Monday, 11 February 2013
Top 102 Albums. No 52. Tim Rose
Top 102 Albums. No 52.
Tim Rose - Tim Rose
"I got a loneliness I can't hide
I got a loneliness deep inside
Got a loneliness eatin' away
I got a loneliness it won't go away"
This album has some rather ripe sleeve notes (Tim Rose hits you in the belly. He comes without the trimmings-raw, tough and incredibly straight. His is a brutishly simple sexuality-passion without design. ) and between the note and the front cover shot which has Rose styled as the bad guy from a Smokey and the Bandit movie or the other guy in a gay western may help explain why it has never had the reputation it deserves.
The most famous songs on the album are Rose's version of Hey, Joe, often cited (somewhat controversially - see clip below and comments) as a huge influence on Hendrix's famous debut. There are also two post-apocalyptic melodramas Morning Dew and Come Away, Melinda. He's big on the aftermath of apocalypses. His cover of Long Time Man is also known to Nick Cave fans as the template for Nick's version.
Rose's impassioned, gravel bed voice soars into the emotional ozone layer and beyond. The backing is restrained and empathic. There is power in the union. (Can I write sleeve notes for the next re-issue?)
I saw him play once in the nineties and we were around twenty years younger than the rest of the audience. A unique experience. He could still cut it and was like Lou Reed's older, funnier, more passionate brother. Or someone who had borrowed Reed's taste in hair anyway.
These are songs of jealousy and braggadocio. But they also undercut themselves with a sense of tragedy and vulnerability. When he sings "I'm gonna be strong"..""And take it like a man" it's only a prelude to when he will "break down and cry". He may look tough but he's an emotional guy.
The versions of Hey Joe, Morning Dew, Come Away, Melinda and Long Time Man on this album are to my ears definitive. Other versions may exist beside them but I've yet to hear a version that makes these redundant. The other songs on the album sit easily with them.
So we learnt how to destroy life on the very planet we live on. Every cloud has a silver lining. Listen to Morning Dew and Come Away Melinda. Treat yourself to the glorious melodrama of our final end.
Here is a playlist of most of the album. The rest hasn't made it to Youtube yet.