‘Tim Hardin 2’: A Beautiful Album That Stands The Test Of Time

“A year after his seminal folk-rock debut, Tim Hardin seemed to escape the problems of the supposedly ‘difficult second album’ with the stunning Tim Hardin 2, which was released by Verve in April 1967. Hardin’s songwriting talents were already clear from his first album, Tim Hardin 1 (the song ‘Reason To Believe’ attracted immediate interest from other performers) and this lyrical reputation was cemented with its follow-up, especially the gorgeous opening track, ‘If I Were A Carpenter’. (Both albums, along with Hardin’s other recordings for Verve, are all brought together on the collection Hang On To A Dream: The Verve Recordings.) Within three years, this song had already become something of a modern classic, particularly after Hardin’s successful concert at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. ‘If I Were A Carpenter’ was a 60s hit for Bobby Darin, Joan Baez and Four Tops, and has since been recorded more than 200 times, including versions by Johnny Cash, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant, Burl Ives and even Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy. The gorgeous love song was written just after Hardin had met his future wife, the actress Susan Yardley Morss. On the album cover, Morss is pictured touching her pregnant stomach as Hardin gazes out at the back courtyard of their Spanish house in Los Angeles. Hardin, who was born in Eugene, Oregon, was just 26 when he released the album, for which he wrote all 10 songs. One highlight is a moving tribute to the country singer Hank Williams. It was no coincidence that the early death of Williams, only 29 when he passed away, provided inspiration for Hardin (‘Goodbye Hank Williams, my friend/I didn’t know you, but I’ve been the places you’ve been’). Before making his breakthrough as part of the Greenwich Village folk scene, Hardin had been a marine and even seen some action in Vietnam. It was during his time in the army that he developed a heroin addiction. The addiction would prove hard to shake and eventually lead to Hardin’s own sorrowful death, at the age of 39, from an overdose. But Tim Hardin 2 allows us to enjoy his young talent at its peak. What set him aside from some of his folk contemporaries was a rich, artful voice that brought out the despair and longing in some of his songs. …”
udiscovermusic (Audio/Spotify)
W – Tim Hardin 2, W – Hang On to a Dream: The Verve Recordings
Discogs (Video), Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Tim Hardin 2 10 videos, Hang On To A Dream: The Verve Recordings 47 videos

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