Graham Reid | | 1 min read
When, in May 1997 the 30-year old Jeff Buckley decided to go for a late night swim in his jeans and boots at a particularly difficult stretch of river in Memphis, the world lost a rare talent. And one which left behind just a small body of work.
On paper there was just the one album and a couple of EPs.
But it was the breadth of music across those -- and his emotional and vocal range -- which had already confirmed a major talent as a songwriter and interpreter.
He sang everything from flat-tack rock to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, from Alex Chilton's Kang-roo to Pakistani qawwali styles.
Any sensible colection would have Buckley's album Grace (Elsewhere recommends the 2004 expanded Legacy edition) and the EP Live at Sin-e.
But this five CD set which collects together his EPs (except Live at Sin-e) has something to recommend it because again it is the diversity you remain in awe of: Hank Williams' Lost Highway to Van Morrison's The Way Young Lovers Do, and live versions of some of the Grace songs.
If you've got the Legacy edition of Grace and Live at Sin-e (and the Peyote Radio Theatre EP included here) you are probably done with Jeff Buckley as there is some crossover with these ones.
But if you only have the ordinary edition of Grace then these five discs give you something of a bigger picture of Buckley. Okay, on a track/minute count this might seem a little paltry -- they are just EPs after all -- but at just $20 from JB Hi-Fi stores here it is yet another case of never mind the width, feel the quality.
Swimming at night in jeans and boots? Silly bugger.