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On May 29, 1997, the world mourned one of the last great musical innovators of the twentieth century in Jeff Buckley. Lost in the waters and the mud of the Mississippi, although his legacy will be spoken about well into this century. The impact of his album Grace has been spoken about since its release on August 23 1994, it’s sublime magic and influence is something which has left a lasting impact on modern music.
Now twenty-five years later, the late star’s estate, along with Columbia/Legacy, will let loose a celebration that will perhaps eclipse every other release towards the end of this month. While Newbury Comics will be carrying an exclusive deep blue vinyl pressing to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Grace. The real excitement though will come from the streaming services, which perhaps makes sense as Grace has appeared in legacy editions in the past.
“Since all we have of his true remains is what’s in “the vault”, I’m thrilled that we can finally fling open the doors of that vault and make as much as possible available to Jeff’s fans: the old ones and the new ones, and the ones who have not yet been born,” said Mary Guibert (Jeff’s mother).
Twenty-five years after the arrival of Grace, Columbia/Legacy is releasing four complete live sets contemporaneous to the album Live At Wetlands, New York, NY 8/16/94, Live From Seattle, WA, May 7, 1995, Cabaret Metro, Chicago, IL, May 13, 1995, and, for the first time in its entirety, Live at Columbia Records Radio Hour (a special full-band show recorded June 4, 1995 at Sony Music Studios in New York City). Most of the music on these live concert recordings is previously unreleased. Also, coming August 23, three classic Jeff Buckley titles Grace (Legacy Edition), Sketches for My Sweetheart The Drunk, and Mystery White Boy will be digitally delivered globally with bonus tracks (originally available only on international pressings) and additional newly available material.
Live At Wetlands, New York, NY 8/16/94
In 1994, Jeff was a word-of-mouth sensation on the New York City club scene, and this show at the Wetlands Preserve, an environmentally-conscious performance space located in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, captures the building momentum behind the singer-songwriter exactly one week before Grace was released. This newly-available set is bookended by two fascinating versions of “Mojo Pin”: the fan-favorite “Chocolate Version” (released on the Last Goodbye EP in 1995) and an engaging run-through recorded during a soundcheck for the set.
Live From Seattle, WA, May 7, 1995
First made available only through a fan bundle of the live collection Grace Around The World in 2009, this show at the King Cat Theatre in Seattle features fan favorite songs from Grace (“Last Goodbye,” “Lover, You Should Have Come Over,” “Lilac Wine”), plus unique versions of Nina Simone’s “That’s All I Ask” and “The Man That Got Away” (performed by Judy Garland in the 1954 film version of A Star Is Born).
Live At Cabaret Metro, Chicago May 13 1995
Recorded in the midst of Jeff’s “Mystery White Boy” Tour and released on video and DVD in 2000, this electric set brings together performances of songs from Grace, classic covers of the MC5 (“Kick Out The Jams”) and Big Star (“Kanga Roo”), plus the rare originals “What Will You Say” and an instrumental version of “Vancouver.”
Live At Columbia Records Radio Hour
This fabled full-band show, finally available as an official release, was recorded June 4, 1995 at Sony Music Studios in New York City for the celebrated Columbia Records Radio Hour program. Here, Jeff performs eight songs from Grace plus covers of the MC5’s “Kick Out The Jams” (first heard on Grace (Legacy Edition) in 2004) and The Smiths’ “I Know It’s Over.”
Grace (Legacy Edition)
Jeff’s debut album was reissued for its 10th anniversary in 2004 with 12 rare and unreleased tracks, including the studio outtake “Forget Her.” The 2019 edition debuts a 13th bonus track: a rehearsal version of “Strawberry Street,” written by Jeff in the late 1980s.
Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk
Jeff recorded material for his second album through 1996 and 1997 with producer Tom Verlaine of Television. This double album, released a year after his passing, now includes 22 tracks from these sessions, including “The Sky Is a Landfill,” “Everybody Here Wants You” and the rarely-heard tracks “Gunshot Glitter” and “Thousand Fold.”
Mystery White Boy
This set recorded live in 1995 and 1996 in North America, Europe and Australia, Mystery White Boy was the first full-length live album of Buckley’s material. It now includes a version of “That’s All I Ask” first released on the Australian edition of the album.
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