DASHING DEBUTS: Jeff Buckley – Grace

Being the son of a famed songwriter must be interesting. Jeff Buckley grew up as the son to Tim Buckley, a brilliant songwriter who died an untimely death when Jeff was 9, due to a drug overdose. Despite only meeting once, these two had a lot in common. Besides their visually striking similarities, their songwriting were both innovative, inspiring, and dwelled in several genres. Buckley released only one album, Grace, in 1994 before he drowned in Wolf River (Memphis, Tennessee) in 1997. The question remains whether it was suicide or not, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters was the musical legacy he left behind. A collection of unreleased songs, Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk, was released after his death. Grace, however, is considered a classic and has recieved acclaim from the best musicians worldwide, such as Bob Dylan and Jimmy Page.

‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’ is a perfect example of Buckley’s vocal range. His vocal range of at least 3.5 octaves is quite extraordinary, and is remindable of Robert Plant. The classic rock comparisons are endless. The buildup to the eventual emotional chorus in ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’ is masterfully sketched, over lyrics of heartbreak (which is quite common throughout the album). “Sometimes a man gets carried away, when he feels like he should be having his fun,” details a rocky relationship which could be interpretated as some sort of affair. ‘Forget Her’ was originally not on the album, though was included on later editions. It is one of my favorite Buckley songs, as it provides another fresh example of Buckley’s use of melancholy topics to create a strong focal point in the listener’s head. Most people can relate to topics he sings about (break-ups, unrequited love, regret), such as the enigmatic ‘So Real’ or the saddening and brilliant cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, which may be the most well known track on the album. Either way, Grace will be considered a classic for many years to come and a reminder of the genius that the world lost.


Jeff Buckley – Lover, You Should’ve Come Over



Jeff Buckley – Forget Her



Jeff Buckley – So Real



Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen cover)



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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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