Lost Time in a Bottle
Lost Time in a Bottle is a 2014 compilation of rare demos and live recordings that cover a wide range of Jim Croce’s shortened career. Demos of well-known Croce tunes like “Operator,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” and “Time in a Bottle” show a fully capable singer/songwriter. Two live concerts illustrate different sides of the live performer. The final six songs are taken from a 1964 performance at Cazenovia College, 19 miles southeast of Syracuse, N.Y. At the time, Croce was a student at Villanova University and still learning his craft, though he leads the audience well. It’s an admirable show from a young man nowhere near being the established artist who performed at Harper College in Palatine, Ill., on Feb. 5, 1973, less than eight months before his death. The 1973 concert includes several extended stories to the audience (“Tractor Trailer Story Intro,” “Bar Story Intro”) that demonstrate the man’s personable side and his sense of humor as he runs through more than half of his upcoming Life and Times album and a few more from the earlier album You Don’t Mess Around with Jim.