Thursday, March 06, 2008

Jeff Buckley - Grace

I signed on to itunes this evening, and happened to glance down at the "Top Songs" on the right hand side. Currently, the #2 most downloaded song on itunes is "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley, a song that was recorded almost 13 years ago?

How did this happen?

American Idol

One of the guys performed a decent version of the song during Tuesday's 80's night (originally, the song was recorded by Leonard Cohen in the 80's, and has since been covered a ton).

This show has such amazing influence. The judges had a few comments about how much they loved the song, and Randy Jackson even name-checked Jeff.

The album that features "Hallelujah" - Grace - is one of the very few CD's I have purchased twice. Once, back in 1995, and again in 2004 when the remastered Deluxe version was released with a second CD of music. It is undoubtedly one of my favorite albums to this day.

At the time, he was more of a critical favorite than a commercial success. But during my final few months at WBRU, we played a couple songs from the CD in regular rotation, one of them - "Last Goodbye" - might be my favorite song from the 90's. I remember catching the very end of his set at the old Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel location on Westminster St. when he was opening for Juliana Hatfield.

In fact, I even seem to recall a story of a friend of mine sleeping with Jeff. Who knows if that is true, but I kind of believe her.

Jeff became a bit of a legend, however, because he went and drowned in the Mississippi River in 1997. Since then, his estate has been carefully managed by his mother, and they have done an admirable job keeping his legacy going, releasing a few decent posthumous albums and licensing his music. In 2002, Grace finally went gold in the US (500,000 copies), probably through lots of word of mouth and people "discovering" his music.

Now, the biggest show on TV pushes one of his songs to #2 on itunes with a simple 2 minute cover version and Randy's mention of his name.



Dustin said...

My iPod LOVES Jeff Buckley. My "shuffle" feature is useless. Mr. iPod is all about Sketches (For My Sweetheart the Drunk).

The Fuz said...

I absolutely adore this album. I wish a reality TV show wasn't the catalyst for the download of a great album and a great song...ah the dumbing down of America.