Sunday, November 23, 2014

blue afternoon

Tim Buckley sought the truth of life in stolen lost moments and found blind belief in a blue melody (such a blue you've never seen).    After a trio of albums on Elektra Records ('Tim Buckley', 'Goodbye and Hello', and 'Happy Sad'),  Buckley signed with the Straight Records companion label to Bizarre Records set up by Frank Zappa and Herb Cohen.  During this time, Buckley was working on material that would comprise three different albums ('Blue Afternoon', 'Lorca', and 'Starsailor'). 'Blue Afternoon' revisits the folk jazz sound that began with 'Happy Sad'.  He had already moved on to more bizarre musical territory on 'Lorca', which had been completed for Elektra before he began his Straight debut.  Cohen was concerned that Buckley's new direction might alienate fans and asked him to record something more like his previous work.  

For the first time, Buckley produced 'Blue Afternoon'  himself, utilizing most of the same musicians as 'Happy Sad'.  'Blue Afternoon'  features Tim Buckley on 12 string guitar and vocals;   Lee Underwood on guitar and piano;   David Friedman on vibes;   John Miller on acoustic and electric bass;   Jimmy Madison on drums;  and Carter C.C. Collins on congas.   

Buckley would express at the time:  "Here's the thing I gotta say: I really wish people would try to live their own lives and stop trying to make musicians do it for them. There's a lot more to music than sex; I play heart music...You know, people don't hear anything. That's why rock 'n' roll was invented, to pound it in. My new songs aren't dazzling; it's not two minutes and 50 seconds of rock 'em sock 'em, say lots of words, get lots of images. I guess it's pretty demanding...That whole stuff has got to stop, because music is being poisoned by the people. Plugging into a wall is not the answer either--that volume bull, ego-rock. Soon musicians are going to have to split and go back to the few little ghettos where they can play music. I see where I'm headed--yeah, into a progressive thing--there's going to be a change and I can't help the people ... You play what you can play. If you write, you write what you can write. You may not be happy with what you can do, but you do it anyway. In order to write what I really want to write I have to develop. With experience you get confident enough to write something you feel is really true. You never really get to it, but you get close enough to believe it's enough to write down.  If you play a guitar, you have to go through certain things like country music, folk music, etc., because there are things you can play on a guitar. Then, after awhile, you get to express yourself through your singing or drumming, whatever. Now, if you compose, you experieince the total view and you don't have to play anything.  That's the essence of where it's at - what it boils down to is chemistry of people you work with. For some odd reason, improvising in three's and five's is usually best ... It's what I'm comfortable with.  It's more direct and simple. I'm gonna start playing jazz clubs anyway. I'll just play a set with whoever's there. 'Cause I feel good about it. I can see where I'm really headed, and it will probably get farther and farther from what people expect of me.  My Old Lady was telling me what she was studying in school--Plato, Sophocles, Socrates and all those people. And the cat, Socrates, starts spewing truth like anybody would, because you gotta be honest. And the people kill him. Ha. I don't know if I'm being pretentious but I can see what happens. It happened to Dylan...I don't know what to do about that ... For a long time we were trying to get away from chords and chordal instruments. When I'm playing my guitar, I'm not concerned so much with chords as with the horn lines and counterpoint. It took a long time to get out of all that. Man, I learned the most beautiful chords when I was 16, and one of these days I'm gonna use them.  Right now though, I'm pretty much caught up with what I intended to do. I completely went through the spectrum of new star horizon; gone thru the meat grinder. Get a lot of money, lose the money, on the road constantly, the whole thing. Now they don't dig us in the big cities cause we're doing weird music. I made money for every one of those guys. But I'm not gonna start talking about that."

"Happy Time"

"The River"

"Blue Melody"

Well I was born a blue melody

A little song my mama sang to me
It was a blue melody
Such a blue
You've never seen 

There ain't no wealth

That can buy my pride
There ain't no pain
That can cleanse my soul
No just a blue melody
Sailing far away from me 

One summer mornin'

I was raised
But I don't know
One summer morning
I was left
But I don't know
One summer morning
So all alone 

Late in ev'ning

I'll sing in your dreaming
Down from the mountain
Along with the breezes 
So close inside
Love grew smiles 

So if you hear that blue melody

Won't you please send it home to me
It's just my 
Blue melody
Callin' far away to me

'Blue Afternoon'
full album:

All tracks by Tim Buckley.

"Happy Time" – 3:15
"Chase the Blues Away" – 5:14
"I Must Have Been Blind" – 3:40
"The River" – 5:47
"So Lonely" – 3:27
"Cafe" – 5:40
"Blue Melody" – 4:55
"The Train" – 7:53

 live at Boboquivari

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