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Greetings from L.A.

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iTunes Review

Tim Buckley made his reputation with long, improvisatory, jazz-influenced folk performances, but with Greetings From L.A. he transforms into a rough-and-tumble barroom rocker. With a traditional rock band behind him, along with a bevy of backup singers, Buckley turns tough on “Move With Me,” “Get On Top,” and “Nighthawkin’.” He sings, screams, and seduces in a blues-rock performance worthy of Jim Morrison himself. It's Buckley’s most accessible and straightforward album, and one of his absolute best.

Customer Reviews

If You Like Croce and Chapin Check Out Buckley

Tim Buckley was one of the best singer-songwriters of his day. Unfortunately, his life ended at an early age, before time and exposure could propel him into the mainstream. With little radio play, these gems remain mostly unknown. For those of us from the Woodstock era, Tim is remembered as one of the few artists who bridged the gap between folk and rock music. "Get On Top" is an all-time favorite of mine, and I am happy that I don't have to experience it on vinyl alone anymore. How about releasing his album, "Hello and Goodbye" sometime soon?


I loved Tim Buckley's second album, "Goodbye and Hello," when it first came out, especially its magnetic keystone number, "Pleasant Street." (OK, I date myself - I'm 58.) I remembered him as the finest voice of his era. So when I started browsing iTunes, I looked him up again and discovered "Get on Top" and "Sweet Surrender." The former is a gas, and the multi-octave scat singing ("talking in tongues") breath-taking. As good as it is, Buckley takes the intensity a notch a higher with the next cut. "Sweet Surrender" totally blew me away. It's one of the most powerful music vocals I've ever heard. The sheer intensity of his singing here took me (and maybe it's just me) to as much of a spiritual space as a sensual one, despite, or maybe even because of, the funky sex theme of the album as a whole. "Devil Eyes" and "Hong Kong Bar" are not quite at the level of those two, but they're close, and have more than their fair share of exquisite moods and moments. (And who can argue with the courage of a man who sings lovingly of licking stretch marks and getting his tongue down between the toes?) I could have done without "Nighthawkin'," but I enjoyed "Move With Me" and "Make It Right," even if they don't move me to the extent that "Sweet Surrender" does. The development of his voice as a musical instrument in its own right, peaking on the over-the-edge exploration of his previous album, "Starsailor," is clearly at work to great effect here, too, despite the radical break in styles between the two albums. Even if this is a more "commercial" album, Buckley goes all out. I guess he just couldn't help himself. OK, I admit it, I'm a fan - big-time. But as long as I'm here, I also recommend to the similarly-smitten some excellent Tim Buckley covers: "I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain" by his estranged son, Jeff; "Morning Glory" by Steve Katz on the only valuable Blood, Sweat & Tears album, "Child Is Father to the Man"; "Song to the Siren" on Robert Plant's "Dreamland" album, but, even better, by Cocteau Twins on This Mortail Coil's "It'll End in Tears" album - sheer magic! And that's what it's all about, isn't it?

If you like Coltrane, Phil Ochs, Ligeti, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen AND the others...

Buckley is a one of a kind. Intensity, exhibitionism, artistry and an unbelievable voice. This album is sex-funk with many artful twists. Others are folk, jazz, proressive-protest songs...very much worth a try, but listen to excerpts. You will not recognize one album from the next. Buckley is a different artist on each album.


Born: February 14, 1947 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

One of the great rock vocalists of the 1960s, Tim Buckley drew from folk, psychedelic rock, and progressive jazz to create a considerable body of adventurous work in his brief lifetime. His multi-octave range was capable of not just astonishing power, but great emotional expressiveness, swooping from sorrowful tenderness to anguished wailing. His restless quest for new territory worked against him commercially: By the time his fans had hooked into his latest album, he was onto something else entirely,...
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