Sunday, March 1, 2009
Tim Buckley - The Copenhagen Tapes (PLR, 2000)
Tim Buckley is one of my all-time favorites. The amount of talent he had was frightening. Nobody else ever really musically did what he did, before or since. His vocal range was unbelievable. And then at age 28, he was gone.
The Copenhagen Tapes, from a Danish radio broadcast of an October 12, 1968 concert, is a remarkable artifact. Tracks from this show appeared on various bootlegs over the years, but this complete version seems to be an official release licensed from the late lamented singer's estate and presents the material in its best ever sound quality. While not up to the sonic standards of the equally amazing Dream Letter: Live in London 1968 double CD, the performances are artistically equal at the very least. Recorded during a subsequent tour several months after his London appearance, The Copenhagen Tapes' tracks are versions of songs that would, for the most part, appear on Buckley's groundbreaking folk-jazz masterpiece, Happy/Sad. The somewhat meandering and nearly 22-minute "I Don't Need It To Rain" would materialize in a radically different form on Live at the Troubadour 1969 and some of that version's lyrics would end up in Lorca's closing track, "Nobody Walkin'." "Buzzin' Fly," "Strange Feelin'," and "Gypsy Woman" are probably the best of an excellent set of songs that comprised Happy/Sad. These live versions are absolutely superb and arguably the finest concert recordings of the curly-haired, twelve-string guitar strummin' American bard in existence. The slightly different lyrics of "Strange Feelin'" are interesting and demonstrate that all of Buckley's compositions were constant works-in-progress. Even more noteworthy lyrics are those that begin "Gypsy Woman," which are lifted from "Country Boy" by Fred Neil, a singer that Buckley greatly admired.
A must-have for all fans of this amazing musician.
Also, check out Works in Progress here and Live at The Folklore Center, NYC - March 6, 1967 here.
1. I Don't Need It To Rain
2. Buzzin' Fly
3. Strange Feelin'
4. Gypsy Woman