Woonq Blog

your doors to more information

Archive for the 'Rock' Category

03 24th, 2008

Grace

In the summer of 1993, Jeff Buckley began working on his first album with record producer Andy Wallace, who had mixed Nirvana’s multi-platinum album Nevermind. Jeff Buckley assembled a band, composed of bassist Mick Grondahl and drummer Matt Johnson, and spent several weeks rehearsing. In September, the trio headed to Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York to spend 6 weeks recording basic tracks for what would become Grace album. Jeff Buckley invited ex-bandmate Lucas to play guitar on the songs “Grace” and “Mojo Pin“, and Woodstock-based jazz musician Karl Berger wrote and conducted string arrangements with Jeff Buckley assisting at times. Jeff Buckley returned home for overdubbing at studios in Manhattan and New Jersey where he performed take after take to capture the perfect vocals and experimented with ideas for additional instruments and added textures to the songs.

In January 1994, Music Artist¬†Jeff Buckley left to go on his first solo North American tour to support Live at Sin-√©. It was followed by a 10-day European tour in March. Jeff Buckley played clubs and coffeehouses and made in-store appearances. After returning, Jeff Buckley invited guitarist Michael Tighe to join the band. Jeff Buckley co-wrote “So Real” with Tighe, recorded as a late addition to the album. In June, Jeff Buckley began his first full band tour called the “Peyote Radio Theatre Tour” that lasted into August. Pretender Chrissie Hynde, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, and The Edge from U2 were among the attendees of these early shows.

Grace was released on August 23, 1994. In addition to seven original songs, the album included three covers: “Lilac Wine”, based on the version by Nina Simone, “Corpus Christi Carol”, from Benjamin Britten’s A Boy Was Born, Op.3, a composition based on a 15th century hymn that Jeff Buckley was introduced to in high school, and “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, based on John Cale’s recording from the Cohen tribute album, I’m Your Fan. Jeff Buckley’s rendition of “Jeff Backley Hallelujah” has been called “Jeff Buckley’s best” and “one of the great songs” by Time magazine, and is included on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

While sales were slow and the album garnered little radio airplay, it quickly received critical acclaim. The UK’s Melody Maker called it, “a massive, gorgeous record,” while The Sydney Morning Herald proclaimed it, “almost impossibly beautiful.” The album did go gold in France and Australia over the next two years, eventually achieving gold status in the U.S. in 2002. Grace has now sold over 2 million albums worldwide and has gone platinum in Australia over six times.

Grace won appreciation from a host of revered musicians, including members of Jeff Buckley’s biggest influence, Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page considered Grace close to being his “favorite album of the decade.” Robert Plant was also complimentary. Other of Jeff Buckley’s influences lauded him: Bob Dylan named Jeff Buckley “one of the great songwriters of this decade,” David Bowie called Grace “one of the 10 albums he’d bring with him to a desert island.” Lou Reed expressed interest in working with him after seeing him perform. Paul McCartney, Thom Yorke, Matthew Bellamy, Chris Cornell, Neil Peart, The Mars Volta, U2 and Elton John were among others who have held Jeff Buckley’s work in high esteem. Ali Gay, a renowned contempary dance artist, used Jeff Buckley’s music to create such masterpieces as “Blue Still and Magnum” which feature regularly in music film clips of the modern era.