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Tim Buckley

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Tim Buckley Lorca album cover
4.02 | 51 ratings | 5 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lorca (9:53)
2. Anonymous Proposition (7:43)
3. I Had A Talk With My Woman (6:01)
4. Driftin' (8:12)
5. Nobody Walkin' (7:35)

Total Time 39:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Buckley / vocals, 12-string guitar

- Lee Underwood / guitar, electric piano
- John Balkin / Fender & upright basses, pipe organ
- Carter C.C. Collins / congas

Releases information

Artwork: J. Seeley with Ed Caraeff (photo)

LP Elektra ‎- EKS-74074 (1970, US)
LP 4 Men With Beards ‎- 4M146 (2007, US)

CD Elektra ‎- 7559-61339-2 (1992, Europe)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TIM BUCKLEY Lorca ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TIM BUCKLEY Lorca reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

Elektra's last album with Buckley certainly didn't change much in the stand-off between Tim and the label's staff. To add more insult, Tim had recorded an album of shorter more accessible song (something that Elektra was desperately trying to ask him) on another label (Straight Records) called Blue Afternoon, but that album got almost nowhere despite proper promotion (which irked Tim). So when the depressive Lorca was being recorded, most likely the Elektra staff decided this was the last of Buckley and put the album out to pasture some four months after the release of Blue Afternoon without the slightest promotion and it quickly went nowhere, the first Buckley album to miss the billboards. This really sombre album came out in a grey/silver colour artwork, although the back cover rectified that with some yellow sunrays over Tim's fuzzhead, most likely because this album was what Tim really wanted to do. Named after the Spanish poet, Lorca is a stunning album, very much in line with Happy Sad, but not yet announcing the astounding Starsailor album. Lorca is also the album where bassist Balkin starts gaining importance in Tim's musical adventures a bit at the expense of Underwood and the just-returning Beckett from the army, and since Tim took for inspiration Garcia-Lorca, Beckett was living in Oregon

Among some of the most stunning tracks on this album (only 6 tracks, like HS) is the 10-mins title track, with the sinister organ and electric piano opening, soon followed by Tim's almost looneybin- bound vocals and late Coltrane-esque soundscapes. The equally disturbing and slightly shorter Drifting is just as slow (almost as slow as a blues can get, without being a blues tune), with Tim holding some one note sustains, not particularly long sustains, but ones that servedthe track best, not overdoing it. The good thing about Buckley's exceptional vocal range is that Tim always avoided writing songs to feature his voice above all else, even if in every track his vocals are featured. The more upbeat Nobody Walking is a piano and congas-driven track, where Tim's voice escapes towards the upper octaves, differing a bit from the rest of the album. Clearly very few singers have used their voices like an independent instrument as Buckley had, at least in such uncommercial music.

Yes, Lorca is not to be listened to if you're feeling a little down, yet its gloomy doomy atmosphere has its eerie beauty, a fascinating glimpse of what a Hell melody can be. Because let's be realistic here: the normal fans are right.. Who in their normal state of mind would prefer to sing the Lorca album over the G&H album? But that's exactly the point.. Tim's wish to explore further down that bottomless shaft was pushed by his further estrangement of the world around him, pushing him ever further into heavy drug abuse and enticing him to write some more provoking and adventurous songs.

With Lorca selling only a quarter (or even a fifth) of HS or G&H, Tim's concerts of the time where not going down well either, the audience trying to find the old Tim and hating the yodelling, sometimes even going down to invectives being yelled between him and his audience. Needless to say that this "low" in Tim's career is now regarded as his "artistic high" some almost four decades later, although there are still many fans mourning the first Tim.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Lorca" is the 5th full-length studio album by US experimental folk rock artist Tim Buckley. The album was released through Elektra Records in May 1970. Tim Buckley had intentionally begun to explore experimental ideas, free form mellow jazz and loose jamming, on his previous two albums "Happy Sad (1969)" and "Blue Afternoon (1969)" in an effort to move away from his original more traditional folk rock sound. Both of those albums are however still what Iīd characterize as transition albums, as they feature elements from both his early mainstream oriented folk rock style and his future more experimental/avant garde folk rock style. With "Lorca" the transition to an experimental/avant garde folk rock artist is complete. While never completely forsaking his folk rock roots Tim Buckley takes you on an very different journey with "Lorca".

"Lorca" only features 5 tracks but most of them are relatively long with space for free from structures (Buckley deliberately tried to avoid vers/chorus structures at this point in his career) and innovative jamming. The album opens with the eerie sounding title track. The most avant garde oriented track on the album. Haunting vocals and experimental use of instrumentation but still with a folky edge. "Anonymous Proposition" is if possible an even more inaccessible track with Tim Buckleyīs strong, melancholic and soul searching vocals in focus. What he does with his voice on this track is simply amazing, using it more like an instrument than as "regular" vocals. "I Had A Talk With My Woman" takes us back to more familiar ground with itīs bluesy folk rock style and the same can be said about "Driftinī" (the latter is still rather experimental though) and "Nobody Walkinī". Great intriguing tracks but not as experimental or innovative in style as the first two tracks on the album.

As on the previous albums the instrumentation is mostly acoustic and the use of drumkit is limited. There are a few more electric instruments used on this album than usual though. The main instruments are acoustic and electric guitar, organ, upright bass, electric piano and congas. The sound production is quite brilliant. Organic, detailed and warm. There is a rare authenticity about it, that makes you feel like you are a part of the experience instead of just being a listener.

If "Happy Sad (1969)" and "Blue Afternoon (1969)" were beautiful, melancholic and predominantly mellow trips, "Lorca" is in contrast the frightingly bad acid trip. Itīs dark and emotional, twisted, and at time even unpleasant with itīs odd chromatic and non melodic vocal lines. Tim Buckley really challenged himself on this release and itīs hard to believe that "Lorca" was actually recorded simultaniously with "Blue Afternoon (1969)". They share some similarities but the addition of avant garde ideas and experimental vocal styles really set "Lorca" apart from "Blue Afternoon (1969)". A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved. A very dark and unique album this one.

Review by Kotro
3 stars Haze

Arriving at the this album straight from his sophomore effort, it's only natural we get the bejesus scared out of ourselves once the first few notes of Lorca flow from the speakers, a real feel of "ah, nothing like a nice piece of bucolic psych-folk mus? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?". That, my reader friend, is one of the eeriest organ openings to an album I've had the pleasure of listening. Which, frankly, weren't that many, but that's not the point. The point is that opening title track sounds like nothing you've ever heard before, and hardly will again, a sombre and languorous love song that will hold the bar for the remainder of the album. Lorca features electric pianos swirling around pipe organs with Tim singing all over the place with John Balkin's bass line providing a shivering rhythm more reminiscent of Black Sabbath and Jacula that American folk.

The remainder of the album doesn't do as good a job freaking you out as the opening title track, but we're still miles away from the conventional pop-folk song structure of earlier albums. Anonymous Proposition features a lazy "Jazz Club at 3 a.m." kind of sound, more soothing that somber, still featuring flourishes of instrumentation running wild in the background, as if each musician was doing his own thing. At around 6 minutes, I Had A Talk With My Woman is the shortest track on the album, and the one that wouldn't sound awfully out of place on Buckley's earlier albums. It's a slow gospel-like piece, sprinkled with some delightfully discrete electric guitar. Driftin' resumes from the second track, back to a more slow-paced rhythm & blues sounds, but there's not a speck of uncontrolled jazz improvisation on this one, apart from Tim's unconventional vocal deliveries. Finally, Nobody Walkin' ends the album on a high note, with the faster- paced track on the album, carried by the almost tribal drumming of Carter Collins and his congas and another super bass line. There is even space for some jamming midway.

So, conclusions. Lorca is not your everyday listen ? it's an album you should prepare yourself for, be in the right mood. It's a hard album to get into, but one shouldn't be discouraged if it doesn't click on the first listen. Like it's grey cover almost seems to indicate, this album is a hazy affair, where you feel lost amid a fog of the mind. A quiet environment is best to fully appreciate the intricacies of the music delivered by this excellent set of musicians. Regarding lyrics, words are relatively sparse considering the length of the tracks, but they completely fill the songs due to Tim's slow and languid delivery, often stretching syllables beyond reasonable. But that, like most things about this album, is an acquired taste, and one should probably not tackle this album unprepared. Listen before you buy.

Review by jamesbaldwin
5 stars Here comes a masterpiece of free folk, vanguard, jazz, an album of absolute value.

"Lorca" is one of the most experimental and beautiful songs of all rock music (vote 9,5). It is a long (ten minutes) psychedelic delirium, where the voice and the electric piano follow the autonomous melodic and dissonant vortexes that cross each other causing a nightmare atmosphere.

"Anonymous proposition" (vote 7,5/8) is free jazz, it is a long painful ballad, with a scarce accompaniment of the voice.

Side B is more relaxed: the first two songs (" I Had a Talk With My Woman", the shortest song, six minutes, vote 7,5; "Driftin'", vote 7) are slow contemplative ballads. The second is a long, slow and lazy minimalist song, vocals, electric guitar, bass and congas.

In the end, with "Nobody Walkin!" (vote 8+) come back electric piano and vitality of the first track. The song expresses a kind of infernal, orgiastic sabbatical dance, with the voice and the percussion to climb in paroxysmal sounds.

A beautiful album, arduous, extreme

Medium quality of the songs: 8. Vote 9+. Five stars

Review by Warthur
4 stars In 1969, Tim Buckley was angling to jump ship to Straight Records but had a pesky contractual obligation to take care of. The term "contractural obligation album" conjures all sorts of ugly images, though in retrospect we can now see that Buckley was doing Elektra a favour by giving them the chance to premier the new avant-folk sound he would submerge himself in with Starsailor. There aren't any standout moments to match Song to the Siren on here, but at the same time these languid, strange, almost Lynchian soundscapes have somewhat more approachable textures and overall the album is somewhat easier to unpack than Starsailor was.

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