The Grace of Jeff Buckley

With the release last week of Jeff Buckley’s You and I, we are again graced with his presence some 19 years after his death. If only it were you and I, Jeff…if only. Sigh….
You and I brings us covers and demo recordings from the Sony Music Archives, raw and unaltered. For anyone like me who fell in love with Buckley after hearing Last Goodbye back in 1994, this is a must listen. His beautiful voice takes on Bob Dylan’s Just Like a Woman, The Boy with the Thorn in His Side by The Smiths, and Led Zeppelin’s Night Flight. Fun fact: Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti was apparently the first album that Buckley owned (and coincidentally a CD I have checked out right now!).
Since his accidental death from drowning the summer of 1997, I have replayed his masterful Grace more times than I can count. It’s timeless. Favorite track? Oh that’s a tough one. Always Last Goodbye, but also So Real, and Lover You Should Have Come Over. And of course his version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah– which I’ve seen referenced to be among the best covers of the song.
In 1998, I eagerly purchased the posthumous release Sketches (For My Sweetheart the Drunk), a compilation of songs put together by Buckley’s mother Mary Guibert, friend Michael J. Clouse, Buckley’s bandmates, and Chris Cornell (of Soundgarden). If you listen to one track on this 2 disc set, it should be Everybody Here Wants You. Personally I think Jeff was channeling his inner Maxwell from Urban Hang Suite.
More recently I checked out the 2012 film Greetings from Tim Buckley. It shows Jeff getting ready to preform at a tribute concert for his late father, the musician Tim Buckley. It also gives a bit of background into that father-son relationship, or lack thereof. I was skeptical how Gossip Girl‘s Penn Badgley was going to do as Jeff, but he surprised me. Imogen Poots also stars.
Well I’ve spent too long away from listening to You and I, I must get back to Jeff!

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