Jeff Buckley – Grace

Jeff BuckleyThere really isn’t much that I can add to the overwhelming wave of praise that’s leveled towards this album. It is indeed a brilliant piece of work, showing Jeff Buckley’s range as a musician and his amazing voice. But I can try and talk about the 10th anniversary edition, which has been issued with an extra CD (and DVD) full of bonus tracks and goodies. Does it measure up to the original’s quality. The DVD is handy as it sheds some clues as to why certain tracks were included on this edition. The record’s producer, Andy Wallace, apparently had a hard time pining Jeff down to work on certain songs; Jeff’s head was to full of ideas to get them all down on tape. Andy suggested that Jeff (and his three piece band) record songs that Jeff had been perfroming live, during his solo shows. It’s these covers that make up the the bulk of the bonus tracks here.

What’s made clear by these covers is that Jeff had a range of classic influences, from rock to jazz and country. MC5’s classic “Kick Out The Jams” is given a suitably rocking cover, that was recorded live. A delicate cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mama, You Been On My Mind” and Nina Simone’s “The Other Woman”, showed that Jeff understood subtelty. Even with his amazing voice, he decides on a much more low-key delivery. The country songs “Lost Highway” and “Parchman Farm Blues” is a great example of Jeff’s ability of mimick other singers, especially on the latter. “Kanga-Roo” goes on a bit long, and there’s not much difference in the alternative version of “Dream Brother”.

But everyone that knew anything about the origianl album, will be delighted to finally have the wonderful “Forget Her” on the album. It was originally part of the album and made it onto many promotional versions of Grace, but at the last minute Jeff removed it and replaced it with the equally good “So Real”. “Forget Her” existed on bootlegs until now. It’s a grorgeous, melancholy ballad shows the band that Jeff assembled showing their real talent and adding depth to an already brilliant song. When Jeff drowned in 1997, he left behind a meagre legacy; Grace was the only full lenght album he reorded. The Live at Sin-e album was re-issued with more tracks and there was the posthumous Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, which was made up of partially recorded tracks from an album he never completed. It’s another tragic tale of talent cut short, but at least Grace is still with us in it’s, now extended, glory.

It occured to me last night, that adding the video for one of the songs from the album would be a helpful thing for everyone to hear. “Forget Her” was issued as a single in some countries in 2004 and despite the video being pretty substandard, here it is:

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  1. Hi…

    I actually just got into Jeff Buckley like 2 weeks ago. Pretty phenomenal dtuff. I have the regular version of Grace, not the Legacy edition, but the Legacy Edition of Live at Sin-e looks really giood. I’m going to buy that next I think.

  2. The Sin-e album is good, as it’s got plenty of really good stripped down versions of his best songs on it. It’s well worth getting.




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