Search - Tim Buckley :: Starsailor

Tim Buckley
Genres: Folk, Jazz, Pop, Rock


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CD Details

All Artists: Tim Buckley
Title: Starsailor
Members Wishing: 12
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rhino / Wea
Release Date: 11/5/1991
Genres: Folk, Jazz, Pop, Rock
Styles: Traditional Folk, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 081227036027, 081227036041

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CD Reviews

Somebody Please Re-Issue
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 03/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although it sometimes seems that there are more albums re-issued on CDs than ever could have been available on vinyl in the first place, there are a few notable albums for which no CD version is available. The recent overhaul of the Neil Young catalogue righted a few wrongs, but key albums by Albert Ayler, Alice Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Terry Riley and Toru Takemitsu remain undigitised, not to mention a hole slew of Motown albums. I particularly mourn the absence of Annette Peacock's I'm The One and Tim Buckley's albums Blue Afternoon and Starsailor.

However, Starsailor (and Blue Afternoon) had come out in America on Rhino in 1989 but had quickly disappeared in some kind of legal wrangle involving Frank Zappa's Straight/Bizarre labels, for which the album had originally been recorded in 1970. 

At its centre lies the starkly brilliant Song To The Siren, best known in its wonderful incarnation by This Mortal Coil, whose watery evocation of the tragic tidal pull of the sirens chillingly prefigures the premature death by drowning of his son Jeff Buckley in Memphis's Mississippi River. Elsewhere Tim's inspired vocal heights are matched by his own 12-sring accompaniment; the extraordinary, sympathetically fractured guitar and elemental keyboards of Lee Underwood; the deathless imploding bass of John Balkin; the Miles-inspired wind instruments of Buzz and Bunk Gardner and Maury Baker's traps and tympani. At times light and celebratory, and at other times harrowing and deeply primal these are songs that find unique territory to stake out and claim.

If the previous album, Lorca, sounds as if it is out on the edge looking for a foothold, on this album, that foothold has been found, and the ideas fully realised"
David Wightman | 01/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is a complete injustice to Tim Buckleys memory that this album is unavailable. I mean, we can buy cds of stuff that he never intended for release but we can't buy this which he considered, and quite rightly, his greatest achievement. Because of legal hassles we are denied the beauty of Starsailor.
Well not quite denied, we could pay ridiculous amounts for one of those rare cds that are out there or we could track down the vinyl.
I managed to download the album by dubious but not immoral means, (surely it is more immoral for the music to die than to be heard). I recommend you do the same. Once you've heard this album then all other music will sound dull in comparison."
Buckley's greatest work
J. R. P. Wigman | Netherlands | 09/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Tim Buckley travelled along a lot of musical paths, and some of these travels resulted in glorious records. "Happy/sad" is the album I love best, but "Starsailor", while more difficult to get into, is very likely the artistical high point of his career.
I should mention that I'm not totally convinced of the contributions of Lee Underwood to Buckley's records: his shadow looms heavily over a lot of Buckley's work and as he's not the genius Buckley was, his presence sometimes is a bit much, and this holds true for "Starsailor" as well. On the other hand, all other contributors to this album deserve a lot of praise for outstanding work.
I find side one (with songs like Come here woman and Moulin Rouge) the weaker of the two, but side two can't be faulted. Suberbly imaginative and experimental songs flow in a well chosen order, leaving the listener completely stunned.
Most famous of course is "Song to the Siren" which doesn't need any introduction. Nevertheless, it's not the greatest song on the record. It's "Starsailor" itself. What an amazing piece of experimental work it is! The words of a great poem ("I am a bee out in the fields of winter ....") are twisted and turned in a swirl of Buckley voices, giving the song an otherworldly atmosphere. I feel that there are some ways out of the stalemate of the "pop/rock-format" which has been milked totally dry and one of them is signposted by this Tim Buckley song.
A lot of people reviewing this album seem to focus on songs like "Song to the Siren". I'm telling you that the real treasure lies in the song that gives the album its name.
Whenever this album is available again snap it up like lightning, because this is one of the truly great modern records."