Tim Buckley Exclusive Premiere: Live ‘Buzzin’ Fly’

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While Tim Buckley’s album Dream Letter (recorded in 1968 but not released until 1990) has been called the perfect, sublime example of his in-concert genius, Live at the Troubadour 1969 (released in 1994) has long been a fan favorite, with its improvisational raw energy in songs that stretch toward or past the 10-minute mark, and combinations of acoustic and electric guitars, Fender Rhodes piano and electric bass, drum set and congas—all throbbing and brewing in a dynamic jazz-folk stew. On drums is Art Tripp from Frank Zappa’s stable of musicians; the bass player is John Balkin, who helped conceptualize Buckley’s legendary Starsailor LP. But this is the not the free-form, avant-garde jazz of the Starsailor era, nor is it the funk-soul of 1972’s Greetings From L.A. Rather, Live at the Troubadour 1969 represents a brief period of the ever-evolving explorations of Tim Buckley.

Reissue producer Bill Inglot recently discovered more Troubadour tapes in the archives. He and fellow reissue producer Pat Thomas uncovered five different sets of material from three days’ worth of shows. These revelatory tracks have been assembled into a 2-LP package, Greetings From West Hollywood, and a 2-CD set, Venice Mating Call, both to be released Oct. 13 on Manifesto Records.

Scroll down to listen to Best Classic Bands’ exclusive premiere of the previously unreleased live “Buzzin’ Fly” from Venice Mating Call!

Says co-producer Thomas about the track, “Perhaps Tim Buckley’s most perfect folk-pop song masterwork was strangely never released as a 45 RPM single. It surely would have garnered more FM radio airplay back in the day if it had. Buckley, who grew to hate his own folk-pop songs, kept this gem in his live set long after he’d jettisoned the rest. Its flowing groove lent itself to improvisation, and this previously unreleased version from 1969 is as magical as the studio version as well as the epic one included on the 1968 Dream Letter live album.”

Pre-order Venice Mating Call here
Pre-order Greetings From West Hollywood here

With the exception of “Buzzin’ Fly,” there were no other songs in common with Dream Letter, and furthermore, these early September 1969 shows featured a slew of songs that had yet to be recorded in the studio (at that point), songs that would turn up on Lorca and Blue Afternoon, and even songs that were unique to this run of shows!

Related: Remembering Tim Buckley

The improvisational nature of the music meant that the producers could assemble a couple of albums’ worth of material that would duplicate the track listing from the Troubadour 1969 album but present the listener with radically different versions of each song, plus add songs that did not appear on Troubadour 1969, including one that didn’t make it onto any Buckley studio LP at all.

To further add to the confusion and to satisfy Buckley fans around the globe, they constructed two different packages—the 2-CD Venice Mating Call and 2-LP Greetings From West Hollywood, each of which contain none of the recordings (versions) from the 1994 Live at the Troubadour 1969 release and have only two songs (versions) in common with each other. So, if you’re doing the math, there are seven songs (recordings) unique to the Greetings From West Hollywood vinyl and 11 on the Venice Mating Call 2-CD set.

Thomas also penned the liner notes, which center on an extensive new interview with long-time Buckley guitarist (and, on these recordings, keyboardist) Lee Underwood that reveals incredible details into Buckley’s working methods. The packaging also includes piles of previously unseen photos and memorabilia from the era.

In addition to the two new and previously unreleased Tim Buckley packages, Manifesto Records will also release remastered versions of the two Tim Buckley classic albums, Sefronia (1973) and Look at the Fool (1974). Original master tapes were discovered after more than 40 years and now these brilliant albums have beautiful high quality packaging along the best sound possible.

Listen to our exclusive premiere of the previously unreleased “Buzzin’ Fly” from the upcoming collection Venice Mating Call



Venice Mating Call Track Listing
Buzzin Fly
Strange Feelin’
Blue Melody
Chase the Blues Away
Venice Mating Call
Gypsy Woman
I Don’t Need It To Rain
(I Wanna) Testify
Anonymous Preposition
I Had A Talk With My Woman
Nobody Walkin’

Greetings From West Hollywood Track Listing
Buzzin’ Fly
Chase the Blues Away
I Had A Talk With My Woman
Blue Melody
Nobody Walkin’
Venice Mating Call
I Don’t Need It to Rain
Gypsy Woman

Best Classic Bands Staff

2 Comments so far

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  1. Simmo
    #1 Simmo 29 September, 2017, 06:53

    These are both CD releases, one single one double – not 2LP and 2CD as you suggest.

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