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The Jeff Buckley mystique

Long-gone singer resurfaces with You and I

As he floated on his back singing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” a passing tugboat pulled him under and he was gone.
  • As he floated on his back singing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” a passing tugboat pulled him under and he was gone.

On the night of May 29, 1997, in Memphis, Tennessee, Jeff Buckley was set to begin work on an album of new material. While waiting for his band to arrive from New York, Buckley decided to take an evening dip at Wolf River Harbor, a channel in the Mississippi River. As he floated on his back singing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” a passing tugboat pulled him under and he was gone.

"Grace"

...by Jeff Buckley

...by Jeff Buckley

Nineteen years after that unfortunate event, Buckley’s popularity and mystique are as strong as ever as the release of the new album, You and I, shows.

Composed of never-before released early recordings (most of them covers), the album is a true showcase for the bohemian crooner. His haunting falsetto injects new blood into old favorites, which include songs originally by the Smiths, Bob Dylan, Louis Jordon, and Zeppelin.

Particular standouts include a fun and funky take on Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People,” a sorrowful rendition of the Smiths’ “I Know It’s Over,” and a truly heartbreaking performance of Jevetta Steele’s “Calling You.”

The original songs written by Buckley include the first ever studio recording of the fan favorite “Grace” and the truly surreal yet charming demo “Dream of You and I,” which sees Buckley trying to describe a song that he heard in a dream, which took place at an AIDS rally.

Despite some pretty light moments, an air of sadness permeates the album. You and I shows a young musician coming into his own and it reminds us of all the potential that was lost on that dark, sweltering night in Memphis 19 years ago.

  • Album: You and I
  • Artist: Jeff Buckley
  • Label: Columbia Records
  • Songs: (1) Just Like A Woman (2) Everyday People (3) Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin' (4) Grace (5) Calling You (6) Dream of You and I (7) The Boy With the Thorn in His Side (8) Poor Boy Long Way From Home (9) Night Flight (10) I Know It's Over

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