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Happy Sad CD
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Tim Buckley - Happy Sad - Cd
At the top of the list of doomed cult folkies with the angelic Nick Drake, Tim Buckley built his reputation on his remarkable vocal range, sensitive, moody songwriting and refusal to compromise artistically even when it maddened and confused his most ardent fans. Happy Sad recorded in 1969 with production duties shared by the Lovin Spoonful's Jerry Yester and Zal Yanovsky, showcased what was to become an increasingly jazz tinged direction with intricate song arrangements underpinned by vibes and intricate lead guitar work. The mellow "Buzzin Fly" is the lightest moment here but Happy Sad, only six songs long, is fashioned around two centrepiece numbers, the 10 minute "Love From Room 109 At The Islander [On Pacific Coast Highway"], a darkly romantic meditation set against a backdrop of rolling breakers and the 12 minute stoned groove "Gypsy Woman" in which Buckley sets that incredible voice loose. --Mike Pattenden
Top Customer Reviews
The first two songs are rhythmically skimming and skipping ; teasing us with joy. In the third there are darker concerns of loneliness and longing, while "Dream Letter" is an affecting missive from absent father to infant son.
The musical and vocal tour de force, "Gypsy Woman", follows. Urgency and depth are provided by the addition of Carter Collins' congas and by David Friedman switching to the more funky bass marimba. Lee Underwood's electric guitar is allowed to stretch out and there's even a quasi-Eastern episode with de-tuned acoustic. On this twelve minute work-out Buckley is dealing with erotic desires, his naughty boy voice whoops and hollers. The men don't know, but the little girls understand.
The final thump and chord of this dies and we are left with his sweetest tune here, "Sing A Song For You". More delicate, honest exposure and a fine end to this, perhaps Tim Buckley's best album.
In any case, after remembering just how stunning his voice was I decided to go back through my old collection and attempt once again to become endeared to something that was so widely recommended. And this time it was truly special. The comparison has been made by other reviewers, maybe because it is an easy comparison to make, to Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks". Praise doesn't come much higher and in this instance it is truly deserved. It is not particularly similar in style, tempo or theme (though arguments can be made for all three) but in the sense that both are emotional travelogues, spiritual journeys that rise and lilt in equal measure.
The jazz repetition of "Strange Feeling" is a perfect introduction to the album, superficially relaxed with undercurrents of tension. From there the journey really begins through the romantic and (relatively) simple "Buzzin' Fly" via the epic and meaningful "Love From Room 109 At The Islander", the intense jazz exploration of "Gypsy Woman" eventually to the sweet end of "Sing A Song For You".
They don't make albums like this any more that's for certain - it is of its time yet it is absolutely timeless. Truly incredible, any collection is bereft without it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must for Tim Buckley fans! At this record Tim Buckley starts to experiment more systematically with his voice and the compositions.Published on 22 Feb. 2013 by F. Meier
This is Tim`s transitional album, after the delicate, blue-eyed gaucheries of his bright debut, and the self-conscious angularities of most of its follow-up. Read morePublished on 28 Sept. 2010 by KaleHawkwood
Happy/Sad is one of that select group of albums -- Marquee Moon, Horses, Raw Power, Kind of Blue and Liege and Lief also spring to mind -- on which
every track is equally... Read more
Moving, elegaic music - this can soundtrack the right hour perfectly, but it is very much for the right mood. If you like him, check out Nick Drake and vice versa.Published on 4 Aug. 2008 by CJ
This album is incorrectly listed here. Amazon can you fix this error? Happy/Sad is a great album if you like melancholic, jazzy, improvisational singers, which I do. Read morePublished on 10 July 2007 by Michael C. Stephens
Buckley was never going to be a star after releasing this gem. Too far before his time and (in my opinion) to good for this world. Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2007 by The Starsailor
This album completely blew me away! "Strange Feelin" opens with some suitably queasy atonal chimes on the vibraphone and even before Buckley's first vocal line you know that this... Read morePublished on 3 Nov. 2004
Just taken somewhere I didn't know existed - in words or music. Don't ask for details - this is someone dreaming and Heaven knows how he found the words, the music, the space which... Read morePublished on 18 Aug. 2004 by Dr. V. Stewart