Tim Hardin – Nine (1974 )

FrontCover1.jpgNine is an album by folk artist Tim Hardin, recorded in England and released in 1973. It was Hardin’s final finished studio album.

After the termination of his contract with Columbia, Hardin signed with GM Records. He had previously attempted to record “Shiloh Town” during the aborted Nashville sessions in 1968. The song was based on a traditional song, recorded previously by Richie Havens. The track “Blues on the Ceiling” was erroneously credited to Hardin and “While You’re on Your Way” and “Never Too Far” were re-workings of his songs from his first album. The album was his last complete studio recording and was not released in the US until 1976. (by wikipedia)

Recorded in England during 1973, Tim Hardin’s Nine album — which was actually his seventh or eighth, depending upon how and where one started counting and what one counted — has a most unexpected complement of players, including Peter Frampton, Andy Bown of Status Quo, future Strawbs member John Mealing, Jimmy Horowitz, Lesley Duncan, Sue Glover, and Madeline Bell, and also the most heavily produced sound of any of his records. Tim Hardin 1 and Tim Hardin 2 may have had orchestral accompaniment dubbed on, but here Hardin is working with a full electric band and a coterie of backup singers, and some orchestral and sax accompaniment. The resulting album is not that far from Hardin’s classic Verve Records releases in terms of content, a mix of confessional originals interspersed with a handful of covers, of which the best is a wrenchingly moving interpretation of James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain.”


This proved to be Hardin’s final finished studio album, and there is a real sense — for all of the thick electric band sounds all over this record — of someone singing his insides out. Some of what’s here is a shadow of the kind of writing that he did a decade earlier, although none of it is dull or predictable, and other songs, such as “Person to Person,” possess haunting resonances from those early days. It’s all surprisingly good listening, and that goes double for fans of Hardin, though they may also be disturbed by some of what they hear and read. The album’s original closer, “While You’re on Your Way,” expresses a depth of longing and sadness that could easily have been Hardin’s musical epitaph.  (by Bruce Eder)


Andy Bown (bass)
Bob Cohen (guitar)
Mike Driscoll (drums)
Tim Hardin (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Jimmy Horowitz (keyboards)
David Katz (violin, strings)
John Mealing (piano)
Peter Frampton (guitar on 02. + 03.)
background vocals:
Liza Strike – Sue Glover – Madeline Bell


01. Shiloh Town (Traditional/Hardin) 2.56
02. Never Too Far (Hardin) 3.02
03. Rags And Old Iron (Brown/Curtis) 4.44
04. Look Our Love Over (Hardin) 4.53
05. Person To Person (Brown/Hardin) 3.38
06. Darling Girl (d’Albuquerque) 4.15
07. Blues On The Ceiling (Neil) 3.02
08. Is There No Rest For The Weary (Troiano) 3.11
09. Fire And Rain (Taylor) 4.31
10. While You’re On Your Way (Hardin) 3.28


Tim Hardin (December 23, 1941 – December 29, 1980)

On December 29, 1980, Hardin was found on the floor of his Hollywood apartment by longtime friend Ron Daniels. He died of a heroin overdose. His remains were buried in Twin Oaks Cemetery in Turner, Oregon.


Tim Hardin – This Is Tim Hardin (1967)

OriginalFrontCover1A gentle, soulful singer who owed as much to blues and jazz as folk, Tim Hardin produced an impressive body of work in the late ’60s without ever approaching either mass success or the artistic heights of the best singer/songwriters. When future Lovin’ Spoonful producer Erik Jacobsen arranged for Hardin’s first recordings in the mid-’60s, Hardin was no more than an above-average white blues singer, in the mold of many fellow folkys working the East Coast circuit. By the time of his 1966 debut, however, he was writing confessional folk-rock songs of considerable grace and emotion. The first album’s impact was slightly diluted by incompatible string overdubs (against Hardin’s wishes), but by the time of his second and best LP, he’d achieved a satisfactory balance between acoustic guitar-based arrangements and subtle string accompaniment. It was the lot of Hardin’s work to achieve greater recognition through covers from other singers, such as Rod Stewart (who did “Reason to Believe”), Nico (who covered “Eulogy to Lenny Bruce” on her first album), Scott Walker (who sang “Lady Came From Baltimore”), Fred Neil (“Green Rocky Road” has been credited to both him and Hardin), and especially Bobby Darin, who took “If I Were a Carpenter” into the Top Ten in 1966. Beleaguered by a heroin habit since early in his career, Hardin’s drug problems became grave in the late ’60s; his commercial prospects grew dimmer, and his albums more erratic, although he did manage to appear at Woodstock. His end was not a pretty one: due to accumulated drug and health problems, as well as a scarcity of new material, he didn’t complete any albums after 1973, dying of a drug overdose in 1980.

TimHardinHardin’s very earliest recordings from approximately 1964, not issued until the late ’60s, when he had achieved some success with his albums for Verve. Accompanied by nothing besides his own guitar, Hardin’s arrangements are far sparser and bluesier than his folk-rock work for Verve. Over half of the ten tracks are traditional blues numbers like “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “House of the Rising Sun,” and even the four originals (one co-written by future Holy Modal Rounder Steve Weber) are in a very similar straight blues style. The material isn’t nearly as distinctive as the best of Hardin’s work, but the performances rank with Dave Van Ronk and Fred Neil as the best white blues/acoustic folk to emerge from the early-’60s Greenwich scene (indeed, Hardin covers Neil’s “Blues on the Ceiling” here). The hollow, reverbed, one-man-sitting-alone-in-an-empty-room production gives this album a haunting, somber feel (though not to its detriment). While not as good as Fred Neil’s similar material from this era, it’s still well worth tracking down. (by Richie Unterberger)

Tim Hardin (vocals, guitar)

Alternate frontcover
(“electronically re-recorded to simulate stereo”)

01. I Can’t Slow Down (Hardin) 3.25
02. Blues On The Ceilin’ (Neil) 3.55
03. Stagger Lee (Traditional) 3.10
04. (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 4.20
05. I’ve Been Working On The Railroad (Traditional) 2.47
06. House Of The Rising Sun (Traditional) 4.07
05. Fast Freight (Hardin) 4.05
06. Cocaine Bill (Traditional) 2.53
07. You Got To Have More Than One Woman (Hardin) 2.00
08. Danville Dame (Weber/Hardin) 2.05