By 1968, Tim Buckley had developed into one of the most promising singer/songwriters on the scene, following the release of his second album, 1967’s Goodbye and Hello. Less than a year after that album’s release, Buckley checked into The Electric Theatre Co. in Chicago in May 1968 for a couple of shows.
The best performances from those sets are featured on Live at the Electric Theatre Co. Chicago, 1968, a remarkable 14-song collection, which will be released for the first time ever November 22 on Los Angeles based Manifesto Records.
The two-CD set finds Buckley in an intimate performance backed only by an unidentified bass player and Carter C.C. Collins on congas. Buckley is captured in a loose, improvisational performance as he works out new material, including “Sing a Song for You” and “Gypsy Woman,” which would appear as studio versions on 1969’s Happy Sad, and his interpretation of Fred Neil’s “Dolphins,” which would later turn up on the 1973 studio set Sefronia.
Though these performances are now more than 50 years old, they prove to be timeless as Buckley’s influence lives on today, despite the fact his life was cut shockingly short from an overdose in 1975. He was just 28. Buckley’s influence is such that there are two tribute albums dedicated to him with a diverse range of artists, including Mark Lanegan, Mojave 3, Cousteau and Sufjan Steven, covering his songs.
Live at the Electric Theatre Co. Chicago, 1968 includes liner notes by Pat Thomas, with insights from key Buckley collaborators songwriter Larry Beckett and guitarist Lee Underwood. As Beckett points out, Buckley’s Electric Theatre dates caught him in “kind of a searching period. As a result, there was one heck of a lot of vocal and lyrical improvisation involved. It seems even within those songs that Tim had already written, he was stretching out and improvised off-and-on within them.”
During the Electric Theatre shows, Buckley also experimented with covers. “Green Rocky Road,” the old folk song that was also performed by Buckley contemporaries Fred Neil and Tim Hardin, veers off into an instrumental take of the lullaby “Hush Little Baby.”
It’s that unpredictability and spontaneity that makes Live at the Electric Theatre Co. Chicago, 1968 a must-have for the Buckley faithful.
1. SING A SONG FOR YOU
3. IMPROVISATION ON ROLL ON ROSIE
4. HI-LILI, HI-LO
5. IMPROVISATION ON SALLY GO ROUND THE ROSES
6. BIG RIVER
7. LOOK OUT BLUES
8. GYPSY WOMAN
2. LOOKS LIKE RAIN
3. GREEN ROCKY ROAD; HUSH, LITTLE BABY
4. HAPPY TIME
5. THE FATHER SONG
6. WAYFARING STRANGER
Amazon buy link: http://bit.ly/TimBuckleyChicago
Other Buckley titles on Manifesto Records:
*Venice Mating Call (2017)
*Greetings From West Hollywood (2017)
*Look at the Fool (1974)
*Dream Letter: Live in London 1968 (1990)
*Live at the Troubadour 1969 (1994)
*Honeyman: Recorded Live 1973 (1995)