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. The CD reissue, in addition to offering excellent sound and nicely detailed notes (which tell of Hardin's physical deterioration), also includes the accompanying single "Judge and Jury," which was never on the album.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder