Tim Buckley’s tenor-soaring yet delicate-was already a force to be reckoned with in 1966 when he recorded his self-titled debut for Elektra Records at the tender age of 19. It was also to be the only constant during the evolution that marked the singer-songwriter’s career before his untimely death nine years later.
Rhino Handmade retraces the first steps of Buckley’s uncompromising musical journey with a two-disc set that includes both the stereo and mono versions of his debut. The second disc contains nearly two dozen unreleased recordings Buckley made in 1965 with The Bohemians and in 1966 with frequent songwriting partner Larry Beckett. <em>Tim Buckley: Deluxe Edition</em> is housed in a weathered cardboard folio with rare photos and is set for release January 11.
Buckley recorded the album’s 12 songs in Los Angeles with the team behind The Doors-producer Paul Rothchild and engineer Bruce Botnick. He was backed in the studio by guitarist and longtime collaborator Lee Underwood, bassist James Fielder, and Mothers Of Invention drummer Billy Mundi. Van Dyke Parks, who had spent much of that summer collaborating with Beach Boy Brian Wilson on the legendary Smile album, was brought in to overdub keyboards, and frequent Phil Spector sidekick Jack Nitzsche contributed string arrangements.
The <em>Deluxe Edition</em> features both the stereo and mono mixes of the album, which contains several of Buckley’s early classics, including the singles "Wings" and "Aren’t You The Girl."
The music on the second disc has remained unreleased until now and provides an unparalleled insight into Buckley’s early development. It opens with 12 songs he recorded in November 1965 with The Bohemians, a group he formed in high school with Fielder, Beckett, and guitarist Brian Hartzler. Recorded live in an Anaheim studio, the originals include early versions of "She Is" and "It Happens Every Time"-two tracks that later appeared on Buckley’s debut. The session also yielded rockers like "Put You Down" and "Come On Over" and the ballads "Call Me If You Do" and "No More."
The nine songs that make up the second half of the disc were recorded shortly before the sessions for Tim Buckley and feature Buckley singing and playing acoustic guitar with Beckett, who recites poetry to Buckley’s guitar on two tracks: "Found At The Scene Of A Rendezvous That Failed" and "Birth Day." The home recording captures versions of the album tracks: "She Is," "Aren’t You The Girl," "Wings," "Song Slowly Song," and "I Can’t See You." The two remaining songs are the Buckley original "My Love Is For You" and the Beckett/Buckley collaboration "Long Tide."