BC Recommends-Grace by Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley was the son of well-known 60's artist Tim altough they no relationship as such-sadly he tragically drowned in 1997 aged 31-during his life time he had only one studio release his 1994 album Grace (Columbia 475928 2).
Buckley had an amazing vocal range and this was matched by his wide musical tastes-this album ranges from choral classical via chanson to rock and now is becoming a regular in Top 100 Albums of all time lists.
From an Audio point of view it is an excellent recording (Produced by Andy Wallace and mastered by Howie Weinberg)-featuring both close miked vocals on the quieter tracks and the excellent recorded,multi-layered rock tracks-8 years on it still sounds fresh,despite the dynamics the record is never over produced.
The album is not totally immediate but about 5 listens in you should realise this is a classic.
For the smoother Audiogoners,the brillant vocal interpretation of Lilac Wine (made famous by Nina Simone and Elkie Brooks)is worth the price of the disc alone,similarly he produces the definitive version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah-a simply astounding gospel folk version.
He also tackles Benjamin Britten's Corpus Chrsti Carol unlikely as it seems this classical piece fits perfectly on an album that is mainly rock.
The remaining 7 tracks are all originals and feature a lighter,looser Zeppelin-type rock-not unlike the Kashmir sound updated for the 90's (Page & Plant are massive fans of this album)-from the catchy rock of So Real via the intially strange-sounding couplet of openers to the atmospheric finale of Dream Brother it's clear this is an original artist with amazing vision at work.
The two stand outs for me are both originals by Buckley-Last Goodbye and Lover You Should Have Come Over-both track's slightly maudlin lyrics uplifted by driving musical statements brilliantly arranged.
This album was released with minimum fuss but over the years even before his untimely death it was clear it was an unique recording-so much so Bucley himself struggled in it's shadow to follow it up .
A second studio album(a double including demo's etc.,Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk) was released after his death,although brilliant in parts it will be Grace that will be seen as Buckleys ultimate testament to his brilliant voice and talent.
His talent was such also that he was taken on his own merits despite the fame of his father.
Arguably the greatest rock/popular music release of the last ten years this record has something for everybody and if you have the patience to let it grow on you and imagination to cope with it's audacious sweep and range you will be richly rewarded.
Buy this record!
In the spirit of your introductory thread, I find the GRACE selection an interesting first choice. In my repeated listenings over the last 5 years, I find the music compelling and enjoyable, but not totally satisfying. The CD does not find itself in my CD rotation very often. I would disagree with categorizing Jeff's version of HALLELEJUH as definitive; John Cale or John Cale with Suzanne Vega, to my mind, hold that distinction. It is still worth owning the CD, but its appearance in Top 100 Albums of all time puzzles me. If you were to arrive at a 100 by compiling the best 3 albums (on average, as some years are better than others) from 1965 to 2000, I don't believe GRACE makes it.

There you go,ask folks to hold back such comments until the thread reaches those who haven't heard the record-now already the doubts will have started and people who might be marginal could be put off.
Rich your comments are as valid as mine,the top 100's actually include one done with the public for Q magazine.
I think that speaks for itself,especially 8 years on,of course some of these lists are full of nonsense,this one wasn't,it was a decent list.
I stand by my comments and restate in the last 10 years few records have surpassed this one-top 100's will always be contentious-again Rich I welcome your comments but it would have been more interesting to see the reaction from those prepared to take a chance on the record, just to guage how these recommendations might go without a big debate before hand.
Your comments would have been more welcome later as would recommendations of your own,the way the introductory thread has went......,I've lived with this record for 8 years,it has a whole lot to offer as you,yourself recognise..
Great Heads up on this album for people not aware of it.This album is close to a Masterpiece in my opinion.Its easily in my top 100.I use if often as a reference cd.Ben,Rich said it was an interesting 1st choice.Where in your post did you say that?I strongly urge anyone who hasn't heard this to give it a listen.He also has a DVD and VHS available Live in Chicago as well as Grace on vinyl and several live cd's.Enjoy!
Excellent choice. I heard his father at Fillmore East on a bill with Joe Cocker and the Jefferson Airplane. Jeff did a live performance of a few of his songs live on 92.5 FM The River here in NH a few weeks before he died that was fun and compelling at the same time. Both unique and wonderful artists cut down too soon. (ah, but we still have Sting! jsut kidding)
I thought that he had at least two discs out ??? My girlfriend likes him although i've never listened to any of his stuff. Sean
He has about 4 or 5 discs out-only one Studio album was released when he was alive,three or so of the discs are live albums ,the other studio album I refer to in my original post.
It's clear he is going to be treated like Hendrix with a pile of stuff constantly being released obviously of variable quality.
Personally I don't care too much for the live stuff and the 2nd studio album is too sprawling,Grace clocks in at 51 mins.
I picked Grace because I think not only is it his best album but also has sonic qualities that should appeal to audiophilles.
Ben, Couldn't agree more with you. My wife had this for a while and at first I did not care for it all that much, now I listen to it all the time.