Just as he was, by all accounts, an unpleasant man blessed with enviably beautiful gifts, so do Tim Hardin's songs clothe often unwelcome sentiments in gorgeous melodies.
In “Red Balloon”, for instance, the balloon is not a symbol of childlike joy, but the means by which Hardin transported the heroin he took with Lenny Bruce. Mark Lanegan's darkly knowing interpretation is one of the highlights of this compilation tribute, alongside The Phoenix Foundation's folk-choir version of “Don't Make Promises”. Most of Hardin's classics are included, though not always treated well: Alela Diane trowels the desolation too liberally over “Hang on to a Dream”, and Smoke Fairies play fast and loose with the lyric to “If I Were a Carpenter”.
Download: Don't Make Promises; Red Balloon; Lenny's Tune