So… I busted my needle yesterday… on Tim Hardin’s This is Tim Hardin. Lucky for the household that we have “spare” turntables scattered around, so I was able to get my (much-needed) Hardin fix. Now, in addition to being sick for destroying a few choice Hardin grooves, I’m in the search for a replacement needle. It never really ends.
Man… two hype stickers in a row? What the hell is goin’ on?! Getting hyped for the weekend, yo! Fine enough… sounds legit. Up for unbridled enthusiasm is this nifty hype sticker to Tim Hardin’s last studio record (more on that here), 1981’s Unforgiven. This rare little glimpse into the marketing minds of yesteryear should get even the casual Hardin fan something to look forward to. Here’s a little secret… it’s worth the hype.
FINALLY completed the much anticipated (and surprisingly elusive) discography with, what appears to be, the last recorded songs by this embarrassingly underrated legend, Tim Hardin. Unforgiven was released in 1981, after Hardin’s unfortunate, yet unsurprising death. As the hype sticker indicates: These are the last eight memorable tunes written and recorded by Tim Hardin (Dec 1980). This is now the second time I’ve purchase this album, which I was (obviously) reluctant to do. You see, I’d shelled out $40 for this exact pressing just under two years ago, but it never arrived, and I was out the $40. This time around, Unforgiven arrived sealed. Virgin vinyl, kids! Like with anything Tim Hardin touched, this is essential spinning material.
Woah, Nellie! This never before released 6-track EP from 1965 is a much needed breath of fresh air among the cloudy boulevards of smog city. Not since 1981’s Unforgiven (an uncompleted album) have we heard anything new from legendary songwriter Tim Hardin. Forget all the bells and whistles about the 45rpm, limited numbered edition, 180 gram vinyl, blah blah blah… THESE ARE NEVER BEFORE RELEASED SONGS BY TIM (MF) HARDIN! Obtain immediately, and at any price.
- Dr. Octagon – Moosebumpectomy: An Excision of Modern Day Instrumentalization
- Tim Hardin – Lost in L.A.
- The Kinks – Phobia
- Van Morrison – The Alternative Moondance
- Harry Nilsson – Pussy Cats
- Arthur Lyman – Bahia
- Leonard Nimoy – Mr. Spock’s Music from Out Space
As a break-off from Atlantic Records back in 1955, Atco Records served as home to non-soul / jazz / blues records throughout the early 1960’s and 1970’s, most notably Cream, Vanilla Fudge, Tim Hardin, and an early 1961 Beatles 7″ featuring Tony Sheridan (though some sources claim 1964). Before turning focus to mid-1970’s hard rock, Atco released catalog no. 33-210, which just so happens to be Tim Hardin’s earliest recordings (1963-ish), This is Tim Hardin. If the catchy logo doesn’t grab ya’, the historical significance of this genius’ earliest recordings should be enough to peak some interest, or at the very least, demand a spin on a random Thursday night.
Happy to welcome my first colored Tim Hardin record into the library. To my knowledge, it’s the only one, and a German pressing to boot. Titled The Homecoming Concert, this live performance was recorded in the songwriter’s home town the same year of his untimely death, and is rumored to have been his last live performance, though, the jury is still out on that claim.
Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger
George Thorogood & the Destroyers – More George Thorogood & the Destroyers
Minutemen – The Punch Line
The Statler Brothers – The Best of the Statler Brothers
Tim Hardin – This is Tim Hardin (mono)d
Underworld – MMM Skyscraper, I Love You
Finishing up my Tim Hardin discography has been a frustrating and bitter experience. Having paid handsomely for his last album, Unforgiven, only to have it mysteriously disappear without a trace or explanation from USPS has left me to question online orders altogether. I could care less about my $40… but I’ll be damned if I’ll pay another $40 ($80 in total) for another copy… on principle alone, dammit!! Sure, I may be slow to let the anger subside, (truthfully, aren’t we all?) but with time, and a Discogs.com Wantlist, I’ve logically returned to my senses. This, a recent online order, was a domestic shipment of a Russian pressed record. It came perfectly packaged, and was adequately and promptly delivered (meaning I got something I paid for). USPS is still on my shit list, as, I imagine, it is for the bulk of you, but with hostile acceptance for wrongful treatment aside, and however described, this household is able to enjoy the subtle genius of yet another Tim Hardin pressing.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s often and widely understood that starting with the first album by any new artist as an appropriate and logical decision to make. Not the case with Tim Hardin’s first album, Tim Hardin 1 I’ll have you know. His 1966 debut was officially his first record, but it wasn’t his first, or even the second recorded. 1967’s This is Tim Hardin and 1968’s Tim Hardin 4 were both recorded prior to the release of Tim Hardin 1, and I’ll say again (like a broken record), both are by far his best outputs. Sure, Tim Hardin 1 has Reason to Believe, a song in which he wrote, but that which Rod Stewart made famous, and sure it has Smugglin’ Man (a personal favorite), and of course How Can We Hang On to a Dream (another which he wrote), that was covered by Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Fleetwood Mac, but newbies to the Tim Hardin carnival should start at the beginning, with This is Tim Hardin. Thank yourself now, and thank yourself later. You’ve had a rough week… treat yourself.
Not unlike the London / Parrot / Coliseum advertinsert from last April, this London / Parrot / Deram insert features, once again, Them, the Stones, and The Zombies under the “teen beat” umbrella, but this time around sporting a seasonably fashioned blue trim. My SO mentioned the other night how I hadn’t done an insert post in a while. Truth be told, I’m desperately running low on inserts, so… off to the local brick and mortar I go for another blaze orange hunt for early Kinks, late Hardin, and vibrant record inserts. Happy Friday, kids!
If there ever was a reason to believe, it would be based in the intellectual knowledge and overall creative fortitude of the exalted Tim Hardin. A Record Store Day exclusive back in 2013, and limited to 1000 copies, Reason to Believe – The Songs of Tim Hardin is a collection of elegant covers boasting a sad, yet respectful tribute to the self-proclaimed black sheep boy.
I’ll admit that I was a little underwhelmed on first spin, having been wet from the clouded storm of Tim Hardin songs performed by Tim Hardin, but once expectation fell asleep, these sumptuous covers stand their ground, and act as a reverent accompaniment to the vast Hardin library. It’s a pleasurable listen, and worthy of a proper, clear-headed spin.
One wonders if Dr. Johnny Fever ever favored Mr. Hardin, and if the Cincinnati crowd ever embraced the heavyhearted songwriter quite like I have. There are a few notches on the Tim Hardin belt that I bet ol’ J. Fever would have enjoyed spinning, and somewhere, in the deep, orange and brown decorated closet of my imagination, a groove or two from Mr. Hardin may very well have found its way onto Mr. Fever’s plate, and was offered for all the Cincinnati area to enjoy.
If Tim Hardin lives, he’s certainly on the air in Cincinnati. Cincinnati, WKRP.
In 1966, Tim Hardin released his first studio album, Tim Hardin 1, and on this radiant release was not a reason to wonder, but instead a Reason to Believe, that Tim Hardin was, in fact, a timeless (and ultimately reckless) force, begging to be messed with.
The album’s third track, Smugglin’ Man, paints a greasy, underhanded picture of a deceitful man, THE man, able and willing to supply illegal substances to, among others, the Indians, the Arabs, and the Jews. This man of opportunity is, of course, Tim himself, or “Timmie” as the song goes. Be it guns, whiskey, gin or blatantly put, “anything illegal,” Tim was your late night go-to guy. Yes, Smugglin’ Man is a hell-of-a rockin’ R&B ditty, sung by a demon with an angel’s voice.
Cut to 1970’s compilation album, Tim Hardin.
Capitalizing on Tim’s breakout success of the late 60s, Tim Hardin (the album, not the man) was yet another repackaged, “Best of,” whose 9 (of 10) tracks made up the bulk of his first two albums (Tim Hardin 1 and Tim Hardin 2, naturally). I’m a completist sucker, so I had to have Tim Hardin, even though I’d already owned these songs two, and some even three times over.
All of this is very well, nice and good, but the (long-winded) message at heart, here, is that there is a hilarious oversight printed on this comp’s front cover. Instead of a rum-runnin’ man with a deviant mind for smugglin’, is instead a jaunty fellow with the habit for snuggling. As it’s printed, Snuggling Man paints a much different, and more family friendly picture than the gin-smugglin’, whiskey-sellin’ scar on the pale face of morality.
So, if you’re familiar with the song, here’s a little gift, smuggled, and snuggled, from me, to you…
I’m an old time snugglin’ man and I know just what to do
I’m an old time snugglin’ man and I know just what to do
I sell guns to the Arabs,
I sell dynamite to the Jews
– Lyrics by Tim Hardin, snuggler extraordinaire.
Because the only way to stop a Tim Hardin train from derailing is a head-on collision with a low-hanging bridge of fate (and that can mean whatever the hell you want it to mean). My latest obsession is now in its third phase of its (six-part) metamorphosis, the phase I call, “The Later Works of Tim that Didn’t Sell Very Well, and That are Generally Difficult to Find.”
The next phase, phase four, is “Formal Completion of Tim’s Studio Albums,” which will kick into gear as soon as my 1970 copy of Suite for Susan Moore and Damion arrives at my doorstep (likely within seven days). The later albums, I’ve come to find, offer much more sentimentality than Tim’s earlier efforts, but still maintain that biting cleverness and songwriting craftsmanship that demand constant and continuous play.
I’m in a Tim Hardin-sized coma, and I hope I never open my eyes again.