As we hurtle towards month end, I wonder once again where has this year gone? You’d think the global pandemic would’ve slowed things down a bit but no, it hasn’t. Fortunately, it has become much less hot and humid. Consequently my thoughts have turned rather more mellow and I’m thinking Jeff Buckley.
Buckley (1966 – 1997), raised as Scott Moorhead, was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. After a decade as a session guitarist 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 Herb Cohen, his father Tim Buckley’s manager. He signed with Columbia, recruited a band, and recorded what would be his only studio album, Grace, in 1994. Since his death, there have been many posthumous releases of his material, including a collection of four-track demos and studio recordings for his unfinished second album My Sweetheart the Drunk, expansions of Grace, and the Live at Sin-é EP.
Chart success also came posthumously: with his cover of Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” he attained his first number one on Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs in March 2008 and reached number two in the UK Singles Chart that December. Rolling Stone magazine included Grace in its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and included Buckley in their list of the greatest singers. I don’t disagree!
Few songwriters have ever fully embodied the heartbreaking feeling of holding out hope that a failed relationship can be mended, all while knowing that it won’t be, quite like Jeff Buckley on Lover, You Should’ve Come Over a track from his only studio album Grace. It’s over-dramatic but I guess that’s what it feels like when you’re still reeling from a breakup, when all you want is a return to the comfort that was ripped out from under you. It’s almost seven minutes long, but you don’t feel its length whatsoever—it could go on forever as far as I’m concerned.