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Jeff Buckley - The Best of Jeff Buckley

The Best of Jeff Buckley

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

PRIOR to his tragic drowning, at the age of 30, on May 29 1997 in Memphis Tennessee, Jeff Buckley had only made one full album to his exacting standards, his 1994 studio debut Grace.

With an ethereal voice that took the music world by storm, Buckley was considered to be one of the voices of his generation, lauded by both critics and the public alike.

Jeff’s flourishing career was sadly cut short when he moved to Memphis in early 1997 to begin demo-ing tracks for what should have become the finished My Sweetheart The Drunk (working title) album.

But now, all these tracks can be heard alongside Jeff’s career defining rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Cohen’s masterpiece has become one of the most covered songs of recent years, and once again found itself at the top of the charts following X Factor winner Alexandra Burke’s version, released in December.

For many people, however, it’s Cohen and Buckley who can claim combined bragging rights for the greatest versions.
Away from Hallelujah, however, evidence of Buckley’s talent and diversity can be found throughout. The Sky Is A Landfill, for instance, is a song of immense power – littered with striking, angry images and some fierce guitar work. It offers a fitting contrast to Hallelujah.

Likewise, Last Goodbye, a timeless rock anthem that fully deserved its place on the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s movie Vanilla Sky, where it worked well alongside the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and REM.

There’s a romanticism to his songs, too, as found in the yearning lyrics of Lover, You Should’ve Come Over and Everybody Here Wants You.

Mention should also be made of further album highlights such as the live rendition of So Real, recorded acoustically in Japan, and Je N’en Connais Pas La Fine (Live At Sin-e), as well as the rock gem that is Vancouver.

If you’ve not heard from Buckley before… or wonder what the fuss is all about in the wake of the X-Factor success, this best of is a great place to start your re-education.

Download picks: Hallelujah, Last Goodbye, So Real, Vancouver, Grace, The Sky Is A Landfill

Track listing:

  1. Last Goodbye (Grace)
  2. Lover You Should Have Come Over (Grace)
  3. Forget Her (Grace Legacy Edition)
  4. Eternal Life (Road Version)
  5. Dream Brother (Alternate Take) (Grace Legacy Edition)
  6. The Sky Is A Landfill (Sketches)
  7. Everybody Here Wants You (Sketches)
  8. So Real (Live and Acoustic In Japan)
  9. Mojo Pin (Live at Sin-e)
  10. Vancouver (Sketches)
  11. Je N’en Connais Pas La Fin (Live at Sin-e)
  12. Grace (Grace)
  13. Hallelujah (Grace)
  14. (Hidden Track) I Know It’s Over

  1. Always good to keep the music in release. Hallelujah, too, is such a beautiful song. I love versions by two Canadians, the gorgeously powerful Allison Crowe, and, this year, the revitalized Leonard Cohen on tour has brought his Hallelujah forth with majesty.

    Tony    Jan 12    #