Tim Buckley seemed to have little trouble with the much-fabled “difficult second album”. Goodbye And Hello, the follow-up to his 1966 self-titled debut, is considered one of the Washington, DC-born singer-songwriter’s finest accomplishments.
Five of Goodbye And Hello’s ten songs – No Man Can Find The War, Hallucinations, Knight-Errant, Goodbye And Hello and Morning Glory – were co-written by Buckley and his close friend, the acclaimed poet Larry Beckett. The Californian-born Beckett, who, like Buckley, was just 20 at the time of recording the album, said he was an integral part of the album’s production, “able to make musical suggestions on every track”. Beckett later told The Tim Buckley Archives that he wrote an unpublished review of Goodbye And Hello, in which he described it as “an unabashed duo’s musical commentary on the social climate of America back in 1967”.
Listen to ‘Goodbye And Hello’ here.
Raw intimacy, psychedelic extravagance
The US was mired in the Vietnam War and racial unrest at the time, and the turmoil was reflected in lyrics about drugs, love, war, heartache and disillusionment. Pain is at the heart of this groundbreaking album, which was recorded at Western Recorders, Hollywood, in June 1967. On the track Morning Glory, a song Buckley always referred to simply as “The Hobo”, Buckley and Beckett examined the subject of social isolation and rejection, in a story inspired by Buckley’s early childhood, when he lived in a small southern California community adjacent to a “hobo camp”. This exquisite aching ballad features Wrecking Crew veteran Don Randi on keyboards.
Beckett said he was particularly proud of the title track, citing its “musical ambition” and the freshness of the orchestration and Lee Underwood’s inspired 12-string lead guitar. “The chorus lyrics, whose form was indirectly suggested by James Joyce’s musical experiments in the Sirens episode of Ulysses, were meant to be sung on top of each other, contrapuntally, not side by side, antiphonally,” said Beckett.