American songwriter Jeff Buckley was recognized due to various reasons.
First of all, because of his deep lyrics and highly emotional musical style.
Second, because of his capacity to combine elements of jazz and folk with classical rock n’ roll music, which did nothing but earn him the reputation of a talented and original artist.
Buckley influenced a handful of acclaimed musicians, such as Matthew Bellamy of Muse, and Tom Yorke of Radiohead.
On top of that, other legendary artists have praised Jeff Buckley’s debut album Grace. Just to name a few, the list includes Jimmy Page, Chriss Cornell, Paul McCartney, Lana Del Rey, and Morrissey.
Sadly, Jeff Buckley passed away in 1997, at the age of 30.
1. Mojo Pin
Let’s start this list with the first track on the first Buckley album: Mojo Pin.
Mojo Pin begins with an enigmatic set of sounds that drag the listener down toward a journey of alleviating guitar chords and angel-like vocal melodies.
2. Satisfied Mind
Satisfied Mind was played at Buckley’s funeral.
Originally written by Jack “Red” Hayes and Jack Rhodes, it has been versioned by many musicians, including Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald, Willie Nelson, Robert Plant, Lucinda Williams, and a long, long etcetera.
Buckley’s version was recorded live at WFMU, East Orange, New Jersey.
3. Lover, You Should’ve Come Over
One of the most memorable Jeff Buckley songs is a sorrowful ballad.
I mean sorrowful not just because of the musical part, but also because of the lyrics.
Naturally, the lyrics talk about a nonreciprocal love and the longing, sadness, and remorse that come with it.
This remorse comes primarily from the author’s lack of resolution. In other words, Lover, You Should’ve Come Over deals with a relationship that could have worked out, but it didn’t.
Unfortunately, the author is not the only one who has experienced such heartbreaking emotions. Maybe that’s why these lyrics resonate with so many people.
If Lover, You Should’ve Come Over was a tear-dropping song, Grace is the complete opposite.
Grace is a way to show gratitude for existence. It expresses the awe of nature in a poetic and gentle way.
Let’s not forget that Grace is not only the name of this song but also the name of the only studio album Buckley has ever released. At least, the only one released while he was alive.
5. Everybody Here Wants You
This song explores how problematic relationships can be.
Similar to Lover, You Should’ve Come Over; Everybody Here Wants You focuses on the longing and yearning for a love partner.
Although Buckley addresses his desperate hunger and desire for a partner, there are also self-doubts, inaction, and hesitations from part of the singer.
Again, Everybody Here Wants You is not just a romantic song. It’s one that deals with the complexities of a relationship and the anxiety that loving someone may provoke.
6. So Real
So Real is about love, loss, and the hard-to-grasp emotions that come with them.
It seems that Buckley struggled a lot with relationships…
7. Nightmares By The Sea
We are in front of a hauntingly song title, that’s for sure.
The lyrics of Nightmares By The Sea seem to initially deal with drinking and intimacy.
However, the deeper we indulge in it, the sooner we discover there’s something darker lurking there.
What’s your opinion on this one?
8. Last Goodbye
Packed with string arrangements, Last Goodbye was Jeff Buckley’s top single during his musical career.
But if you thought that that was too much, it’s because you didn’t know that Hallelujah, another Buckley song, made it to N°3! Only dethroned by Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.
One way or another, both songs are above many classics, including Everlong, Creep, Wonderwall, Wish You Were Here, and Seven Nation Army.
I’ve already covered how Hallelujah made it to #3 on a top 100 radio position.
If that fact is not enough to convince you of how much of a great song it is, then I don’t know what will.
To make the song more legendary still, one needs to mention that Hallelujah is a cover.
When a cover it’s considered better than the original by most listeners, then it’s obvious that we’re in front of something big.
Cover or not, Hallelujah has become one of the most memorable Jeff Buckley songs.
10. Forget Her
Forget Her was expected to appear on the debut album Grace. In the end, though, it was released after Jeff Buckley’s passing away.
More specifically, Forget Her appears in the 1998 album Sketches for My Sweetheart The Drunk, along with many other unreleased materials.
As with many other Buckley songs, this one is also a poignant and emotive track with acoustic guitar sounds and gloomy piano notes.
11. Dream Brother
Life and death. Two topics that have both fascinated and terrified human beings since the beginning of consciousness.
Jeff Buckley dedicated a song to those two. Moreover, he dedicated it to his father as well.
Unfortunately, this fatherly figure was no longer present in the musician’s life.
Buckley longed to reunite with him and enjoy a healthy relationship together, which didn’t happen.
The only positive thing we can take from here is that the sad experience led Buckley to create this masterpiece.
I’m sure many will resonate with this message. Hope it provides some comfort!
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