Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Tim, Tim, Tom, Janis, Joan ...

I was sitting in one of my favourite cafes downtown yesterday with my double latte and danish when a familiar voice and lyric drifted into my brain from the muted music system: 
"Sometimes I think about Saturday's child
And all about the times when we were running wild
I've been out searching for the dolphins in the sea
Ah, but sometimes I wonder, do you ever think of me"
Yes, Tim Buckley and "Dolphins" from his SEFRONIA album. I did not discover Buckey (who died aged 28 in 1975) until later when that fantastic elastic voice of his got to me, with those other songs like "Because of you" (I face the world with pride) and "Well, I wish I was your sweet little honey man" and those tracks like "Buzzing Fly" and "Strange Feeling" and that whole sexy album GREETINGS FROM L.A. with those tracks like "Sweet Surrender", "Nighthawking" and "Hong Kong Bar". 

That recent UNCUT magazine I mentioned recently (the Joni at 70 issue) had an interesting rundown on the Top 50 Singer/Songwriter albums, with Tim Hardin at number one. Back in the late 60s I had his "TIM HARDIN 3 live album" on vinyl, which fetches silly money now on Amazon. That track listing brings it all back: "Lady Came From Baltimore", "If I Were A Carpenter", "Reason to Believe" (which Rod Stewart had a hit with), "Misty Roses", "Black Sheep Boy" etc. Both Tims (Hardin and Buckey) died of heroin overdoses. Then there was the odd death of Tim's son Jeff Buckley ...
In 1968, when 22, I loved that Tom Rush album THE CIRCLE GAME, he must have been one of the first to record Joni Mitchell and James Taylor songs: "Tin Angel", "Urge for Going", his own "No Regrets" etc. Rush at least is still going, as is Janis Ian that singer-songerwriter we liked a lot too in the '70s, with "At Seventeen", "Bright Lights and Promises", "The Come On" etc. I have just got a new compilation of hers with a concert video. She was certainly more fun than the downbeat Dory Previn ! I now see a silver-haired Janis is back touring here next year, with Tom Paxton.

Then I discovered British Joan Armatrading, I had to give her 1975 JOAN ARMATRADING album to friends to get it out of the house, I played it so much: "Join The Boys", "Down to Zero", "Love and Affection", "Tall in the Saddle" etc. and those subsequent albums of hers. This of course was that great era we have discussed before of the vinyl album - before CDs and downloads.
Saw Joan live several times, including a few years ago where she still sells out concert halls and tours a lot, always with a rocking band. Her 1974 album BACK TO THE NIGHT is cherishable too: "Cool Blue", "Travelled So Far", "Stepping Out" and that great title track.  Just a few then of the singer/songwriters we have liked, nice that some are still going. Joni and James and Carly and Carole too of course .... one imagines though Joni is retired now, she admits herself the voice is gone, but she has her painting ... we like that recent 10-disc boxset with those mini-gatefold album covers (see Joni label).
I see there is a Bob Dylan collection too - I only really liked his mid-60s stuff and those late '60s JOHN WESLEY HARDIN and NASHVILLE SKYLINE albums, plus the '70s classic BLOOD ON THE TRACKS. More on disco and blues soon ...

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