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The Grace EP's

Jeff Buckley

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Album Review

For someone who only put out one full-length album during his lifetime, Jeff Buckley managed to leave quite a trail of other material that came out on so many other singles, EPs, and posthumous releases that only the most dedicated fan could keep track of them. This collection of five 1994-1996 EPs, packaged as five separate CDs (each with their own sleeve) in one case, doesn't quite pick up all the stray ends that don't appear on his other full-length releases. But it does contain five EPs that use his Grace album as the nominal touchstone, all of which are now collectable and sought-after as listeners strive for every scrap of Buckley's legacy. Indeed two of these (Peyote Radio Theatre and So Real, aka Live at Nighttown) were promotional-only releases that weren't commercially available. The others were imports: Last Goodbye came out in Japan, Live From the Bataclan in France, and The Grace EP in Australia. For collectors it's quite useful, and not skimpy (adding up to more than two hours even though there are just three to five songs on each disc), with liner notes from musicians in Buckley's band and Buckley's mother some icing on the cake. What of the music? It's kind of a supplement to the Grace album, as it contains live versions (sometimes more than one) of five songs from that record, as well as a few edit versions, a "Nag Champa Mix" of "Dream Brother," and a 13-minute live "Chocolate Version" of "Mojo Pin." These all do what live versions often do: give the artist a chance to stretch out and indulge a bit, something probably welcomed by an overwrought singer such as Buckley. Perhaps more interesting to collectors will be a few cover tunes not on Grace: a whopping 12-minute version of Van Morrison's "The Way Young Lovers Do," a medley of "Je N'En Connais Pas la Fin/Hymne A l'Amour," Hank Williams's "Lost Highway," and a too-extended 14-minute take on Alex Chilton's "Kanga-Roo." And there is, finally, a bonus track added to the The Grace EP (the only song in the package not on the original EPs), "Tongue," a spooky ambient 11-minute studio instrumental. Although this release is good value, be aware that of the 19 tracks, one is the exact same version of "Mojo Pin" that appears on the Grace album; two are simply edits of the Grace versions of "Grace" and "Last Goodbye"; and the exact same version of "Kanga-Roo" is used on the Peyote Radio Theatre and Last Goodbye discs.

Biography

Born: 17 November 1966 in Orange County, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Since he was the son of cult songwriter Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley faced more expectations and pre-conceived notions than most singer/songwriters. Perhaps it wasn't surprising that Jeff Buckley's music was related to his father's by only the thinnest of margins. Buckley's voice was grand and sweeping, which fit with the mock-operatic grandeur of his Van Morrison-meets-Led Zeppelin music. His audacious debut Grace made him one of the most popular alternative artists of the...
Full bio