THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
610) Tim Buckley — “Once Upon a Time”
A coulda been ’67 hit single by the troubadour if only the boneheaded record label had deigned to release it. For Buckley, it “is uncharacteristically rocking”. (Joseph Neff, https://www.thevinyldistrict.com/storefront/2016/11/graded-on-a-curve-tim-buckley-lady-give-me-your-key-and-wings-the-complete-singles-1966-1974/)
Andrew Sandoval tells us that:
In 1964 [17 year old] Buckley began collaborating with lyricist Larry Beckett, and the two formed a pop/fok aggregation known as the Bohemians. . . . Buckley linked with manager Herb Cohen, who brought Buckley to the Elektra label as a solo artist. Buckley’s self-titled debut LP was a disappointment to those familiar with his more experimental moments. He harbored a deep desire “to make it” commercially and resultantly teamed with Beckett to compose the ill-fated “Once Upon A Time,” which the duo felt might have potential as a single. Ultimately Elektra rejected the master and encouraged the songbird to find a new direction of his own.liner notes to Where the Action Is!: Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968
While Tim Buckley needs no introduction, let me quote Mark Deming:
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 was creatively satisfying but worked against him commercially; by the time his fans had hooked into his latest album, he was onto something else entirely, both live and in the studio. . . . While in high school, he made friends with poet and musician Larry Beckett, who would become one of his songwriting partners . . . . In 1965, Buckley enrolled at Fullerton College, but he dropped out after two weeks to devote himself to writing songs and playing folk clubs in Los Angeles. He gigged often enough to earn a following and some positive press, and in early 1966 he played a show where he was spotted by Jimmy Carl Black of the Mothers of Invention. Impressed, Black told Herb Cohen, the Mothers’ manager, about Buckley, and Cohen took Buckley on as a client, getting him his first dates in New York City. Buckley recorded a six-song demo that made its way to . . . Elektra Records, wh[ich] wasted no time signing him to a record deal.https://www.allmusic.com/artist/tim-buckley-mn0000595101/biography
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