Youâ€™d have to go back pretty far to find a story of wasted musical talent as tragic as Jeff Buckley. The son of folkie Tim Buckley, Jeff was a struggling singer/songwriter playing clubs in New Yorkâ€™s East Village in the 90â€™swho was finally discovered by Columbia Record execs, who put out his only studio album â€œGrace.â€ The record was extremely promising, but took years to find a following. As Buckley was in Memphis preparing a follow up in 1997, he drowned one night in a river.
Over the past 15 years, thereâ€™ve been a handful of reissues, live albums, and demo collections, of various quality. Released to commemorate the 15th anniversary of its debut, the Limited Edition CD/DVD Legacy Records has put together is pretty impressive. The CD includes 12 live versions of the songs off of â€œGraceâ€ recorded across the globe in â€™94 and â€˜95. Buckleyâ€™s take on Leonard Cohenâ€™s often-covered â€œHallelujahâ€ is still remarkable in its simplicity, as is the equally haunting â€œGraceâ€ (captured here twice from the BBC Late Show and MTVâ€™s 120 Minutes). This collection also comes with a retrospective hour-long documentary on Buckleyâ€™s short life â€Amazing Graceâ€ â€“ solid, but not exactly exhaustive â€“ and a second DVD with 17 live takes. This collection is well worth the investment for longtime Buckley devotees and neophytes alike.
Top Tracks: â€œHallelujah,â€ â€œMojo Pin,â€ â€œGraceâ€ and â€œSo Realâ€
Rating: 8.4 out of 10
Jeff Buckley â€“ Grace Around the World: Limited Edition (CD/DVD)/ 12 Tracks on CD and 17 on DVD/Legacy and Columbia Records/www.jeffbuckley.com