´Grace´ by Jeff Buckley

Grace is Buckley´s only complete studio album. And, if you only get to do one album in your life time, this is the one you would like to have done.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/chromatic/20207707741

This is the album I discovered late. This is the album if I could back in time I would play all day in my room. Although it was released 23 years ago, there is nothing more now for me. This is it. This is my new anchor.

I was not alone in my late discovery. ´Grace´is now regarded as one of the best albums of all time, and despite only making it to 149 the year of its release, it now graces (I had to do it) the top album lists of publications like Rolling Stone, Mojo, and David Bowie said it was the greatest album ever made.

Jeff Buckley – Lover, You Should’ve Come Over (from Live in Chicago)

The song is about the end of his relationship with actress and artist Rebecca Moore.

“Maybe I’m too young
To keep good love from going wrong”

The album took six weeks to record, with the song ‘So Real’ would be added later on, in June.  Undoubtedly, the most famous track is his version of “Hallelujah”, written by Leonard Cohen, but his version is inspired by John Cale´s version, from the album I Am Your Fan, a tribute to Cohen.

 

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah live at Sin-é

Although it has been covered a thousand times, sang in absolutely every reality talent show, and used as background for a multitude of cheesy on-screen moments, his version continues to be one of the most haunting. It gets under your skin. It is more than a pop song. It is a lament, a plea, a praise, a hymn, a prayer, a love story, a universal place…certainly something more than him or Cohen. We are all together with them. It is a portal to something bigger.

This is a short post, and I will quote this article which perfectly summarizes the album

“Grace‘s strengths have been well-documented over the years: The flawless choice of cover songs, including the definitive reading of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (that we learn on the documentary was actually chosen based on John Cale’s 1991 version from the Cohen tribute I’m Your Fan); the mystic, blue textures of “Mojo Pin”, “So Real” and “Dream Brother” that seemed as related to Led Zeppelin as to Scott Walker as to Buckley’s father; Wallace’s sympathetic, intimate production and the band’s equally sensitive following of Buckley’s lead. And of course, he sang the hell out of those songs. His voice turned upward songs that naturally leaned inward; his reading of Nina Simone’s “Lilac Wine” transformed from misty cocktail lament into a transcendental experience, and the unlikely recasting of English composer Benjamin Britten’s “Corpus Christi Carol” into an ambient lullaby.”

For me, although I discovered Buckley probably in 2003, and he has been slowly growing on me, there were two turning points in my relationship with him. 1, Last year, when I heard for the first time the songs released by his former producer, and he sang this. (I think it was the song I listened to most last year or top 3 for sure). And second, when I listened attentively to his version of “Lilac Wine”. For me, surpassing even the greatest singer of all, Nina Simone.

Jeff Buckley – “Lilac Wine”

 

 

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