May 29: Jeff Buckley died in 1997
“He really wasn’t built for the strand of rock music born of rebellion or release; he was a songbird…”
– Dominique Leone (Pitchfork)
Today marks the seventeenth anniversary of Jeff Buckley’s tragic drowning in the Wolf River. Jeff Buckley was a man who shunned celebrity, he had spent two years touring in support ofGrace, before recording what he intended be his next album, My Sweetheart the Drunk.
He never got to see its release. In 1997, while re-recording a few songs, Jeff Buckley drowned after going for a swim. It was ruled an accidental drowning.
It was posthumously released under the name Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk after Buckley’s mother asked for a title change because of the unfinished state of the songs.
“Jeff Buckley was a pure drop in an ocean of noise.”
Jeffrey Scott “Jeff” Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997), raised as Scotty Moorhead, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He was the son of Tim Buckley, also a musician. After a decade as a guitarist-for-hire in Los Angeles, Buckley amassed a following in the early 1990s by playing cover songs at venues in Manhattan’s East Village, such as Sin-é, gradually focusing more on his own material. After rebuffing much interest from record labels and his father’s manager Herb Cohen, he signed with Columbia, recruited a band, and recorded what would be his only studio album, Grace. (wikipedia)
Documentary from Columbia Records on the making of Grace:
Awards and nominations
- MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best New Artist in a Video for “Last Goodbye”, 1995.
- Rolling Stone magazine nomination for Best New Artist, 1995.
- In 2006, Mojo named Grace the #1 Modern Rock Classic of all Time. It was also rated as Australia’s second favorite album on My Favourite Album, a television special aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on December 3, 2006.
- Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Everybody Here Wants You”, 1998.
- Grace was ranked #303 of the 500 Greatest Albums by Rolling Stone in 2003.
- Buckley’s cover of “Hallelujah” was ranked #259 of the 500 Greatest Songs by Rolling Stone in 2004.
- Rolling Stone ranked Buckley #39 in its 2008 list: The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
The Album of the day is of course Grace: