destroy, starting no sooner than with his tremendous Happy Sad album (which built on its predecessor's success to shoot up the charts, even though the public didn't like it) where the short songs disappear for lengthy jazz-blues tracks where Tim almost improvises with his voice using it as an instrument.. As some concerts started to become heckling matches between the crowds wanting folk songs and Tim playing jazz-oriented semi-improvised jams, Elektra started renouncing on this "self-sabotage" doomed artiste. This would lead to a separation between Elektra and Buckley, where Tim recorded his darkest album yet, Lorca for Elektra and recorded just after it Blue afternoon with his new label Straight Records, which ironically enough was a bit of a return towards the more commercial earlier stuff. Both records where released within four months but inversely chronological, leaving Elektra wondering how they got stuck with Lorca as Blue Afternoon would be the last of Buckley's album hitting the charts, Lorca being the first missing it.

With Elektra out of the way, Tim rebuild his disintegrating jazz-group and forged on ahead, listening to classical music and other avant-garde artiste, and with the help of Zappa acolytes (the Buzz and Bunk Gardner brothers), he would record his utmost stupendous Starsailor (released in late 70 and now long OOP), which very few would ever top. Tim's concerts at the time would only feature songs from this and Lorca, some tracks being drawn out to 45 minutes jams, the halls where not being filled and the albums were not selling, leaving few income. Fortunately Tim's attention would once again be drawn by the movies a...
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TIM BUCKLEY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TIM BUCKLEY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.01 | 32 ratings
Tim Buckley
1966
3.48 | 45 ratings
Goodbye and Hello
1967
3.69 | 41 ratings
Happy Sad
1969
3.76 | 29 ratings
Blue Afternoon
1969
3.85 | 40 ratings
Lorca
1970
4.04 | 68 ratings
Starsailor
1970
3.38 | 21 ratings
Greetings from L.A.
1972
2.17 | 11 ratings
Sefronia
1974
2.03 | 10 ratings
Look At The Fool
1974

TIM BUCKLEY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.36 | 14 ratings
Dream Letter: Live in London 1968
1990
4.03 | 10 ratings
Live at the Troubadour 1969
1994
3.92 | 7 ratings
Honeyman, Live 1973
1995
4.33 | 3 ratings
Once I Was
1999
4.67 | 3 ratings
The Copenhagen Tapes 1968
2000
3.17 | 5 ratings
Live at The Folklore Center, NYC: March 6th, 1967
2009

TIM BUCKLEY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 4 ratings
My Fleeting House
2007

TIM BUCKLEY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.96 | 4 ratings
The Dream Belongs to Me - Rare and Unreleased Recordings 1968 / 1973
2001
4.50 | 2 ratings
Original Album Series
2011

TIM BUCKLEY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

TIM BUCKLEY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tim Buckley by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.01 | 32 ratings

BUY
Tim Buckley
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Tim Buckley's debut album reminds me a lot of David Bowie's second self-titled album (AKA Space Oddity). In both cases, you have an artist later known for a decidedly different musical style trying to carve out a name for themselves with naive but undeniably charming hippie folk material, with a certain amount of romantic disappointment leavening things. The distinction is that Buckley isn't overwhelmed by studio fripperies - indeed, this is very much a stripped- down-to-the-basics album - and for my money he sounds more convincing in the counterculture troubadour role than Bowie ever did. And that downright unusual voice of his is a real attention-grabber.
 Goodbye and Hello by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.48 | 45 ratings

BUY
Goodbye and Hello
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mild psychedelic ideas start seeping into Tim Buckley's folk rock stylings at this point, with the opening number No Man Can Find the War being an intriguing look at the psychological side of the Vietnam War, and the fact that it was a conflict which the US was utterly embroiled in and yet at the same time people living in the US could very, very easily ignore if they felt inclined to. Tim's use of his voice has become more subtle and nuanced at that point, relying less on the stentorian declarations that characterised his debut album. A departure and an omen of things to come.
 Happy Sad by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.69 | 41 ratings

BUY
Happy Sad
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On Happy Sad Tim Buckley's sonic universe expands remarkably, with jazz influences incorporated in order to offer an even spacier and more alien sound than his previous work. Conventional folk-rock is left behind as Buckley takes us through long, expansive compositions which seem to parallel Van Morrison's stream-of-consciousness space folk experiments on Astral Weeks. Buckley would venture into even stranger territory on later albums like Starsailor or the absolutely bizarre Lorca, but this is a good jumping-on point if you want to follow Buckley into these weird waters, since there's a certain warm charm to it that gets lost in his moments of more extreme experimentation.
 Blue Afternoon by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.76 | 29 ratings

BUY
Blue Afternoon
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Blue Afternoon finds Tim Buckley installed at Frank Zappa and Herb Cohen's Stragiht Records and taking the weird dream-folk direction of Happy Sad into an even more magical direction. Both working with brand new material and polishing pieces which had been worked on during the Happy Sad period, Buckley proves that Happy Sad was no mere flash in the pan but the beginning of an extended period of experimentation, with the spacey jazz influence here to stay. At the same time, the songs feel a bit more structured as songs this time around, and on the whole the album is somewhat more accessible than its predecessor - the really out there stuff being saved for the followup Lorca.
 Lorca by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.85 | 40 ratings

BUY
Lorca
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In 1969, Tim Buckley was angling to jump ship to Straight Records but had a pesky contractual obligation to take care of. The term "contractural obligation album" conjures all sorts of ugly images, though in retrospect we can now see that Buckley was doing Elektra a favour by giving them the chance to premier the new avant-folk sound he would submerge himself in with Starsailor. There aren't any standout moments to match Song to the Siren on here, but at the same time these languid, strange, almost Lynchian soundscapes have somewhat more approachable textures and overall the album is somewhat easier to unpack than Starsailor was.
 Starsailor by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.04 | 68 ratings

BUY
Starsailor
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Starsailor is an accomplishment which is respectable but also deeply inaccessible. Drifting away from his folk-rock moorings more or less completely, Buckley unleashes the most wildly experimental album of his career to date. Song to the Siren may be the most famous cut on the album, but anyone expecting the stately majesty of the This Mortal Coil version is in for a shock. On the whole, it's the sort of album where I'm glad someone made it, but it isn't necessarily fun or rewarding to listen to - not because it isn't good, in fact it is, but because of how alienatingly weird it truly is.
 Happy Sad by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.69 | 41 ratings

BUY
Happy Sad
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by Suedevanshoe

4 stars This is Tim Buckley's high water mark, his right of ascension. The childish tomfoolery is gone, what this record brings to bear is a mature, focused artist whose voice is so powerful Paul "Earthquake" Pena called him "The Dinosaur Exterminator".

This is a record for a sunny day sitting by a lake. Progressive in nature yet subtly influenced by current pop and jazz trends, Happy Sad starts and stops and jolts and winds and meanders until all you hear is Buckley's voice ringing in your ears. "Buzzin' Fly" is worth the price of this disc alone, and is one of my favorite tracks of all time.

 Greetings from L.A. by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.38 | 21 ratings

BUY
Greetings from L.A.
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by the philosopher

4 stars Normally I'm not too fond of vocal solo's, but for Tim Buckley I'll make an exception. We'll find Buckley standing without money and forced to make a record with more commercial potential after two avant garde records ("Lorca" and "Starsailor"). Well, I don't know if it was a commercial succes, but in my opinion it is a succesful record!

With a total new band sounding between Traffic (On the Road) and David Bowie (Young Americans and Station to Station) Tim Buckley made this "Greeting from L.A." showing the city in smog. The cover is a postcard with a stamp showing Tim Buckley with a gas mask and information about the smog in L.A. city. The songs vary from rock 'n roll with female choirs ("Move with me" and "Night Hawking") to funky rhythm and blues ("Get on top", etc..) to blues (Hong Kong Bar). I can understand that this sounds less attractive to a prog community then the more avant garde period, but Tim Buckley did this with a lot of enthousiasm and his band did really know how to play and jam. The atypical use of vocals and smart song writing with (sexual) provocative lyrics made this a very good record, although not as experimental as his previous records.

Although I'm more impressed by Starsailor this record is often seen at my turntable. Four stars for sure for this nice room chamber music! This record is advised for fans of the funky and bluesy period of Bowie, fans of Tim Buckley in general and for fan's of slightly experimental but good performed music.

 Lorca by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.85 | 40 ratings

BUY
Lorca
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by Kotro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Haze

Arriving at the this album straight from his sophomore effort, it's only natural we get the bejesus scared out of ourselves once the first few notes of Lorca flow from the speakers, a real feel of "ah, nothing like a nice piece of bucolic psych-folk mus? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?". That, my reader friend, is one of the eeriest organ openings to an album I've had the pleasure of listening. Which, frankly, weren't that many, but that's not the point. The point is that opening title track sounds like nothing you've ever heard before, and hardly will again, a sombre and languorous love song that will hold the bar for the remainder of the album. Lorca features electric pianos swirling around pipe organs with Tim singing all over the place with John Balkin's bass line providing a shivering rhythm more reminiscent of Black Sabbath and Jacula that American folk.

The remainder of the album doesn't do as good a job freaking you out as the opening title track, but we're still miles away from the conventional pop-folk song structure of earlier albums. Anonymous Proposition features a lazy "Jazz Club at 3 a.m." kind of sound, more soothing that somber, still featuring flourishes of instrumentation running wild in the background, as if each musician was doing his own thing. At around 6 minutes, I Had A Talk With My Woman is the shortest track on the album, and the one that wouldn't sound awfully out of place on Buckley's earlier albums. It's a slow gospel-like piece, sprinkled with some delightfully discrete electric guitar. Driftin' resumes from the second track, back to a more slow-paced rhythm & blues sounds, but there's not a speck of uncontrolled jazz improvisation on this one, apart from Tim's unconventional vocal deliveries. Finally, Nobody Walkin' ends the album on a high note, with the faster- paced track on the album, carried by the almost tribal drumming of Carter Collins and his congas and another super bass line. There is even space for some jamming midway.

So, conclusions. Lorca is not your everyday listen ? it's an album you should prepare yourself for, be in the right mood. It's a hard album to get into, but one shouldn't be discouraged if it doesn't click on the first listen. Like it's grey cover almost seems to indicate, this album is a hazy affair, where you feel lost amid a fog of the mind. A quiet environment is best to fully appreciate the intricacies of the music delivered by this excellent set of musicians. Regarding lyrics, words are relatively sparse considering the length of the tracks, but they completely fill the songs due to Tim's slow and languid delivery, often stretching syllables beyond reasonable. But that, like most things about this album, is an acquired taste, and one should probably not tackle this album unprepared. Listen before you buy.

 Starsailor by BUCKLEY, TIM album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.04 | 68 ratings

BUY
Starsailor
Tim Buckley Prog Folk

Review by the philosopher

5 stars Vocal extravaganza Tim Buckley had lost all of it's fans with Lorca, an avant-garde record, with almost no folk influences anymore. This didn't change his direction however and here we are standing at the highlight of Tim's career; Starsailor. This was not a commercial succes, but fans and Tim Buckley - the man himself, see this record as his peak. The songs are shorter and somewhat more effective then it's predecessor: a masterpiece was created!

"Come here Woman", "I Woke up", "Jungle Fire" and "The Healing Festival" are all avant-garde songs, which show some rare mixture in sound of Capain Beefheart and Klaus Schulze a-like space music. Buckley's acrobatic vocals are free to attack the listener and to make weird voice effects. In comparison with Don van Vliet, Arthur Brown and Peter Hammill, Tim Buckley surely wins the price of the most extreme vocalist with it's high range and daring experimentation. The instruments are dark and brooming and have a very loose structure.

Not all of the songs are as extreme as those I have mentioned. On Starsailor we do also find a semi-french chanson, which is actually really good and brings some rest for the ears. "Song to the Siren" is a nice ballad to close the first side.

The titletrack may be the most experimental track of the record. This is a spacetrip created with echoing vocals, panicky vocals and weird/insane vocals: the total expression of Tim Buckley's vocal ideas. The performing is excellent!

The ending track reminds me of Pulp Fiction's starting track, but rapidly changes into a happy latin-rock song with a free-role of a trumpet. This works out really great and doesn't left you with the - sometimes heavy - feelings.

This is an avant-garde masterpiece. It surprises me how so many crazy ideas on one record does not sound so difficult and leaves me behind with a big smile on my face. Maybe the first time listening was a bit disturbing, but now it is one of my favourite records: five stars!

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition.

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