Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Another Great Dane

I have fallen in love with Tim Christensen and prior to this week, I hadn't heard a single note of music by this man who has been making music for almost 30 years.

It all started when my friend gave me a copy a DVD called "Pure McCartney," which was a live concert by Tim, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham and Tim's band the Damn Crystals performing McCartney's "Ram" in its entirety, along with some fave Macca solo hits. I was blown away, officially.

You really need to see the "Ram" portion of the show to understand why I'm swooning.

My friend also gave me two of his records, which made me track down two more. But let me not get ahead of myself.  Read a bit about Tim.  This is from All Music:

Tim Christensen is a Danish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who experienced remarkable success during the 1990s in the alternative rock band Dizzy Mizz Lizzy before making his solo album debut in 2000.  Produced by Nick Foss, the eponymous album Dizzy Mizz Lizzy marked the band's full-length debut. The album was a remarkable success, spawning a long string of hit singles ("Barbedwired Baby's Dream," "Love Is a Loser's Game," "Waterline," "Silverflame," "Glory"), winning four Danish Grammys (including Best Danish Group), and going five-times platinum. While the follow-up album, Rotator (1996), failed to rival the success of its predecessor, it was fairly successful nonetheless, spawning a few singles ("Rotator," "11:07 PM," "When the River Runs Dry"), winning the band additional Grammys, and going two-times platinum. Dizzy Mizz Lizzy disbanded in 1998 and Christensen in turn embarked on a solo career. In association with EMI, he made his full-length album debut in 2000 with Secrets on Parade, a Top Ten hit on the Danish albums chart. His second album, Honeyburst (2003), was an even greater success, reaching number one in Denmark and the Top Ten in Norway. His third album and first release in association with Sony Music, Superior (2008), was similarly popular, reaching number two in Denmark and spawning the Top Five hit "Superior" and the Top 20 hit "Wonder of Wonder." 

Tim Christensen has got the goods. He's the McCartney you've been wanting McCartney to be since 1973. He's Harry Nilsson before Harry met John Lennon and Alice Cooper. He's Neil Finn but occasionally rocks harder. He is hook, harmony and heartbreak with captial H's!

Go in and hopefully you will hear what I hear.


ASH On The Beat said...

Great post Sal! I think we are both surprised to discover Tim recently via different friends and are both gobsmacked.

Let's hope this brings more attention.

Well Played!

Anonymous said...

The Pure McCartney DVD is number 1 in Denmark.
In front of Coldplay and Adele..... I'm considering relocating...


buzzbabyjesus said...

That "Venus and Mars" clip kicked my ass. My hair is still standing on end.

Anonymous said...

Nice stuff. Kinda sorta reminds me of another Dane, Anne Soldaat, a Jason Falkner protege. Randy

Sal Nunziato said...


Only recently checked out Anne Soldaat because of the Falkner connection. Good stuff, if a bit more demanding than Tim Christenen.

Chris Swartout said...

Damn, Sal, just watched the Superior video. Now buying that!

Saw so much great music in Austin. You were on my mind a lot. Seeing Shoes finally was amazing. They sure do look older and paunchier, but still have those hooks. But the best moment of all was seeing The Split Squad. They destroyed their set that I saw. Insane. Here are 2 clips I found on Youtube.

And yes, that's Clem Burke on drums!!

cmealha said...

Glad you're on board and thanks for turning me on to the Pure McCartney DVD.

Ken J Xenozar said...

Can't talk now. Gotta go purchase entire Tim Christensen discogrpahy.

William Repsher said...

I really like the song "Superior" -- good stuff. But I have a question. Back in the 70s, when someone like Stephen Bishop came on the radio, we'd all roll our eyes and think, "Oh, no, not again."

But ... isn't what recoding artists like Stephen Bishop did back then fairly similar to what this guy is doing now? He wasn't quite The Beatles, leaned in a light pop direction (albeit light and tasteful), had a very good voice, clearly talented.

Is it the novelty of someone with that level of talent doing the same thing today? Or did it take this long to realize Stephen Bishop knew what he was doing, even if it meant pigeonholing himself as The New Manilow to sell records?

Sal Nunziato said...

I don't see the Stephen Bishop connection at all.

And while I probably rolled my eyes a lot less than most back then, having really enjoyed some of Bishop's hits, I don't really understand your "wasn't quite The Beatles" comment.

Was even remotely close to being "wasn't quite The Beatles?"

The songs I chose to post by Tim Christensen are ballad leaning, but I wouldn't call them "soft rock," which is basically what Stephen Bishop built his career on. Plus, Christensen can and does rock a lot harder with the Damn Crystals.

I guess the "novelty" for me with Tim Christensen is that there really isn't a novelty. He's just talented.

Shriner said...

Was trying to figure out where the melody from "Superior" came from (at least partially...)

It's from "The Trial" off Pink Floyd's The Wall.

It was driving me nuts on the drive in...

William Repsher said...

Tim Christensen sounds like soft rock to me. Like Bread (who could rock, too, however slightly). Stephen Bishop is an archetype I'm using, but there were dozens of acts in the 70s with the same talent level Tim Christensen has, some wildly successful, others mostly forgotten. Which we listened to as a matter of course in our upbringings, not noticing that guys like David Gates were really that talented. (And I'll go out on a limb now, without knowing much about Christensen's catalog, and state David Gates was more talented than he is.)

Don't get me wrong. I like what Christensen is doing. What I'm pointing out is the difference in perception between those 70s acts and what he's doing now. We were not-so-subtly trained to look down on artists like Bread or America ... my point being that Bread and America were actually pretty good! And much more talented than people gave them credit for. There no longer is that strata of bands (or this genre) to put down ... therefore anyone performing melodic pop rock now is recognized as having a lot of talent by a much smaller audience (as opposed to being smirked at by the masses).

We're also talking two different paradigms here. When I say Bread or America, everyone here knows exactly who I'm talking about. Tim Christensen? At least in my case, had no idea who he was, you pointed him out to me, and I'm glad you did. Different times. Different ways of perceiving music and talent. I surely would have bought some Tim Christensen on eight track back in '78. And the cover of the eight track might have featured him in an open-necked shirt, astride a horse on the beach at sunset.

A better example might be Eric Carmen solo as opposed to with The Raspberries. With The Raspberries, the band barely scraped the top 40 (Go All the Way and Overnight Sensation being their biggest hits) and eventually broke up. Carmen goes solo, puts out "All by Myself" (which isn't far removed from "Don't Want to Say Goodbye") and rockets off to 70s Mellow Gold stardom.

When's the last time you heard any power pop aficionado carrying on about Boats Against the Current?

stivseed said...

Sal, you were right.

William Repsher said...

Sal, I just went and sampled the Superior album on Amazon. Man ... this guy is pretty good. Never mind the 70s soft rock comparison(which I don't consider an insult ... despite the ubiquitous rhodes piano I'm hearing on a few tracks ...), that's a solid album by a guy who has his craft down. Wasn't too crazy about the harder Dizzy Mizz Lizzie stuff I sampled from the 90s, but it sounds like he's found his way.

Sal Nunziato said...


I never your soft rock comment was an insult. I'm with 100% regarding both American and David Gates/Bread. I simply cannot hear the Bish/Tim comparison.

Also, I was thinking about something Glenn Frey said in that Eagles documentary. Something like, "Others wanted to stay in that country mode, but I wanted to rock." Then they cut to "Already Gone," which to me simply does not rock. Even "Life In The Fast Lane" just barely rocks.

Same with Bread's "Take Comfort" or "Mother Freedom." It may rock for Bread, but really....

I think Tim Christensen's Damn Crystals rocks.

(Have I said "rocks" enuff?"