Simple Songs of Freedom: The Tim Hardin Collection by Tim Hardin on Apple Music

17 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mid-1960s Tim Hardin penned and recorded two albums of singular, stunning power Tim Hardin 1 and Tim Hardin 2 containing “If I Were A Carpenter” and “Reason to Believe” for starters. From there, his songwriting muse often abandoned him and what leaked out while often powerful and personal simply couldn’t match the universal power of his earliest work. Haunted by this and a lifelong struggle with drug and alcohol consumption, Hardin struggled for the rest of his career until he overdosed on heroin on December 29, 1980 in Los Angeles. However, the man was always a first-rate singer, and his covers of Bobby Darin’s “Simple Song of Freedom” (Darin had a hit with Hardin’s “If I Were A Carpenter”), Jesse Winchester’s “Yankee Lady,” and Randy Newman’s “I’ll Be Home” bear witness to Hardin’s unique ability to let a word trail off in the air. This collection includes the strongest material from Hardin’s Columbia period in the late 1960s and early 1970s and includes several previously unreleased gems.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mid-1960s Tim Hardin penned and recorded two albums of singular, stunning power Tim Hardin 1 and Tim Hardin 2 containing “If I Were A Carpenter” and “Reason to Believe” for starters. From there, his songwriting muse often abandoned him and what leaked out while often powerful and personal simply couldn’t match the universal power of his earliest work. Haunted by this and a lifelong struggle with drug and alcohol consumption, Hardin struggled for the rest of his career until he overdosed on heroin on December 29, 1980 in Los Angeles. However, the man was always a first-rate singer, and his covers of Bobby Darin’s “Simple Song of Freedom” (Darin had a hit with Hardin’s “If I Were A Carpenter”), Jesse Winchester’s “Yankee Lady,” and Randy Newman’s “I’ll Be Home” bear witness to Hardin’s unique ability to let a word trail off in the air. This collection includes the strongest material from Hardin’s Columbia period in the late 1960s and early 1970s and includes several previously unreleased gems.

TITLE TIME
3:50
3:09
2:57
2:41
4:23
6:06
3:51
3:24
2:47
2:48
5:26
3:05
4:23
3:10
5:39
4:37
3:52

About Tim Hardin

A gentle, soulful singer who owed as much to blues and jazz as folk, Tim Hardin produced an impressive body of work in the late '60s without ever approaching either mass success or the artistic heights of the best singer/songwriters. When future Lovin' Spoonful producer Erik Jacobsen arranged for Hardin's first recordings in the mid-'60s, Hardin was no more than an above-average white blues singer, in the mold of many fellow folkys working the East Coast circuit. By the time of his 1966 debut, however, he was writing confessional folk-rock songs of considerable grace and emotion. The first album's impact was slightly diluted by incompatible string overdubs (against Hardin's wishes), but by the time of his second and best LP, he'd achieved a satisfactory balance between acoustic guitar-based arrangements and subtle string accompaniment. It was the lot of Hardin's work to achieve greater recognition through covers from other singers, such as Rod Stewart (who did "Reason to Believe"), Nico (who covered "Eulogy to Lenny Bruce" on her first album), Scott Walker (who sang "Lady Came From Baltimore"), Fred Neil ("Green Rocky Road" has been credited to both him and Hardin), and especially Bobby Darin, who took "If I Were a Carpenter" into the Top Ten in 1966. Beleaguered by a heroin habit since early in his career, Hardin's drug problems became grave in the late '60s; his commercial prospects grew dimmer, and his albums more erratic, although he did manage to appear at Woodstock. His end was not a pretty one: due to accumulated drug and health problems, as well as a scarcity of new material, he didn't complete any albums after 1973, dying of a drug overdose in 1980. ~ Richie Unterberger

  • ORIGIN
    Eugene, OR
  • BORN
    Dec 23, 1941

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