Dream brother, dream asleep in the sand with the ocean washing over
May 25, 2007 4:33 PM   Subscribe

This Tuesday will mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic passing of Jeff Buckley, the supernaturally talented singer/songwriter whose name, alongside Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, has become a favorite comparison point for rock critics everywhere. Columbia is remembering the day with the release of "So Real," a compilation of 14 tracks, three of which are live, and one previously unreleased cut, his cover of The Smiths' "I Know It's Over." ("Jeff was a huge Smiths fan," said his mother Mary Guibert in an interview. "He thought Morrissey was a living legend, so this song was a very meaningful choice.") BBC did an excellent documentary on him a few years ago called "Everybody Here Wants You," the full vid of which is available here. Another doc, "Goodbye and Hello," ran on Netherland TV in 2000, and there's a multi-award winning doc about Jeff soon out on DVD called "Amazing Grace." It's probably too much to hope that there are many more unreleased songs that were complete (or nearly so), but there was this gem ("Forget Her") from the deluxe edition of "Grace" from a few years ago. And on top of it all, the man was one of the finest interpreters of Leonard Cohen ever, which is saying quite a lot.
posted by jbickers (26 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
it's like, it comes from some place inside I'll never know, maybe too well
posted by four panels at 4:44 PM on May 25, 2007

I'm still a fan of Jeff's version of "Hallelujah," but in putting so much soulfulness into the song, he drained it of all the (very dark) humor.

IMO, of course. Shame he left so early.
posted by bardic at 4:52 PM on May 25, 2007

Too bad it wasn't a cover of The Smiths' "Paint a Vulgar Picture".
posted by D.C. at 4:58 PM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

You were barely thirty, and now you've gone
and drowned, walked off a Mississippi
River marina in Memphis, clothes and all

I actually like this poem more than anything I've heard of Jeff.
posted by roll truck roll at 5:24 PM on May 25, 2007

He's almost as prolific as Tupac from beyond the grave.

I'm still kicking myself for turning down an invitation to see him in Memphis that spring before he died.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:48 PM on May 25, 2007


My wife love his music. I just can't get into it. I don't know why, everyone who encounters it around me seems to rave about how wonderful it is, and I'm happy that they seem to enjoy it. But every time I've listened to it I just get a real 'meh' kinda feeling.

Still, I know Buckley was well respected and jbickers appears to have put together a fine post on the subject. So nice work.
posted by quin at 5:51 PM on May 25, 2007

I just introduced a coworker to Jeff Buckley's music a couple days ago; and realized "holy crap, its been 10 years." 10 years and he's still finding new fans. I had to break the news to her too, that no, she won't be seeing him live after she commented how great he must be live.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:52 PM on May 25, 2007

Excellent post.

SELF-LINK: my Buckley tribute over at Music.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:25 PM on May 25, 2007

I prefer this version of Hallelujah by Buckley.
posted by pruner at 6:27 PM on May 25, 2007

First I've heard him. Sounds like a mix of Fiona Apple and Steven Tyler.
posted by stenseng at 7:05 PM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

10 good years.
posted by acetonic at 7:09 PM on May 25, 2007

Well, I didn't know about Buckley before this post. But Forget Her rocked my world.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:13 PM on May 25, 2007

Thanks for the post! I can't believe it's been ten years. I was devastated when I learned that he died. His music seriously helped me get through my adolescence.
posted by sugarfish at 7:16 PM on May 25, 2007

Jeff Buckley covering The Boy With the Thorn in his Side [YouTube audio only]
posted by psmealey at 7:23 PM on May 25, 2007

Cult of death.
posted by Max Power at 7:33 PM on May 25, 2007

I kind of played the hell out of Grace when it came out.
We were lucky enough to see him at the beautiful Trinity-Spadina church on Bloor Street here in Toronto, which was phenomenal.

I remember the day he died, hearing Kim Hughes announce it on the not-yet crappy CFNY as we were parking in an underground garage at our obstetricians office, on the way to an appointment, with 4 months left to go 'til the birth of our first kid, Olivia.
posted by chococat at 7:56 PM on May 25, 2007

Me = a fan of Leonard Cohen music (especially lyrics) first. Second, got real fond of Jeff Buckley's interpretation of Hallelujah but then I heard John Cale, with strings, and he is still alive and I don't even have a tragic death to add poignancy (sp?) to the song so it takes me back to the awesome song itself well done by a fine singer.
posted by maggieb at 10:12 PM on May 25, 2007


(My favorite Jeff Buckley song is definitely "Morning Theft." The line

love brings us to who we need,
a place where we can save
a heart that beats as both siphon and reservoir

gets me every time. Woo imagery!)
posted by lumensimus at 11:16 PM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

maggieb: you might be interested in Aussie band Monsieur Camembert's Leonard Cohen covers, Famous Blue Cheese (mySpace). No connection to the band, but I've seen this show twice & eagerly await the CD.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:44 AM on May 26, 2007

Bah. Hyperbole much? Cale eats him with Hallelujah, and about the only decent stuff to remain from Buckley is the unfinished Sweetheart the Drunk stuff. Talk about someone who could take a good song and run it into the ground with melismatics and bombast, both in his voice and in the production choices he made. Grace, aside from a couple tracks that stand as classics, is fucking bludgeoned by the mid-90s alterna-wuss sound.
posted by klangklangston at 8:27 AM on May 26, 2007


*looks him up on allmusic*

(I didn't know that he passed away. I was only 10 at the time. For some reason, I had mistakenly believed that he was once a part of Wilco and split off).
posted by fizzix at 8:30 AM on May 26, 2007

chococat; funny, I remember exactly where I was when hearing of Jeff Buckley's death. And while I enjoy his music greatly, he not my favorite artist; less so then too. But I guess I just new that we had lost something good.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:08 AM on May 26, 2007

All those whose melismatics entitle themselves, And whose main entitle is mid-90s alterna-wuss sound, shall feel the wrath of klangklangston's bombast!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:01 AM on May 26, 2007

Cult of death.

It's hard for me to put my finger on it, but there was something kind of morbid and dark about him even while he was alive. When I found out he had died, I was wholly unsurprised by the fact of this passing, just the bizarre manner of it.
posted by psmealey at 10:33 AM on May 26, 2007

Eternal Life (Road Version) rocks way harder than klangklangston and his Doc Martins.
posted by afx114 at 11:44 AM on May 26, 2007


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