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Jeff Buckley

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I was listening to Grace earlier today and was reminded of how amazingly gifted and moving Jeff Buckley could be. He sometimes (or maybe often) overused his range where some subtlety would have helped. But when everything fell into place, angels sang through him. If he'd have stuck around for a while longer - with the help of a great producer - who knows what kind of brilliance he could have recorded.

I own Grace, The Grace EPs and Mystery White Boy: Live '95-'96. Is anything else worth picking up? What is your favorite song by him (original or cover)? Whatever, I'd just like to start a discussion about his music. That is, if anyone cares anymore.
post #2 of 35
I really only know Grace, I like his dad Tim better, and Jeff's version of Hallelujah deserves some kind of award for being a) one of the most ubiqutious covers out there (I much prefer Rufus Wainwright's version) and b) becoming so commonplace during a television show's moment where the characters contemplate their lives and the tragedy that has befallen them.
post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC
I own Grace, The Grace EPs and Mystery White Boy: Live '95-'96. Is anything else worth picking up? What is your favorite song by him (original or cover)? Whatever, I'd just like to start a discussion about his music. That is, if anyone cares anymore.
I'd definitely recommend Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk. It's the album he was working towards putting together when he died. It's not as immediately accessible as Grace, but the writing is strong ("Morning Theft" is a favorite).
post #4 of 35
You definitly need to check out Lover, You Should Have Come Over (the cover) by Jamie Cullum.

I'm also only familiar with Grace. It was difficult for me to appreciate Jeff Buckley since I came from more of a punk/industrail background. Later on in life when I started to listen to Gavin DeGraw and Jason Mraz I picked up Grace again and was blown away by Buckley's range. I think his voice probably would have been put to better use with different musicians backing him in my opinion.

There was a rumor a few years ago that there was going to be a film about Buckley and that Flyboy James Franco would play him. Anybody hear anything about that?
post #5 of 35
I got to see Jeff Buckley live a few years back (he opened for Juliana Hatfield) at the Tradewinds, here in NJ (it's gone now).

Great show - he was definitely on his game that night. Hell, there was feedback on his mike, and he mimicked the sound right back at it, which got the crowd and him laughing - he had the audience in the palm of his hand from that point on. he even crowd surfed, and lost his wallet. next day on MTV they did an interview with him, and he asked if anyone from last night had found his wallet.
post #6 of 35
i also second My sweetheart the drunk, it's a good two disc set, I'm more of a fan of the first CD over the second but then again it's what he was working on before he died, but a good CD pick it up
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by garcia5
There was a rumor a few years ago that there was going to be a film about Buckley and that Flyboy James Franco would play him. Anybody hear anything about that?
Wow, really? Hadn't heard that rumor. The only one I'd heard was that Brad Pitt was obsessive about getting the rights to tell Buckley's story, but Jeff's mother was (and as far as I know, continues to be) very resistant to the idea. I think there was a time Pitt wanted to play the role himself. Maybe Franco would be Pitt's choice if the project happens? I can see a physical resemblance, but that's about it.
post #8 of 35
Check this out. It's a song he did with Liz Fraser of Cocteau Twins.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XTNLIPCH
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Banks is my hero
I'd definitely recommend Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk. It's the album he was working towards putting together when he died. It's not as immediately accessible as Grace, but the writing is strong ("Morning Theft" is a favorite).
I agree - SfMStD is solid. Live at Sin-E is very good as well - pre-record contract Jeff Buckley.
post #10 of 35
If you can find it cheap enough, I recommend Grace (Legacy Edition). It's got a remastered version of the original Grace LP, plus a second disc of music videos, the great song "Forget Her" (which isn't anywhere else) plus a few odds and ends and covers that really showcase Buckley's range and influences. I have the original Grace LP and found the Legacy version worth it.
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely look into "Sketches" and is that a fitting name? As in - I know that it was unfinished but sounds like it's good stuff anyway.

I've had the "Grace" Legacy edition on my neverending want-list ever since way back when it came out so maybe I need to bump that up in priority.
post #12 of 35
The Live at Sin-e disc is what got me interested in Buckley. It's hard to digest at first, but once you're into it, it's awesome.
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC
Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely look into "Sketches" and is that a fitting name? As in - I know that it was unfinished but sounds like it's good stuff anyway.
Some of it's more than good. The first disc is, for all intents and purposes, a finished CD, albeit one with which Buckley was unhappy in terms of Tom Verlaine's production and, in a few cases, song inclusion. But there are songs on here, like "Morning Theft," "Vancouver," "Everybody Here Wants You," and "The Sky is a Landfill" that show Buckley expanding on his vision and absolutely making good on the promise of Grace. The second CD is largely composed of four-track recordings (along with a few differently-mixed versions of songs from the first disc) that Buckley was developing for a re-thought version of the album. Some are very sketchy, indeed, with Buckley tapping on the mic to simulate percussion, but it shows him going in even weirder directions (weird time signatures abound, and there's an early Genesis cover included to drive the prog point home; there's also one that sounds like it would have been an AC/DC style stomp had he recorded it with a band). But among some of this more disparate and challenging material, there's also the more straightforward "Jewel Box," which is probably one of my favorite Buckley songs.

Quote:
I've had the "Grace" Legacy edition on my neverending want-list ever since way back when it came out so maybe I need to bump that up in priority.
The Grace Legacy Edition is cool, but you might get even more out of the Live at Sin-E Legacy Edition, which is just Buckley and an electric guitar. The original release was a four-song EP (2 songs that ended up in band versions on Grace, plus a Van Morrison cover and a French standard) that absolutely killed; the Legacy Edition is a two-disc monolyth that has him going through a number of songs from Grace in their early versions, plus tons and tons of interesting covers (Zeppelin's "Night Flight" is particularly neat, but there's more Van Morrison, some Dylan, Ray Charles).

I can go on and on about Buckley (and, IMO, to complain about him overusing his range is missing the point in the same way it would be to claim that Hendrix needed to reign it in). I saw him twice, once before Grace was released, and both shows were and are among the best I've ever seen. The band I was in a number of years ago (Dimes, which still gets a shoutout on the forum headings here!) headlined a local Buckley tribute, and we ended up developing and modifying some of the Sketches songs ("Jewel Box," "We Could Be So Happy Baby," "The Sky is a Landfill," and "Vancouver") to give them a rockier edge than is given to a lot of Buckley covers - they're all too often performed by waify solo artists with acoustic guitars. Last year or so - many years after our demise - our singer posted videos from the show here, if anyone's interested - we were a pretty new band at the time, so you'll have to forgive any sloppiness, along with the bad audio (and, unfortunately, the version of "Jewel Box" isn't up, but you'll have to take my word for it that the arrangement was pretty fucking awesome, if not the performance). Anyway, if it hadn't been for Buckley and, specifically, playing that tribute show, I wouldn't have met my wife, who's twice the Buckley fan I am (she spent years assembling what I'm pretty sure is the definitive Buckley bootleg show and rarities MP3 collection - it's kind of staggering).

End of illness-inspired rant.
post #14 of 35
Oh, yeah - I'd also recommend checking out the Live in Chicago DVD. It's a pretty representative full band live set with mostly Grace stuff (I was at the Madison show the night before it was taped). It's not much more than basic show footage (though nicely captured), but it's amazing to watch the guy at work.
post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
Dave, I enjoyed the rant. I'll have to check out your old band's clip sometime tonight. The Sin-E Legacy Edition sounds wonderful. Maybe that will be my next Jeff Buckley purchase. I'd like to come back and reply a bit more to your messages later.

But before I go, I wanted to clarify that by "overusing range", I'm referring to some of the crazy vocal experiments Jeff would do - primarily in live performances I believe. I don't want to make a big deal of that though because he did have amazing vocal abilities.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC
Dave, I enjoyed the rant. I'll have to check out your old band's clip sometime tonight. The Sin-E Legacy Edition sounds wonderful. Maybe that will be my next Jeff Buckley purchase. I'd like to come back and reply a bit more to your messages later.

But before I go, I wanted to clarify that by "overusing range", I'm referring to some of the crazy vocal experiments Jeff would do - primarily in live performances I believe. I don't want to make a big deal of that though because he did have amazing vocal abilities.
Yeah, but I think that stuff is one of the reasons he's so impressive - he wasn't holding back. When you pick up Live at Sin-E, check out his cover of Van Morrison's "The Way Young Lovers Do" (which was one of the four songs on the original Sin-E release). Among many impressive feats (like covering the horn part using guitar taps), he manages an extended scat solo, culminating in one of the highest notes I've ever heard a human being hit.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by RathBandu
I Jeff's version of Hallelujah deserves some kind of award for being a) one of the most ubiqutious covers out there (I much prefer Rufus Wainwright's version) and b) becoming so commonplace during a television show's moment where the characters contemplate their lives and the tragedy that has befallen them.
I was talking with a friend of mine about how people have their little boxes of bands they like and get bitter when people discover them - IMO this is a great example of that - Buckley's "Hallelujah" is absolutely sublime, but has threatened to veer into the realm of trite and cliched due to blatant overuse.

I think it's timeless - but much like "What a Wonderful World" the artistic achievement is rapidly becoming overwhelmed by the lack of need to ever hear the song again.
post #18 of 35
I think Live in Chicago must have been the Buckley concert that was on one of the HD channels on cable when I was channel-surfing awhile back. Mostly a straightforward live show - could it have been anything else?

Poking around YouTube one night, I searched "Hallelujah" on a whim. Discovered two things: (1) there are a lot more internet-savy Jeff Buckley fans out there than internet-savy Leonard Cohen fans, at least when it comes to inspiration for "performances" of this song; and (2) a lot of people need to have their guitars taken away. Or their internet access. Or both.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC
But before I go, I wanted to clarify that by "overusing range", I'm referring to some of the crazy vocal experiments Jeff would do - primarily in live performances I believe.
You don't really care for music, do ya?
post #20 of 35
Thread Starter 
Wrong. One of the joys of my life is constantly searching for new reasons to stay excited about music. Half of the time I'm interested in something experimental and the other half is less challenging stuff.

Look MM, I started this thread in part to praise Jeff for being such a rare and unbelievable talent. But in my opinion, some of his songs or performances worked better than others. I could say the same thing about Zappa, Hendrix, Zorn or Coltrane and pretty much any of my favorite artists/bands. I don't see a problem with that. But you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Multiple Miggs
You don't really care for music, do ya?
post #21 of 35
Thread Starter 
Whoa, I must check that out. Love Van Morrison and love that song. By the way, I highly recommend the live Van disc It's Too Late to Stop Now to anyone who has ever enjoyed a Van Morrison song. It is a great album (but judging by the current price on Amazon, is it OOP?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB
Yeah, but I think that stuff is one of the reasons he's so impressive - he wasn't holding back. When you pick up Live at Sin-E, check out his cover of Van Morrison's "The Way Young Lovers Do" (which was one of the four songs on the original Sin-E release). Among many impressive feats (like covering the horn part using guitar taps), he manages an extended scat solo, culminating in one of the highest notes I've ever heard a human being hit.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC
Wrong. One of the joys of my life is constantly searching for new reasons to stay excited about music. Half of the time I'm interested in something experimental and the other half is less challenging stuff.

Look MM, I started this thread in part to praise Jeff for being such a rare and unbelievable talent. But in my opinion, some of his songs or performances worked better than others. I could say the same thing about Zappa, Hendrix, Zorn or Coltrane and pretty much any of my favorite artists/bands. I don't see a problem with that. But you do?
You've never heard "Hallelujah" then?
post #23 of 35
I just know that I am constantly amazed by Lover, You Should Have Come Over.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multiple Miggs
I think Live in Chicago must have been the Buckley concert that was on one of the HD channels on cable when I was channel-surfing awhile back. Mostly a straightforward live show - could it have been anything else?
If it was a whole show, it's almost certainly Live in Chicago. I'm not aware of any other commercially available live performances (and the video quality is almost unnervingly pristine, so it would make sense it would be on an HD channel).

Quote:
Poking around YouTube one night, I searched "Hallelujah" on a whim. Discovered two things: (1) there are a lot more internet-savy Jeff Buckley fans out there than internet-savy Leonard Cohen fans, at least when it comes to inspiration for "performances" of this song; and (2) a lot of people need to have their guitars taken away. Or their internet access. Or both.
Agreed on all counts. If you trace the lineage, though, Buckley was just as guilty as those people of covering a cover. His take was inspired by the John Cale version, not the original Cohen. I'm pretty sure that Cale was also the source for Rufus Wainwright's cover, which is also pretty darn good. Or it could have even been Buckley, since Wainwright's an avowed fan; Matt Johnson, the drummer on Grace, is even his usual touring drummer, and Buckley's girlfriend at the time of his death, Joan Wasser, also plays with him pretty regularly.

On a somewhat related tangent, if you're interested in something with a vaguely similar aesthetic as Buckley, but quite different execution, pick up Those Bastard Souls' Debt and Departure - one of the best sleeper albums of the last 10 years. It's a sort of low-key supergroup composed of two folks from the Dambuilders (including Wasser on violin), two guys from the Grifters on bass and vocals, and Michael Tighe from Buckley's band on guitar. I'm not sure how easy it is to find, but, if you like Buckley, you've really gotta hear it.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC
Wrong. One of the joys of my life is constantly searching for new reasons to stay excited about music. Half of the time I'm interested in something experimental and the other half is less challenging stuff.

Look MM, I started this thread in part to praise Jeff for being such a rare and unbelievable talent. But in my opinion, some of his songs or performances worked better than others. I could say the same thing about Zappa, Hendrix, Zorn or Coltrane and pretty much any of my favorite artists/bands. I don't see a problem with that. But you do?
It was a joke. See, there's a line in the song "Hallelujah"...[sigh] nevermind...
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB
If it was a whole show, it's almost certainly Live in Chicago. I'm not aware of any other commercially available live performances (and the video quality is almost unnervingly pristine, so it would make sense it would be on an HD channel).
That has to be it, it was a beautiful picture. Unfortunately I missed most of the show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB
pick up Those Bastard Souls' Debt and Departure
Sold, thanks. The Cale and Wainwright references remind me of how incomplete my collection is. Brings to mind a question for another thread: is there a point to pulling down one or two songs by some artists on ipod? Don't some albums by some artists almost demand a comprehensive listen?
post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 
You got me. When I read your reply back that it was a joke, I recognized the line that you quoted but still didn't totally get it until I went back and listented to all of this with the "secret chord" reference and all:

I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you
Well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing hallelujah


Well done. And I owe you one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Multiple Miggs
It was a joke. See, there's a line in the song "Hallelujah"...[sigh] nevermind...
post #28 of 35
Thread Starter 
I just got this the other day. Thanks to all who suggested it because it is a thing of beauty. Now I know what you meant about pushing his range. His voice was truly a brilliant instrument.


__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC
Whoa, I must check that out. Love Van Morrison and love that song. By the way, I highly recommend the live Van disc It's Too Late to Stop Now to anyone who has ever enjoyed a Van Morrison song. It is a great album (but judging by the current price on Amazon, is it OOP?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB
Yeah, but I think that stuff is one of the reasons he's so impressive - he wasn't holding back. When you pick up Live at Sin-E, check out his cover of Van Morrison's "The Way Young Lovers Do" (which was one of the four songs on the original Sin-E release). Among many impressive feats (like covering the horn part using guitar taps), he manages an extended scat solo, culminating in one of the highest notes I've ever heard a human being hit.
post #29 of 35
20 years man.
post #30 of 35

I was much obsessed with this guy in my teenage years, both albums are classics IMO. A couple of underrated favourites:

 

 

post #31 of 35
I like Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk a lot too.

Melodically, and even lyrically to some extent, I often think of Morning Theft as kind of a lost Freddie Mercury track Jeff had found and covered. Or maybe he just channeled him. The bridge of (also favourite although not as underrated) Everybody Here Wants You (at around 2:30) is Freddie as fu ... heck too.


Edited by Bucho - 5/30/17 at 3:31am
post #32 of 35
Oh man, 20 years ago. Huh. At the time I lived in the East Village in NYC and saw him live a bunch of times. His sound, though not normally my thing, was fascinating. Haunting even. However, with his full band present, they could definitely rock pretty hard.

Jeff was a nice guy too, there's was one time I saw him in a smaller club that the show went so well and I guess he was in a good enough mood that he invited everyone there to his apt. afterwards.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil spurn View Post

Oh man, 20 years ago. Huh. At the time I lived in the East Village in NYC and saw him live a bunch of times. His sound, though not normally my thing, was fascinating. Haunting even. However, with his full band present, they could definitely rock pretty hard.

Jeff was a nice guy too, there's was one time I saw him in a smaller club that the show went so well and I guess he was in a good enough mood that he invited everyone there to his apt. afterwards.


I lived on the Lower East Side around that time as well and ended up working as a PA for the music video for So Real.  I had to arrange for the ape suits to be sent to us from LA, and was one of several throwing confetti and balloons during the backwards segment.  He was a genuinely nice guy.

 

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

I like Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk a lot too.

Melodically, and even lyrically to some extent, I often think of Morning Theft as kind of a lost Freddie Mercury track Jeff had found and covered. Or maybe he just channeled him. The bridge of (also favourite although not as underrated) Everybody Here Wants You (at around 2:30) is Freddie as fu ... heck too.


Never been a huge Jeff Buckley fan even though I know he is a bit of a missing link among the 90s vocalists I favour. Love his Dad.

I've got "Grace", and I like it but I don't listen to tons. Just downloaded "Sketches for my sweetheart"...and I really like it, on first impression much more than Grace. Songwriting seems more natural and less awkward.

I can hear Freddie on that track, Bucho, but it sounds more like a lost Prince song to me. Lovely, either way.
post #35 of 35
I wish this one was better than 280p, but even as a fuzzy pixelated deal it's still pretty neato. Shows off his ability to rock out as well as his obvious charm and fun sense of humour.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post

Never been a huge Jeff Buckley fan even though I know he is a bit of a missing link among the 90s vocalists I favour. Love his Dad.

I've got "Grace", and I like it but I don't listen to tons. Just downloaded "Sketches for my sweetheart"...and I really like it, on first impression much more than Grace. Songwriting seems more natural and less awkward.

I can hear Freddie on that track, Bucho, but it sounds more like a lost Prince song to me. Lovely, either way.

I get you on the Prince thing for sure, for Everybody Here Wants You the Freddie bit is really just in that breakdown/bridge section. Robert Plant is always the main influence quoted when folks talk about Jeff Buckley, but I reckon he must've listened to his fair share of Queen too.


-
Edited by Bucho - 5/30/17 at 7:25pm
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