Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Tim Hardin - 9 (vinyl)
js_exNC | 12/20/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"An important album of an important songwriter, with less than perfect recording quality. The original songs alone justify grabbing this album; three are excellent. A different story for the non-Hardin songs, though - at best, patchy.This is a review of the original vinyl LP, rather than the CD (although the LP is in close to mint condition). The LP does not include the final track listed (Judge and Jury). Nevertheless, I hope this will help people looking for some info about the album.The album was recorded in London in 1973, with (on vinyl) five original songs, one written in collaboration with Andy Brown (Person to Person) and four covers.The first two tracks stand out, both scoring 11 out of 10: Shiloh Town, and Never Too Far (which has Peter Frampton on guitar), both original Hardin songs.
Hardin's cover of James Taylor's Fire and Rain is, to me, spoiled by the too-heavy strings, and to a lesser extent, bass and drums; they just don't suit the song or Hardin...but his vocal interpretation is beyond question. It would have been better served with more of a Shiloh Town color to the arrangement. It's too late, now, sadly.
Of the other songs on this recording, the covers are less interesting than his original songs. Even though he was, by that time, an addict and on the long ride down, his skill as a singer-songwriter was still growing.
When I wrote this review, it was a few days before the 21st anniversary of Tim Hardin's death, and a little more before what would have been his 60th birthday. Tangled up with heroin and other medications, the tragic loss of Tim, a masterful singer of excellent songs, is made more so by hearing this album and realizing what he was capable of in the later stages of his recording career. He hadn't stopped improving upon Reason To Believe and, of course, If I Were A Carpenter, and it's still evident from his songs on this album. Imagine what he could have achieved if he hadn't died.Definitely worth buying, for the original Hardin songs alone, and not only for hard line Hardin supporters. Don't let this album be the only Tim Hardin one you listen to, though."
Close to the end
Panagiotis Stinis | Minneapolis, MN | 09/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nine is the last studio album that Tim Hardin made. It was 1974 and Tim, only 33 at the time, sings for past loves as if they happened 50 years ago. He sounds tired, disappointed, broken. Strangely enough the orchestration is the heaviest to appear in his albums. It's as if he sings against the world (orchestra). And he wins, whatever is left to win in the dead end race he had engaged himself into. Even in "Blues on the ceiling" where he tries to sound a bit funky, the aftertaste is that of sadness. There are four covers and six originals. I don't know how wise is to look for highlights. Yes, there are a few cuts that are not so good but the whole album can be heard as the last confession of a dying man. If I had to choose one song that would be "Shiloh Town" or "While you're on your way", I can't decide. All the themes dear to Hardin are present here and this time his added experience makes them sound more tragic, more sad, more true. When he sings "It gets so cold in shiloh town birds can hardly sing..." you can see and feel the grey landscape and the frost. I could go on reciting lyrics and the images within them. But you should just listen to the album, preferrably at night. You don't need alcohol. Let Tim sing and the rest will come."