Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins:|
"I'd love to sing with Jeff Buckley - Tim Buckley's son. He is currently making his first album, and if it's anything like a radio session I heard by him, it should be amazing. He's written this song called 'Grace', which literally makes the hair on my neck stand on end. I was sweating like a fucking June bride when I first heard him. Music has never done that to me before."
Mojo January 1997
"The album that I've been listening to for the last 18 months is Grace by Jeff Buckley. He is a great, great singer. He has such an emotional range, doing songs by Benjamin Britten and Leonard Cohen as well as his own - such technique and command.
When the Page/Plant tour hit Australia, we saw them and we were knocked out. It was very moving. Someone heckled him from the aduience - 'Stop playing that heavy stuff!' - but he made the perfect reply: 'Music should be like making love - sometimes you want it soft and tender, other times you want it hard and aggressive.' I felt he paid us a great compliment with his music in that style."
The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, California, 6/29/97
"Even if he didn't sell a huge amount of records in the U.S., he had a lot of impact...On writing "Grace":
"I just had faith that whatever he did would be good...I was stunned -- it was so beautiful and perfect...It surpassed anything that I thought he was going to do...I remember thinking, man, this music will shake the world. I was just scared by it."
Ben Folds Five:|
CMJ February 1998
"My singing used to be awful," admits Folds. "I don't have Jeff Buckley's voice. I don't write songs as an excuse to hear myself sing. It's the other way around: I sing so I can hear my songs. It can be kind of scary. You're on the radio next to -- well, on the shelf next to Jeff Buckley. We're in the B's. People can flip through and pick up his record instead and hear a lot better singer. He has that knack. I've had to really work at it. Of course, he probably doesn't play piano as well as me. I'm not going to get all competitive with the guy because obviously he's not doing so well these days."
Letter posted to the internet June 19th 1997
"We were in the studio working on a song called 'Undertow' when we heard the news of Jeff Buckley's drowning. I had played a couple of benefits with Jeff, talked with him a few times on the street or as he mingled with the crowd after one of his shows. He was always complementary and nice to me. There was a period when I couldn't get through the day without hearing him sing 'Hallelujah' 3 or 4 times. He had a one in a billion voice and an emotionally piercing guitar style and.....I know, everyone is saying this, but it hurts so much to lose an artist who was capable of so much before he'd had a chance to do his best work. I guess I should be thankful for what there is: the album "Grace", his first EP, the bootleg live cassettes floating around, and whatever SONY will inevitably scrape together for release. It's a fucking shame."
MOJO Magazine, August 1997
I hope that people who liked him resist the temptation to turn his life and death into some dumb romantic fantasy--he was so much better than that. Not everyone can get up and sing something they take a liking to and make it their own, sing true to their heart and be curious about all different strains of music. Corpus Christi Carol was a completely conceived interpretation. I'd never heard the piece before and when I heard the original I realised what Jeff had done was even more amazing. He'd taken it into his own world. That's something my favorite classical musicians can do, be themselves but use all that expertise to make the music more beautiful. Jeff did that naturally. Only a handful of people are capable of that.
I was amazed when he did meltdown. I asked him what he wanted to sing and he said he'd like to do one of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder in the original German! Absolutely fucking fearless. He was convinced he could sing it without rehearsal, just because he liked it. In the end he did a Purcell song, Dido's Lament, which is in danger of sounding incredibly poignant in retrospect: "Remember me but forget my fate." But he also sand Boy With the Thorn In His Side because he liked it, and Grace to show something of himself.
When he started singing Dido's Lament at the rehearsal, there were all these classical musicians who could not believe it. Here's a guy shuffling up on-stage and singing a piece of music normally thought to be the property of certain types of specifically developed voice, and he's just singing, not doing it like a party piece, but doing something with it.
My last memory of him was at the little party in the green room afterwards. There were all these people sitting round Jeff who'd never met before - Fretwork, the viol group, a classical pianist and some jazz player --all talking and laughing about music. He'd charmed everybody. I'd much rather remember that than anything.
MOJO Magazine, August 1997
Jeff Buckley was a pure drop in an ocean of noise.
MOJO Magazine, August 1997
I knew him as a local guy on the Lower East Side, a great guy to hang with in a bar and talk about music, a very soulful human being. I recall talking about doo-wop and singing along to a jukebox at the Lakeside Lounge - Shambalor by Sherriff And The Ravels and Uncle Sam by The Magnificent Four.
I met him through Tom Clark who sang at Sin-É; he came down to sing harmonies on Tom's demos. He did these incredibly meticulous four-part harmonies which really impressed me. When Patti Smith was working on Gone Again he came by the studio, because he was quite taken with her, and we thought he'd sound good as the boy on Beneath The Southern Cross. and then he played on Fireflies... He was very emotional. I remember at the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame when Frank Zappa was being inducted, Jeff came up to me overcome with emotion truly crying at his feelings for Frank.
Grace was a great beginning, staking out all the stylistic territory. I think he was getting ready to make his first real record, working out what he wanted to say without letting that wonderful voice distract people from his internal emotion. I'm sure he wanted to be more than just a pretty face and voice. He had a vast plain to work in and he never really got to work it.
MOJO Magazine, August 1997
I got dragged down to the Garage without knowing anything about him and I was totally blown away. It was amazing for a London show, silent in the quiet bits and everyone open-mouthed.
Yes, he had a fantastic voice and he was very sexy, but he was a fantastic guitar player as well, which no-one ever mentions. He used a lot of open tuning and jazz and blues, things people still don't bother exploring. He wasn't concerned about 4/4 rock/pop geared at the charts. After an hour and a half I was totally in love with him.
[The encore] Kanga-Roo went on for ever and I thought it was great; I was willing him on, hoping that it would go on all night. It inspired me because he was brave. He wasn't doing what he was supposed to do. It was just after I'd left Suede and he encapsulated a lot of things that I'd been longing for, achieving a kind of spirituality in music without it being frowned upon. He stripped away a lot of myths for me about what you should be.
When he played at the Rough Trade Shop in Covent Garden, I made sure I got in. I stood on the stairs, six feet away from him at eye-level. He did Boy With The Thorn In His Side and he smiled all the way through. Afterwards we talked about the Smiths and the Pretenders. I've met so many tossers in music, the most talented person I've ever met but also the nicest.
He was the one person I was looking forward to hearing new music from. My wife and I talk about music a lot, and we've always said to ourselves, whenever we felt cynical about music, at least Jeff Buckley will always be making great records.
I used to play Last Goodbye every day for about a year, plug in the guitar and play along at top volume. No-one else has come along who made me feel that natural and unafraid of being myself. . . He made me smile.
People Magazine Online's Tribute
"Jeff was music. He was the real thing, undiluted, ferocious. He was in direct communication with a spiritual place that alot of artists can only theorize about. No-one came away from him unmoved. He was always loving, always the giver of hugs. He gave amazing back rubs. He would get down and roll around anybody's dog. He would play music anywhere, at anytime, with anyone. He would call you at 3:00am to tell you he loved you, or to sing whatever was on his mind. Or to talk like 'Colonel Klink' from "Hogan's Heroes"