Monday, May 16, 2011

Tim Buckley Series, #1: Tim Buckley- Dream Letter: Live in London 1968 (1990) MP3 & FLAC -For thestarry-

"If you tell me a lie, I'll cry for you, or tell me of sin and I'll laugh."

At the risk of sounding as if I'm lapsing into hyperbole, I will simply put it out there: Tim Buckley's Dream Letter: Live in London 1968 just might be the greatest live album released during the past 40 years. In addition to comprising a complete concert from one of Buckley's most creatively fertile periods, the album is arguably the best thing ever released with Buckley's name on it, as it catches him in top form in a live improvisatory setting, which always suited his uncontainable voice far better than the confines of the studio. Not only this, but the album was impeccably recorded, giving the listener a great sense of the depth and space of the original venue (Queen Elizabeth Hall in London). Most important is the music itself, which features some great players in support of Buckley and his Guild 12-string, including guitarist Lee Underwood, David Friedman on vibes, and the inimitable Danny Thompson (Pentangle) on double-bass. This was supposedly Buckley's first live performance in England and finds him a few months away from releasing his artistic breakthrough Happy/Sad. While the set-list tends to focus on his upcoming album and even more so on his previous album Goodbye and Hello, another calling card for Dream Letter: Live in London 1968 (as if it needed one) is the fact that it contains no less than five tracks that were never to appear on any of Buckley's studio albums. One of these tracks, "Troubadour," is a gorgeous minor-key Elizabethan ballad, featuring some great counterpoint contributions from Lee Underwood. The album also features Buckley's best rendition of the Fred Neil masterpiece, "Dolphins,"  in which he breathtakingly draws out his vocal phrasings, lending the song a languorous beauty that suits it well. This album, in my humble opinion, is Buckley's finest moment on tape, and 21 years after first hearing it, it still continues to amaze and delight me in ways few other recordings can.

Dream Letter: Live in London 1968 (Two Discs)

Disc I:
1. Introduction  (1:06)
2. Buzzin' Fly  (6:13)
3. Phantasmagoria in Two  (4:41)
4. Morning Glory  (3:43)
5. Dolphins  (6:39)
6. I've Been Out Walking  (8:18)
7. The Earth Is Broken  (6:59)
8. Who Do You Love  (9:27)
9. Pleasant Street / You Keep Me Hanging On  (7:58)

Disc II:
1. Love from Room 109 / Strange Feelin'  (12:18)
2. Carnival Song / Hi Lily, Hi Lo  (8:50)
3. Hallucinations  (7:14)
4. Troubadour  (6:04)
5. Dream Letter / Happy Time  (9:25)
6. Wayfaring Stranger / You Got Me Runnin'  (13:08)
7. Once I Was  (4:29)


  1. Wow! That is quite a claim. I guess there is only one way to find out if this is true...
    thanks for posting.

  2. Hey Viox sorry for off-topic comment but here is something I think you might like:
    # Release Date: 04/03/11
    # Video Format: x264 1080p
    # Size: 7.64 GB
    # Language: English
    # Audio Format: DTS

    Single link (Premium only):

    Archives (free users):

    A must have for any SW fan~

  3. leakingwater, thank you so much for the links. I've seen the film, but would love a BluRay version, thanks again :)

  4. Ana, if you don't love this album, we'll need to seek a divorce lawyer ;)

  5. Your comment about Hyperbole is dismissed outta sight
    Anyone who has a penchant for live music should not dismiss this recording in any shape or form
    This is the greatest live album in the genre and beyond indeed a Beautiful Kaleidoscope of Form and non-form perfect for Mr Buckley's Musical Temperament
    Kids Do not pass this by! you gotta listen to Tim do the Diana Ross and the Supremes segue! Album A-Z simply sublime, in it's entirety
    Music, Artise, Location, Recording, Atmosphere
    No contest
    Thank You Tim For The Gift

  6. Hi John, I guess my point was that people use terms like "greatest" far too often, this renders readers skeptical when they see the term used; however in the case of this Buckley album, it's true; it is easily the greatest live album I've ever heard.

  7. I agree 100%. When Dream Letter: Live in London 1968 first was released in 1990 it was like a gift from the gods. There were no live recordings in the Tim Buckley discography at the time; and Dream Letter exceeded my wildest expectations. It is Tim at his absolute peek, and the musical performances, along with the band (including Lee Underwood on guitar, David Friedman on vibes, and Danny Thompson on bass) are absolutely stunning. Plus, the sound is stellar. Dream Letter: Live in London 1968 is a must for any music collection.

  8. Oh hell, I'm just gonna have to pull out my copy and stick it in the car tomorrow! Can't wait to see how this series develops...

  9. Ive always felt this was the greatest live album ever and that break from 'Pleasant Street' into 'You Keep Me Hanging On' is one of the high points in live music.. it covers me in goosepimples.
    As good as Tims music is, his voice is even better, i think thats why when its captured in a perfect live setting it can surpass even his studio material. 10 stars.

  10. DK, I bought this CD when it was first released and I had forgotten that there were no other live recordings of Buckley available at the time. I do remember being completely overwhelmed by Buckley's voice and Underwood's guitar. Amazing stuff

  11. cakelunch, I have some nice surprises for this series, including the Rhino Handmade collector's edition of Buckley's first album

  12. thestarry, your comment started me thinking about live recordings in general. They rarely if ever capture the ambiance and emotional energy of a live show, but this Buckley recording somehow manages to do this. I couldn't think of a more appropriate way to start the series

  13. Re: Rhino Handmade collector's edition of Buckley's first album. Thank You Thank You Thank You! Kurt

  14. Kurt, I'm probably going to post that one as #3. I also have a brand new Japanese remaster of "Starsailor," which will come later in the series

  15. I agree it was probably the best way to start the series with this little gem. A great introduction to Tim's work.

    I'm also definitely looking forward to this new reissue of Buckley's debut album. Most of Rhino reissues are incredibly awesome (like The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads for example) and I hope this one is just as well.

  16. Michael, thanks, yes, the re-issue of Buckley's first album is beautiful and sounds great. It includes mono and a bunch of demos. I'm planning on posting it third


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