Jeff Buckley

American musician (1966–1997)

Jeff Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997), also known as "Scotty Moorhead", was an American singer-songwriter.

Graffiti memorial by fans in Russia, 2015



From Interviews

  • Everything I ever projected New York to be, it was—even the stinky, ratty, vomity part of it. Everybody has to do the subway. Everybody has to smell the same smells. And people get mad all the time. When people don’t like something, like ‘Get out of my way you blah, blah, blah.’ But [in L.A.] it’s like, ‘How ya doing? Let’s do lunch! I love you!’
    • KCRW – Man In The Moon (January 4, 1994)

RR: Whenever I've seen you play here in New York at Sin-é or Fez, people sit there mesmerized.

JB: People weren't into it at first. I had to fight to be heard. Then I had to stop fighting. Whole months would go by where people would just be talking. I even got a headache from a performance one time.

RR: What changed?

JB: I learned how to use everything in the room as the music. A tune has to resonate with whatever is happening around it. So if people are talking, I let them talk. That just means they're part of the music. I even had to learn the noise the dishwasher makes at this little cafe; I had to play in B-flat, or it wouldn't sound right.

RR: I want to talk about another Michael. I read a review that compared your recent EP, Live at Sin-é, with Michael Bolton's new record.

JB: Oh, my God! Oh, shit, that's really disgusting!

RR: It gets worse. They said he has succeeded in taking from the tradition of African American soul and blues singers in a way that you have miserably failed.

JB: Really? But the thing is, I'm not taking from that tradition. I don't want to be black. Michael Bolton desperately wants to be black, black, black. He also sucks.

AV: You grew up in Riverside, California, what was that like?

JB: From womb to tomb, it's thug country. I'm amazed that I had any friends at all. People grow up repressed from the spirit, day by day by day. Cable TV, it's fucked. It's misogyny, it's birth, death, work, it's misery, it's power. It's fuckin' hicks. And that's what I grew up with. I was rootless trailer trash. Now I prefer the Lower East Side to any place on the planet. I can be who I am here. I couldn't do it anyplace I lived as a child. I never fit in California, even though my roots are there.

  • Why do they always show Christ up there bleeding and dying on the cross? We don't remember John Lennon lying there with a bullet hole in his head. I'm against the arbitrary organization of 'God' as a concept. We should all experience it all individually and purely. I don't agree with the separation of God and the body, I don't believe that we aren't a part of 'it', I don't agree that it's a man. In most religions there's no place for women. There aren't any women in the Holy Trinity and I need that. I love women, I came from a woman.
    • B-Side Magazine, October/November 1994

YCDW: What are some of your favorite black and white movies?

JB: Lets see, On the Waterfront, Street Of Crocodiles, Brothers Quay films, American Milan, and Notorious—which I absolutely adore.

YCDW: What kind of music are you listening to now when you get a chance?

JB: Well, today I did James Brown's 'Live In Paris' and then I did 'Trompe le Monde' by the Pixies. It really depends on what I have with me. I carry Patti Smith with me. Anything with soul for the moment to it. We stopped at a truck stop and got Truck Stop Comedy and Judas Priest's 'Unleashed in the East.'

YCDW: Do you have any favorite perfumes or scents?

JB: I like essential oils a lot. Tunisian sandalwood and myrrh are my current favorites.

    • You Could Do Worse Zine, #3
  • Dylan and Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith, all dark, all romantic. When I say "romantic," I mean a sensibility that sees everything, and has to express everything, and still doesn't know what the fuck it is, it hurts that bad. It just madly tries to speak whatever it feels, and that can mean vast things. That sort of mentality can turn a sun-kissed orange into a flaming meteorite, and make it sound like that in a song.
    • Double Take (February 29, 1996)

"This is a song about, it's and angry song. Life is too short and too complicated for people behind desks and people behind masks to be ruining other peoples lives, initiating force against other peoples lives on the basis of their income, their color, their class, their religious beliefs, their whatever. Aaahh"

  • Fuck off! Just fuck off!
    • (in response to an audience member yelling "Tim Buckley." Jeff followed "fuck off" by adding, "the 60's are bullshit, the 70's almost big big bullshit, 80's... I don't even need to tell you, except for The Smiths maybe. Get out of it! Just get out of it! Shit's happening now, it's all about now, now now now. Bigger, faster, sweatier, skinnier, whiter, blacker, Gracer". Then Jeff goes into playing his song 'Grace'. )

From Grace EPK (Electronic Press Kit)

  • That’s what I wanted to do. You know, 2 hours. It’s like long-distance running or playing in a football game when you totally run out of steam and the moves you make after you run out of steam, because you’re totally unselfconscious, you’re not even thinking about the mechanics anymore. The moves you make then are incredible.
  • The only goal is in the process. The process is the thing…with little flashes of light here and there. Those are the gigs, those are the live shows. But it’s the life in between—that’s all I got.
  • And what do I want people to get from the music? Whatever they want. Whatever you like. Somebody asked me what I wanted to do. I just said I wanted to…just to give back to it what it’s given me. And to meet all the other people that are doing it…just to be in the world, really.
  • Interviewer: "So Jeff, what are your main musical influences?" Jeff (after a long pause): "Love, anger, depression, joy and dreams. ...And Zeppelin. Totally."

About Jeff Buckley

  • Technically, he was the best singer that appeared, I'm not being too liberal about this if I say, in two decades. I started to play Grace constantly, and the more I listened to the album, the more I heard – the more I appreciated of Jeff, and Jeff's talents, and Jeff's total ability, to which he was just a wizard; and it was close to being my favorite album of the decade. We (Jimmy Page and Robert Plant) actually made a point of going to hear him play and sing, and it was absolutely scary. One of the things is a little frightening was that I was convinced that he probably did things in tunings, and he didn't. He was doing things in standard tuning. I thought, oh gee, he really is clever, isn't he? Jeff Buckley was one of the greatest losses of all.

  • 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 audience, "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.
    • Jimmy Page – Guitarist from Led Zeppelin/The Yardbirds/solo from Mojo Magazine, January 1997

  • He quite clearly had his feet on the ground and his head and his imagination was flying way, way out there, beyond, beyond.
    • Jimmy Page – Guitarist from Led Zeppelin/The Yardbirds/solo from the BBC documentary, Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You

  • Yeah, I was really affected by Jeff Buckley when I heard him perform; and I heard one of his last concerts in Australia ― penultimate concert ― and it was just absolutely staggering. He was absolutely, I mean, you know, he just touched every emotion in you, you know. He was really superb, and in a total class of his own, as you know, as you've heard so many singers, and you go, 'well, they got that from Jeff Buckley.' He was so, you know, he's iconic, and really just in a total class of his own, as I say, and, so I was really deeply affected by his music, and I thought he was a master. It was tragic to hear that he died, but there was a weird irony when somebody said, that I've heard that, that he was singing Whole Lotta Love. If you say it was his road manager, because I didn't know whether it was true, or there was a...yeah, he had actually sort of said, that was in Australia, that it would be really good if we had done something together. Can you imagine how I would have loved to have done that with him, but, you know, he started doing a second album, and then he called a halt, and then he started up again...yeah, yeah, it's a tragic loss. My God, was he good.
    • Jimmy Page – Guitarist from Led Zeppelin/The Yardbirds/solo from RTL2 - Pop-Rock Station by Zégut

  • On this day in 1996, I saw Jeff Buckley perform in Melbourne.⁣ Jeff Buckley was something of an ethereal spirit: a musical magician whose album 'Grace' showcased a unique talent. His name was on the lips of all musos from the release of that album and for the next two years.⁣ I had heard him sing a couple of songs at a distance on the Other Stage at Glastonbury, where Page and Plant were headlining: you could feel him, it was extraordinary. I had listened intently to 'Grace' whilst I was on tour and made a point to see him at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne on this day in 1996. ⁣
    • Jimmy Page – Guitarist from Led Zeppelin/The Yardbirds/solo from his official Instagram account

  • Asked in a 2003 interview what he was listening to lately, Jimmy Page replied, "Nothing that's had the impact in me that Jeff Buckley did," and coincidentally, in the same issue of Mojo magazine, Elton John was asked about his favorite all-time record, and he cited either Nina Simone at Town Hall or Jeff Buckley's Grace: "Like an album made by someone from a another planet." (Also interesting that Nina Simone was one of Buckley's many influences, which ranged from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to the MC5).
    • Jimmy Page – Guitarist from Led Zeppelin/The Yardbirds/solo
    • Elton John from page 185 of Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times By Neil Peart

  • We were talking earlier about lyrics and beautiful lyrics. That particular period that we've been dwelling upon this evening, partly, and in fact definitely, was a time for prolific writing. Recently, not too long ago, we lost one of the better, most beautiful, caucasian singers, Jeff Buckley, sadly, way, way out to lose such a talent and such a heart.
    • Robert Plant – Singer from Led Zeppelin/The Honeydrippers/Page & Plant/Strange Sensation, Band of Joy/solo from VH1 Storytellers, June 2002

  • You mentioned two spectacular vocalists there (Jeff Buckley and Freddie Mercury) I mean, both of whom had much better chops than me. I mean real great, great singers. Jeff Buckley's voice. I was playing with Jimmy in the mid 90s when we were working with an Egyptian ensemble, and we played a festival in Switzerland, and Jeff Buckley was playing, and we went to see him, and it was mind altering, his voice. Spectacular singing, and so much conviction.

  • (Cameron Crowe asked about his inclusion of Led Zeppelin songs in his film, Almost Famous): How’d you secure the rights to the music?

They took us across the street to a wine bar. They said, “Well, ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ we gotta say no to, ’cause it’s just too much. We just don’t do anything with ‘Stairway to Heaven.'” We’re like, “Whomp, whomp, whomp.” And Page goes, “But I would like to give you an extra song that’s more of an acoustic busking vibe. We’ll give that to you free.” He replaced “Stairway to Heaven” with “Bron-Yr-Aur.”

He gave that to us for free, just to have that texture in the movie, which was amazing. And we ran through the streets afterward. The rest of that meeting was spent talking about how much we all loved Jeff Buckley. Officially the coolest night ever, or the un-coolest night ever. I don’t know. That was a huge kind of buoy to swim to, because without Led Zeppelin, it’s just not the same movie.

    • Cameron Crowe - film director, producer, screenwriter, journalist, author, and actor - Cameron Crowe on the 20th Anniversary of ‘Almost Famous’: ‘It’s Never Been as Popular as It Is Now’ | Rolling Stone article by Angie Martoccio, August 20, 2020.

  • On the subject of dedication to a craft, in addition talent, it was, and especially the singing, were so original, so powerful, and so accomplished, that the tragedy of his loss, after making only the one record (though a flood of demos and live recordings was released in his wake), seemed ever more poignant. It was clear to me that Jeff Buckley had been one of the few Great Ones, a one-in-a-billion talent, a true voice of his generation, and at thirty, he had hardly begun. Whatever is left behind in the passing of a rare talent, so much is always lost.
    • Neil Peart – Drummer from Rush from the book, Traveling Music: Play Back the Soundtrack to My Life and Times.

  • I was just doing whatever I could, you know. And then I had a delivery job at a place, and then the guy that I was doing that with, he was a wicked bass player, and he was teaching at MI (Musicians Institute), and one of his students was Jeff Buckley, or something (Interviewer: "Really?!"), then me and him, and Jeff Buckley, we had a country band together (Interviewer: "You did?!"). Jeff was rad, man. He was a great brother, man. I hung out with him a lot, and then...dude, I'll never forget, like, when we were in that band, though, man, he came in with this demo, it's like, that he did in his apartment. It was four songs, and three of them were on that Grace record (Interview: "On Grace, yeah."), and he programmed all the drums on a SR 16 Alesis, but he didn't program, he did it with his fingers (Interview: "Like, he played it in real time.")...yeah, dude, I could put that on for you, it will blow, no one has (Interview: "Yeah, let's listen to it, later.") one has this. And, dude, I just went, kid, you're going to be a star (both laugh). He would, and also, I would like to say, that guy had like a photographical music memory (Interviewer: "He did?"). After those guys would leave, after rehearsal, man, we would play, like, Zeppelin shit ― In My Time Of Dying, and stuff ― he played every lead, note for note, absolutely perfectly, man (Interviewer: "Wow!"). He was the real deal, man. I've never played with another guitar player that (did that?). (Interviewer: "Yeah, people talk about his vocal powers, but his guitar stylings were amazing!"). Dude, right! When he came out with that Grace record, I remember he came, 'man, this is my record' and I was just first I was just like, what's all this singing shit, dude (Interviewer laughs); where's the guitar playing? I was like bummed...that's how bad of an A&R guy I would have been (both laugh). Pretty fucking funny. (Interview: "You should make a fusion record, bro.") Yeah, right, yeah, come on, dude. God, I was (unintelligible), because I didn't recognize the genius of his voice, but the songwriting I did recognize ― I just went, wow, man ― he was an exceptional talent. I feel very lucky to be able to say, dude, I played with him for a couple of years (Interview: "That's incredible!" [Danny laughs]).
    • Danny Carey – Drummer for Tool, Pigmy Love Circus, Volto!, Zaum, Green Jello, Primus, Legend of the Seagullmen from The Trap Set podcast with Joe Wong, Ep. 221

  • Jeff was somebody who would have been one of those people that influenced other singers. He was an amazing singer. I had an idea of what his music meant to people, because he did this amazing thing in such a short period of time. He's going to be the most important artist to so many people throughout their lives. We were really good friends, and as an individual he was different from any other friend I've had. I was looking forward to a long friendship with him. As an artist he was one of the few people, that really inspired me. I was counting on him, to be one of the persons, who would pressure me to move my limits, in many years to come. It's very important to have this kind of challenge, someone who inspires you to grow with the challenge. That push, to get you to do new things, is very healthy, and Jeff was one of those people, who inspired you to expand your way of thinking, about yourself and music.

  • He could have literally been doing anything, musically, that he wanted to do. And I would think of it like I would think of it like Jimi Hendrix, where there's no real way to predict it, because he could have done anything. He had a way of playing the most beautiful songs you've ever heard and singing them, and still with the way that he sang, create a bit of an uncomfortable edge to it if he felt like it. And he did that mostly with his voice.
    • Chris Cornell – Singer/Guitarist from Soundgarden/Audioslave/Temple of the Dog/solo from NBC Edgewise Tribute on MSNBC from 1997.

  • Kurt was fairly quiet and introverted most of the time. Jeff was the opposite. He was very much full of life and had a lot to say. He was somebody in love with experiencing everything. Within a very short time, he had all these famous old rock stars coming to his shows, which put a lot of pressure on him. People talked about his concerts the way they used to talk about Hendrix. They'd sit there, wide-eyed, telling you stories about him. He definitely had an aura. It's impossible to say what it is exactly a guy like that has, that is so attractive to other people. But he had more of it than anyone I had ever met.
    • Chris Cornell – Singer/Guitarist from Soundgarden/Audioslave/Temple of the Dog/solo

  • Soundgarden frontman, Chris Cornell, who was a friend of Buckley’s, says he possessed a star quality.

"What made him that person? I have no idea. But he was that person," he recalls.

"He was this amazing, unique kind of spirit that everyone was kind of drawn to. He had that quality that superstars have. But he unfortunately didn't live long enough for that to be exposed to everyone."

    • Chris Cornell – Singer/Guitarist from Soundgarden/Audioslave/Temple of the Dog/solo

  • Man, I had this guy with me once, and we were sittin' down, and talkin', and jammin'...he played his version of Indifference, for, I tell ya...I’ll never forget the way He did it...I was just fuckin’ of the most memorable moments of my life...I just wish I had seen him more.

  • Both songs are beautiful (Lilac Wine, James Shelton, and Corpus Christi Carol by Benjamin Britten). It's my tribute to Jeff. The record he has left is very emotional, very beautiful. An intriguing work, challenging. Using only his voice, he reaches regions of unimaginable feeling. But, while recording the songs he chose for himself, I am not stealing it because they are two very different visions. I think he would approve. I have the impression that Jeff Buckley, although he had a very brief passage through life, has become something like Jimi Hendrix, whose presence remains forever.


Thom: “Wow! No, but Jeff Buckley gave me confidence to sing in falsetto. And the Cocteaus are cool.” Colin: “When we were recording ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, we went to see Jeff Buckley play at The Garage. He just had a Telecaster and a pint of Guinness and it was just fucking amazing. Then we went back to the studio and tried an acoustic version of ‘Fake Plastic Trees'. Thom sat down and played it in three takes, then burst into tears afterwards. And that’s what we used for the record.”

  • I think the Jeff Buckley record, Grace,'s on my MP3 player (laughs). And it holds up incredibly well.

  • I'm just, you know, I'm constantly surprised that so many people do not know about him, still, and at the same time, there's something very, very beautiful about that. It just keeps slowly kind of building, expanding...
    • Brad Pitt from the BBC documentary, Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You

  • He tapped into something...and he was the conduit...and it makes me think of this: where does art come from; where does a true genius come from?
    • Brad Pitt from the BBC documentary, Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You

  • Yeah, I found him because, it was actually my wife had him ― had the disc, had him ― she wishes...had the disc, and it came on one night, and you hear that opening tune of Mojo Pin ― it's that real soft, that haunting thing off in the distance ― and I remember asking, "what is that?" She says, "that's Jeff Buckley." Where have I been? Do I know nothing? And since then it's just been a bit of an obsession, I guess.
    • Brad Pitt from the BBC documentary, Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You

  • There's an undercurrent to his music. There's something you can't pinpoint, like the best of films or the best of art, there's something going on underneath, and there's a truth there, and I find his stuff absolutely haunting. It's's under my skin.
    • Brad Pitt from the BBC documentary, Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You

  • He's Plant and Page, in one, on a technical level; it's mind-blowing.
    • Brad Pitt from the BBC documentary, Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You

  • The fact that people are finding him now, a decade later ― almost a decade later ― is a testament to what he was doing. For me, the big...the thing that distinguishes him the most, is that he was about love; he was very interested in love. He had no qualms, no shame with addressing the topic, and the subject of love. And that's...I wouldn't think was brave for him, I think it was something he was led to do ― he had to do ― but, you know, you look around, most of us are trying to be tough guys, and trying to be De Niros, and so on, and so forth, and here was a guy who went the complete opposite direction, in the middle of the '90s. I have a lot of respect for that, 'cause I have this feeling, at the end of the day, you know, when were all said and done, it's all that's gonna matter, isn't it.
    • Brad Pitt outtake from the BBC documentary, Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You

  • People my age all flocked to see Jeff, you know. Because we were so, just to hear that voice again. He would have been so pissed off with it by now. All these old toothless hags hanging around the stage door, you know. He was just shit hot, I gotta say.
    • Chrissie Hynde from the BBC documentary, Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You

  • Interviewer: With Jeff, what stage of Jeff's career did you actually become aware of him and his work?

Chrissie: He was playing at The Garage, on his own ― he didn't have a band ― I don't know what year that was. It was probably fairly early; I mean, there was a short career...and he was standing next to me at the bar, afterward ― so we started talking ― and I actually had a rehearsal studio, which we'd been working at that day, just around the corner, and I said, "hey, do you wanna come around, and...I'd gone to see him with John McEnroe, actually, who was in town...and Jeff was just there on his own, maybe with very small crew, if any crew ― I don't remember ― it was just him playing guitar. I asked John to give him a hand with his amps, and that was fun to see ― to see John act as a roadie for this kid ― anyway, we all went around to my rehearsal studio and had kind of a jam ― or he had kind of a jam ― I was mesmerized. He was such a great guitar player, Jeff. That seems to be something that people have...I think when someone's a good singer and songwriter, you tend to overlook that, but he was a shit hot guitar player. He really blew us away that night, when we saw what he was really up to with the guitar.

    • Chrissie Hynde outtake from the BBC documentary, Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You

  • Jeff Buckley was a pure drop in an ocean of noise.
    • Bono of U2 from Mojo Magazine, August 1997

  • [Talking about Grace] Apart from being my favourite word or name in the English language, Grace overpowers karma. Grace does not make sense. It rewards where rewards are not justified. It covers where no cover is expected. It is the highest human state. Jeff Buckley's voice reminds me of the first line of the old Salvation Army hymn "Amazing Grace how sweet the sound." Grace as a signature. Grace personified in one man's vibrato − a delicate, tremulous voice which rightfully betrays its Middle Eastern tutelage. Jeff was trained in Sufi singing. His ululating voice reminds me how few singers there are in Rock and Roll.
    • Bono of U2 taken from the December 1999 issue of Propaganda

  • Interviewer: You kind of do a farewell, I guess, to Jeff Buckley at the end of some of your recent shows. I know you guys recorded the same song, at one time ― and we're going to play Hallelujah in just a minute ― but you could talk a little bit about him? Who wants to talk about Jeff Buckley?

The Edge: He was just an incredible singer. We're big fans of his album, and it's a very special record, and ran into him a couple of times in New York, saw him perform in Sin-é, in New York...

Bono interjects: You know Sin-é; have you heard of that place? (interviewer: "no.");

The Edge: It's a small, little club.

Bono interjects, again: "It's an Irish-run coffee shop. What are you laughing at? He always laughs when I say the word, 'poetry.' It was a great venue for lots of people; The Pogues, Jeff Buckley, Gavin Friday, and that's what you're talking about, isn't it?

The Edge: Yeah, it's a great, little place to somebody in the raw, and he was playing just with acoustic guitar; anyway, just really sad because I think he had an incredible talent, and I was looking forward to his next record, as I'm sure a lot of people were.

(Interview pauses as they play Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah)

Interviewer: We have U2 here in the studio on 106.7 KROQ, and actually, Bono, you were sort of pointing out something you really admired about Jeff Buckley as a singer, during that last song. Could you share that with our audience, please?

Bono: I was just envious; just raw envy. It was just that last coda on that last tune. It's a Leonard Cohen song.

Interviewer: Extended note, about 22 seconds.

Bono: He lasts, yeah, just 22 seconds of singing without a new breath. It's not important to the outside world, but for me, you know, it's very humbling.

Interviewer: Well, the reason I thought it was important is because it was meaningful to you (Bono: "yeah."), and if there's anybody listening to the Jeff Buckley song and appreciative of the comments we made just before that, they can know that Bono was sitting here admiring the very same thing.

Bono: Yeah, I was; I was.

    • Bono of U2
    • The Edge from U2 from a KROQ 106.7 radio interview with Jed The Fish from June 20, 1997.

  • Jeff is one of my favorite musicians and singers of all time. Never have I seen such infinite musical potential in anyone. It's just gone. It's chilling how much it hurts.

  • 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 sang 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.

  • Q: What songs do you wish you could sing?

A: It would be great to sing [Purcell’s] “When I Am Laid in Earth” like Jeff Buckley did at Meltdown in ’95. It was astonishing to hear him sing this piece of music from Jacobean times, and it just feel like it could’ve been written for his voice. But he had such a gift of an instrument of a voice. He could turn that to all sorts of music that took his interest, and it didn’t sound in any way an affectation that he did it. He would sing Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan pieces he’d learn phonetically; he didn’t understand the language. He talked about singing Mahler at that festival. I said, “That’s in German. Do you speak German?” “No, I’ll learn it.” I was curating that festival. Now it’s very poignant because it was his last performance in London, but we didn’t know that then. His life was ahead. There was all these great things that he was still going to do. That was just a very sad coincidence. We should be happy that he sang it that one time. You heard him sing something like [“When I Am Laid in Earth”], surely you’ve heard Grace, you’ve heard “Corpus Christi Carol” by Benjamin Britten — he could sing that as well as he could sing a song by Morrissey, although why anybody would want to do that, I don’t know. Or a song by Led Zeppelin; why anybody would want to do that, I don’t know, but he did. That’s his choice.

    • Elvis Costello from the Rolling Stone article: The Last Word: Elvis Costello on Reassessing His Back Catalog and Why He’s a ‘Freak of Nature’ - January 14, 2022.

  • It's a beautiful record (Grace). The thing that strikes you, I think, most of all, is his voice. I mean, it's a singers record, in my opinion.
    • Elvis Costello from VH1 Top 100 Rock Albums | #73 Jeff Buckley - Grace (1994).

  • Coming up next is Jeff Buckley. A guy who is not only a great singer and a great player, but at one time was a very nice hotel manager. A lot of people don't realize this, but in about 1985-86, he used to work at the front desk at the Magic Hotel in Los Angeles. And I know because it was a real CD kind of a flophouse for musicians and Jeff worked at the front desk and took a lot of messages from me. So, Jeff, here's to ya.
    • Chris Isaak from an intro to a French tv program called, Nulle Part Ailleurs on Canal+, January 1995.

  • [On recording Jeff Buckley's, Grace] I really wanted to share this because I felt Anthony Snape did such a great job of this seemingly impossible song to cover: Jeff Buckley's 'Grace.' Jeff was like a comet passing through, and he left his mark forever. He is 'gone too soon,' but through his songs, he lives on.
  • Tommy Emmanuel

  • GAP: Who is your favorite musical artist?

Brandon Boyd: Jeff Buckley

When he came out everyone was a little afraid to commit. Well not everybody, but a lot of popular artists were afraid to commit completely to what they were doing. They kind of used irony as a sheet around them, kind of protecting them from having to own up to what they said. Not only did he have one of the best voices I have ever heard, he was one hundred percent committed to what he was doing. He was unabashedly romantic in his lyrics, and the way he sang. He got some flak for it while he was alive, and it sucks because when someone dies people start to say maybe he was awesome, and they begin to analyze it differently. For those reasons, and I can go on forever about the guy. His voice has been influential to a lot of current artists, to people who might not even admit it, really. Just his range and where he would even try to go with his voice. The guts to go from one octave to two above. Not a lot of people are doing also his falsetto influence has influenced me as well.

  • The record I would like to talk about today is Grace by Jeff Buckley. There are only a handful of albums that I've ever listened to that have captured me in the way that this album was able to capture me, and actually still holds up so many years after having first heard it. You know, most albums were able to date and over-contextualize and they kind of lose their importance to us over the years, as we grow up and stuff, and there are certain records that aren't able to do that at all and Jeff Buckley's, Grace, is one of them. His voice is...he's the best male singer I have ever heard in my life and he even rivals some female singers; so, check it out.

  • Once again, this album doesn’t really need explanation. Jeff Buckley’s only album is one of the greatest, most complete albums ever made. Listen to the whole thing. It’s so emotional, it never fails to get under my skin. It can still give me goosebumps, choke me up and inspire me to go deeper as an artist. It’s also one of the loneliest records – it’s most powerful to listen to all alone with headphones. It’s not the kind of album that you think of cranking up in the car when you’re driving down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) with your buddies – it’s a solo experience. His vocal performance during “Lilac Wine…” God — that song! He sounds like he’s crying. You can feel his pain during that vocal performance. I can feel his pain just thinking about that song now. I often think about what he would have created if he’d stuck around a little longer.
    • Sammy Hagar from 5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Sammy Hagar (September 30, 2022)

  • Dr. Drew: What will you remember most about the '90s?

Sebastian Bach: The album Grace by Jeff Buckley. Unless you've heard it, you wouldn't know why.

Dr. Drew: What's your favorite album for a night of steamy monkey love?

Sebastian Bach: Jeff Buckley's Grace is the most romantic, sensual album I've heard in my life.

  • Q:What are you listening to on your Walkman?

Sebastian Bach: I listen to Jeff Buckley. He's my favorite singer. We actually cover a Jeff Buckley tune called "Eternal Life" in our set. When he died it really hit me, because he was an incredible singer who only did one album, Grace, and his voice was so beautiful that I couldn't believe it when he died. Since he's not around to sing songs anymore, we decided we'd give it a shot.

  • You ever heard of a guy named Jeff Buckley? He's one of the best singers I've ever heard.
    • Sebastian Bach – Skid Row from Skid Row's Forever Wild DVD, before covering Eternal Life

  • 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 Bs. 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.

  • "Jeff Buckley is one of the greatest vocalists that I’ve ever heard. Listening to him is inspiring, moving, spiritual. What a gift. He’s inspired many admirers and imitators but no one can duplicate him."
    • John Legend from the liner notes of So Real: Songs from Jeff Buckley

  • In September 2007, a poll of fifty songwriters conducted by the magazine Q listed "Hallelujah" among the all-time "Top 10 Greatest Tracks" with John Legend calling Buckley's version "as near perfect as you can get. The lyrics to 'Hallelujah' are just incredible and the melody's gorgeous and then there's Jeff's interpretation of it. It's one of the most beautiful pieces of recorded music I've ever heard."

  • Certain people compared us, I've been mourning the fact that it would have been great to sing a duet.

  • I think he had one of the best voices I've ever heard. Grace, I think, is the best album of the '90s.

  • Jeff was a beautiful man. Grace is an album full of the most beautiful songs, and he possessed an equally gorgeous voice. When we lost him, we lost a fantastic talent.
    • Boy George - Jeff Buckley Graces UK, Mar. 11-20, 1994 nominated by Boy George. Mojo, Jan, 2000

  • The reason why I think that record is a great album is just the uniqueness of hearing a man sing so beautifully, and the record, to me, spills with emotion, the whole time.
    • Gwen Stefani – Singer from No Doubt, the Neptunes, Eve, Sublime from VH1 Top 100 Rock Albums | #73 Jeff Buckley - Grace (1994)

  • Jeff Buckley's Lilac Wine is the most beautiful thing ever recorded...

  • 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.
    • Joan Osborne Letter posted to the internet on June 19th, 1997

  • I just wanted to pay tribute to him and talk about the situation. When asked if it was a conscious thing to give an Eastern flavor to the song, Sheik says, "definitely... I know that he was, like, a big fan of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and he was listening to a lot of that kind of music. There's also just a really mournful quality to that kind of string playing. "I wanted to send him off and say a few things about how much his music moved me and other people.

  • His voice is an incredible instrument, angelic, and powerful, and mean, at the same time. Tortured. He has been a huge inspiration and influence to me over the last two years. This tune is just unreal.
    • Jonny Lang – Blues artist, from Rolling Stone Magazine, issues #820, September 2, 1999

  • This beautiful-looking guy with a fur coat and mad, curly hair walked in. He went to the bar and got a pint of Guinness, then plugged in his Fender and began to sing. Everybody was completely blown away. Who was it? It was Jeff Buckley.
    • Douglas Payne of Travis from Dream Brother (the book) written by David Browne.

  • 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.

    • Gary Lucas – Guitarist – from Press-Enterprise, June 29, 1997

  • It was the kind of collaboration I dream about, actually. His voice sounded, you know, like an angel. Like a gift from God.
    • Gary Lucas – Guitarist from NBC Edgewise Tribute on MSNBC from 1997.

  • I don't hear that many current records that really change my life. I've found it in Jeff Buckley, and I find it in Björk, on occasion.
    • Daniel Lanois – Music Producer, from ("Listen to This!: Leading Musicians Recommend Their Favorite Recordings" by In Alan Reder and John Baxterís)

  • He was just really spontaneous, and it was just exciting. I was having a hard time in the band I was in, and so to meet Jeffrey was just like being given a set of paints. Do you know what I mean? It was just like I had all this colour in my life again. I mean, he idolized me before he met me. It's kind of creepy and I, I was like that with him. This is embarrassing, but it's the truth. I just couldn't help falling in love with him. He was adorable. I read his diaries, he read mine, you know we'd just swap, we'd literally just hand over this very personal stuff, and I've never done that with anybody else. I don't know if he has. So in some ways it was very, there was a great deal of intimacy but then there'd be times when I'd just think "oh no, I'm just not penetrating this Jeff Buckley boy at all. I just felt like a groupie or something, sometimes. It wasn't like being his partner at all. He just had something you wanted, it didn't matter who you were.

  • I’d love to sing with Jeff Buckley. 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.

  • I'm here because I adore his spirit, and I adore him, and the place from which he creates.

  • I just love his spirit, and his whole energy, and I also love when men use their voice so unselfconsciously, and just really...feminine, masculine, all over the place. And he just, um...he was, and is, my favourite.

  • Never heard such a range, and such a purity. When he would place one note next to the other, you could actually see its kind of roundness.
    • Kenny Kaye – Music Producer – from NBC Edgewise Tribute on MSNBC from 1997.

  • I wanted to fuse together my favorite elements of rock and soul singers into something I could call my own. The inflections of Stevie Wonder with the soaring qualities of someone like Buckley. It was his emotional intensity that inspired me more than anything. Also, Jeff came along at a time most singers weren’t using their upper register. His approach helped me embrace the fact that I was a tenor. I owe that guy a lot.
Wikipedia has an article about: