Archive treats galore. Starsailor should sue
Coming hot on the heels of the comprehensive ‘Morning Glory’ anthology, Manifesto’s effort to add yet another exclamation mark to Buckley’s legacy might seem superfluous. However, Buckley’s tunes get hotter as he gets colder – and the more dust that has accumulated on his recordings, the more interesting they become.
The first six tracks – previously released on the Internet-only ‘Works In Progress’ – were recorded as demos for ‘Happy Sad’ in 1968 and include wildly different versions of ‘Sing A Song For You’ and ‘Buzzin’ Fly’, as well as two songs which evolved into the 10-minute ‘Love From Room 109 At The Islander’. Most notable, however, is Buckley’s restrained treatment of ‘Song To The Siren’, which resurfaced with lyrical alterations (he decided that maybe “I’m as puzzled as the oyster” wasn’t such a great line after all) on 1971’s masterpiece ‘Starsailor’. The second group of songs are sketches for 1973’s ‘Sefronia’ LP, widely agreed to be Buckley’s most over-produced and underwhelming effort. These deceivingly complete-sounding versions actually emerge as superior to their later incarnation, as Buckley’s voice is given more space to perform its renowned somersaults. There are also two songs – ‘The Dream Belongs To Me’ and b – which have never been released in any form. Not so much a greedy addition to Buckley glut, then, as a fleshing-out of a story that still harbours tantalising mysteries.