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Tim Buckley

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Tim Buckley Greetings from L.A. album cover
3.36 | 33 ratings | 4 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Move with Me (4:52)
2. Get on Top (6:33)
3. Sweet Surrender (6:47)
4. Nighthawkin' (3:21)
5. Devil Eyes (6:50)
6. Hong Kong Bar (7:08)
7. Make It Right (4:07)

Total Time 39:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Buckley / vocals, 12-string guitar

- Joe Falsia / guitar, string arrangements (3,7)
- Kevin Kelly / piano (1), organ (2,5)
- Paul Ross Novros / saxophone (1)
- Eugene E. Siegel / saxophone (1)
- William Kurasch / violin (3,7)
- Louis Kievman / violin (3,7)
- Robert Konrad / violin (3,7)
- Ralph Schaffer / viola (3,7)
- Harry Hyams / viola (3,7)
- Jesse Ehrlich / cello (3,7)
- Chuck Rainey / bass
- Reinhold Press / bass (7)
- Ed Greene / drums
- Carter C.C. Collins / congas (2,4)
- "King" Errison Johnson / congas (3,5)
- Clydie King / backing vocals (1,4)
- Venetta Fields / backing vocals (1,4)
- Lorna Maxine Willard / backing vocals (1,4)

Releases information

Artwork: Cal Schenkel

LP Straight ‎- BS 2631 (1972, US)
LP Music On Vinyl ‎- MOVLP77 (2013, Netherlands)

CD Straight ‎- 7 73506-2 (1989, US)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy TIM BUCKLEY Greetings from L.A. Music

TIM BUCKLEY Greetings from L.A. ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (18%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TIM BUCKLEY Greetings from L.A. reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Facing bankruptcy and being stripped of everything he owned (two wives and kids having precedence), Tim reluctantly accepted to abandon his counter-culture artiste career and let his management save whatever was possible of his mainstream commercial career. Leaving Starsailor behind, with a completely new group behind him, he embarked into the studio with some reluctance, but managed to pull an excellent album that didn't completely reneg his art. Refusing to embark on the singer/songwriter path his management hoped for, Greetings From LA is a wild funk-rock album that had many things to go for itself, including listener-friendly songs and passages showing Buckley's artistic brilliance with his voice. For some reasons, this album barely missed the Billboard charts, but let's face it, Tim was not completely stranger to this fact. First the positive album title being offset by a depressive picture of a smogged-up LA with Tim wearing a gas mask on the inner sleeve (let alone his funny fake postcard to his manager claiming he had a sale for 50 albums in a massage parlor), throwing most LA critics a bit astride. Some of the tracks on the album had explicit sexual lyrics (Get On Top, Sweet Surrender) that made radio-airplay difficult for censorship reasons and more (like four tracks around the 7 minutes mark).

Starting with the weakest song on the album (Move With Me) is probably not the smartest idea either, but obviously the message had to pass clearly: a different Tim was here, even accepting female backing singers (Oooohhh, Tim I hurt for you!!!!....) and even a brass section (Oooohh, Buzz & Bunk, I hurt for thee) into a bluesy track. Fortunately the sexy funked-out bass-led Get On Top makes you forget the previous horror, and Tim appears his old dangerous self, with his prowling voice ready pounce and unleash a few primal scream. Over the very cool conga-accompnied funk, this is the Starsailing Tim saying that he's still around and there is great organ to underline the tension Tim is putting into his words. Good thing about it is that this song is two minutes longer than its preceding disaster. Equally as long is the delightful string-filled funk piece Sweet Surrender (explaining why being faithful is impossible) that could with Papa Was A Rolling Stone, but Tim's voice enhances the style even further, than you can hear some Lorca traits into the lines. No Herb, Tim is not doing that "yodelling crap" that you forbade him, but he's still putting up a ten foot pole up your arse. While the shorter Nighthawkin' returns to the opening track (with those awful female back-up singers), the track doesn't overstay its welcome the way the opener did.

Opening the flipside, Devil Eyes is another killer funk track much in the mould of Get On Top, complete with Tim's duel with the drummer and percussionist, while the wild bass pulls a brilliant performance, and the returning organ underline Tim's few wails and yels (but not "yodelling crap", Herb) >> awesome stuff, and somehow Starsailor is in the vicinity!! Hong Kong Bar is an oddity on the album, being the only mainly acoustic track, a lengthy blues made for southbound train looking for the crossroad and the cheating wife at the bottom of a whiskey bottle in a New Orleans bar. It looked likev the ideal track for Tim to get loose, but I bet Herb was listening to it and Tim knew it. The closing fiery Make It Right is a superb string-laden track that would've been Sweet Surrender's alter ego, but Tim chose to drive it into the skies. Just why the radios didn't pick it up while it was there (in the air) is a complete mystery, because this was obcviously the right track for it: the hit-single that should've broken the market: well Tim can't help himself in there, with his blood curdling wails up to the end of the track.

Hearing about Tim's new directions, the crowds started to return to his concerts, which in turn became more frequent, so everything was looking upwards with Tim's potential mainstream career, but the artiste inside was sinking lower into depression and drug abuse while he was not touring - this was strangely in control when he was far away from management >> see the problem??? Greetings is an excellent album that does not renege Starsailor, but unlike its predecessor, Greetings is listener- friendly and accessible, something that might not jave been Tim's primary concerns in his recent career. CVery much worth investigating, I'm sure most experimental Buckley fans will see enough into Greetings to actually I acquire it. Hell, I did!!!!

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Here's the thing.....Greetings from LA was considered by critics to be something of a necessary comeback by Tim Buckley. Away wrestling his demons and this was mean't to be a return to previous form. The nice thing about opinions is that they vary so much. Personally I believe this is one of Tim Buckley's finest albums. Pure vintage psychedelic, progressive blues. The emphasis being on blues. The album starts off with the irreristable ' Move With Me'. Pure lyrical sexuality grooving here, not for the fainthearted or squeamish! Another great decadent number follows with ' Get on Top', percussion and congas are great on this release giving the album a good eclectic feel too. The next track demonstrates TB singing his heart out on ' Sweet Surrender A mindblowing song that builds and builds all the while showing the artists true vulnerability. The album returns to some more up tempo rock and rollin and finishes strongly with two great tracks ' Hong Kong Bar' and ' Make It Right'. Guaranteed to get you out of your seat, again great percussion. Excellent album and good to see Tim Buckley now added to the archives. It will be a treat to see Jeff around here someday too.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Changing all the time

Having turned his back on virtually guaranteed success and popularity when he metamorphosed from a folk singer/songwriter to an avant-garde musician, by 1971 Tim Buckley found himself bankrupt and at a personal low. His albums were increasingly obscure, alienating the rapidly diminishing number of fans who stuck with him as he challenged their patience further. Buckley's problems were compounded by an increasing dependency on booze and drugs, although these must have offered temporary immunity from the depressive nature of his broken marriage and estranged son.

Having dabbled briefly with an abortive career as an actor, Buckley decided to have another stab at achieving commercial success, this time through experimenting with a bluesy R&B style rather than reverting to the folk of his early albums. The result is something altogether more upbeat and energetic than we had become accustomed to.

The opening "Move with me" is a southern rock number in the best traditions of The Band and their peers, with a strong brass arrangement and female backing vocals. The song is clearly designed as a potential hit single (lyrics notwithstanding), but it is a highly enjoyable foot-tapper nonetheless. "Get on top" moves deeper into funky territories, the sexually explicit lyrics guaranteeing this would NOT be released as a single. Here, we are a significant distance away from the nearest haven of prog, thus the song will only appeal to those in these parts with a specific diverse musical taste. Fans of the likes of Marvin Gaye for example may well be impressed with what they hear here.

"Sweet surrender" alters the mood again, this time moving us into a more reflective mood with a fine string arrangement. Buckley uses his full vocal range here, causing the song to sound like a duet! "Nighthawkin'" has a bit of the Zappa's to it in the rambling narrative and semi-spoken vocals. "Devil eyes" returns us to the blues rock, the funky jazz rhythm allowing Buckley to improvise vocally. The otherwise bland track includes some nice Booker T like organ.

At a shade over 7 minutes, "Hong Kong bar" is the longest track here. The song is much lighter than the rest of the album, being primarily acoustic. It retains the funky element though, the guitar picking and drawled vocals being of the swamp rock type. The song is more in line with the understated numbers which Buckley presented when he turned his back on his folk roots, but it drags somewhat, especially towards the end.

The album closes with "Make it right", a more commercial and accessible number with a strong Motown like string arrangement.

In retrospect, it is perhaps obvious when listening that Buckley would not find the commercial success he needed through to this album. Here, he is reaching out to a whole new audience (once again) while potentially alienating those who had stuck with him thus far. Those who enjoy the funky R&B which this album is heavily influenced by may well find this album to be highly enjoyable. Prog fans, and even those who appreciate Buckley's previous works, should however approach with caution.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Normally I'm not too fond of vocal solo's, but for Tim Buckley I'll make an exception. We'll find Buckley standing without money and forced to make a record with more commercial potential after two avant garde records ("Lorca" and "Starsailor"). Well, I don't know if it was a commercial succes, ... (read more)

Report this review (#906692) | Posted by the philosopher | Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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