I even saw him one at the legendary downtown NYC spot Sine'. But again he underwhelmed me and I was at the spot to hang out with my pal Matt who was doing sound. Did I just not get it?
Or maybe Buckley was still developing his brilliant whisper to a wail style. The songs mad no impression on me. We may have even spoke. But no photo op (why waste film, yes it was film then) or lifelong bond. But a year later when his debut CD "Grace" came out it changed my musical world. "Grace" is packed with majestic songs sung with pure passion. Buckley's scream is so packed with emotion you can't help but be moved by it. The songs "Lover You Should Have Come Over" and "Last Goodbye" still make me shudder with joy. The CD has been played so many times I have had to replace it twice. I remember one early morning drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with my brother where we blared the CD 3 times in a row while driving at 85 miles per hour through the desert landscape.
"Grace" is the perfect blend of joy and sadness. Exhilaration and desperation. Part Thom Yorke. Part Leonard Cohen (Including a cover of "Hallelujah.") and part Pixies. "Grace" is a most own. If the tracks "Mojo Pin," "Dream Brother" and "So Real" don't move you, check your pulse. You may be in a coma.
While recording demos for his follow up to "Grace" in Memphis Buckley decided to take a night swim in Wolf River. Sadly, that decision would cost him his life. He drowned on May 29th, 1997. His body was found the next day. Robbing the world of more possible greatness from the young talent.
While several CDs of unreleased material have surfaced since his untimely death, none measure up to "Grace" and its enduring perfection. A 2 CD deluxe edition is available and included some cool covers and bonus DVD.