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(Credit: Roy Tee)

Music

A deep dive into Jeff Buckley's personal record collection

@SamWKemp

2016, the year the UK announced it would be formally withdrawing from the EU and President Trump made his way into the White House for his first day in office. With all that going on it’s no wonder the release of Jeff Buckley’s personal record collection passed many of us by. The singer-songwriter’s family shared his gargantuan vinyl collection with the public for the first time that same year, offering fans the chance to browse a digital version of his record shelf – or rather shelves.

Having adopted the last name of his estranged father, the cult singer-songwriter Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley rose to fame off the back of his performances in cafes and clubs in Lower Manhattan – his weekly residency in Sin-é earning him devoted crowds and the attention of major label executives.

With his 1994 album Grace, Buckey rose to critical acclaim. David Bowie and Jimmy Page hailed him as the voice of a generation, but just three years later, Buckley was dead – having drowned a river in Memphis. His tragic death only cemented the unflinching adoration of his fanbase. Such was the 1990s. Today, he is regarded as one of the most talented singers of the decade, while his song ‘Grace’ is still part of certain GCSE music syllabuses in the UK, introducing new generations to his songcraft.

His record collection is a stunning insight into the sheer breadth of his taste. Charles Mingus’ 1956 album Pithecanthropus Erectus, for example, sits alongside Guided by Voices’ 1996 LP Sunfish Holy Breakfast, while Metallica’s Master of Puppets can be found not far from Miles Davis. Buckley clearly had a taste for the folk songwriters of the 1960s too, of which his father was one. Joni Michell, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen: all of them had a huge impact on Buckley – especially Cohen, whose 1984 song ‘Hallelujah’ secured his success.

Indeed, many of the covers Buckley performed in his posthumous You and I LP can also be found hiding in his extensive collection. He’s got a copy of Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, from which he covered ‘Just Like A Woman’, while Led Zeppelin’s ‘Night Flight’ (Physical Graffiti), The Smiths’ ‘I Know Its Over’ (The Queen Is Dead) and Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘Everyday People’ (Stand!) can also be found.

Elsewhere, you’ll find an entire section devoted to Muddy Waters, as well as albums by The Stooges (Raw Power), Dead Kennedys, (Frankenchrist) and The Descendants (Milo Goes to College). There’s also a couple of surprise appearances from the likes of Queen (Sheer Heart Attack) and KISS (Destroyer). If you’re looking to find out more about Buckley’s record collection, head over to his website.

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