The most promising of a crop of mid-'60s Californian singer/songwriters, Tim Buckley was blessed with a multi-octave vocal range and a rare poetic sensibility.
The most promising of a crop of mid-'60s Californian singer/songwriters, Tim Buckley was blessed with a multi-octave vocal range and a rare poetic sensibility. Yet questing, even quixotic musical eclecticism proved elusive even for die-hard fans, many of whom he put off with his intrepid forays into jazz-inflected improv and raunchy soul singing. Prior to his fatal overdose in 1975, the artist's career was at an impasse. A generation or so on, though, Buckley's songs gained new currency via cover versions, with one of the most notable being the rendition of his haunting, troubadour-like "Song to the Siren" by This Mortal Coil (with Elizabeth Fraser on lead vocals). With the two-disc Morning Glory, Buckley's own work finally gets the attention it has long merited. The song selection is impeccable, covering all nine of his studio albums, two posthumous live collections, and the full arc of his chameleonic moods. A sumptuously packaged labor of love so typical of Rhino, Morning Glory is fitting testimony to the evergreen art of a troubled but astonishing talent (a talent passed along to another remarkably gifted, sadly doomed young artist—his son, Jeff Buckley). Here's to Rhino reissuing Tim Buckley's full catalog.—RBH