July 18, 2006

More Jeff Buckley rarities

I have this amazing secret reference person, known only to me by email, a San Franciscan named Lisa who is a veritable treasure trove of Jeff Buckley information. She found me after my first Jeff Buckley post, and she has been a superstar ever since.

My friend Matthew, who runs the Don’t Need Anything blog, recently posted some intriguing-sounding Jeff Buckley songs without any information about what they were or where they came from. Since you know that I just finished reading that Jeff Buckley bio, I wanted to plug the songs into the timetable in my head and get more information.

So, this becomes a story of when Lisa met Matthew (sort of).

I forwarded Lisa the link to see what she knew. Of course, she replied in full glory. She writes:

To the absolute joy and amazement of many, some of these songs surfaced late this past winter. No one really knows their origin. The file that contained the tracks was entitled “Rarities From NYC.”

With the exception of “Forget Her” (which was most likely recorded during the Grace sessions), it’s believed that most of the tracks were recorded in New York City in early to mid ‘96. I remember reading that Jeff had a bunch of cassettes that contained some of the music from his time with the boys in Sag Harbor, in late 95. But these were pretty much just shit they were purging from themselves after Grace.

Then there are the rehearsals and preliminary versions of songs for My Sweetheart the Drunk, recorded at Sorcerer in NYC in the summer of 96 with Tom Verlaine, pre-Parker Kindred (last drummer). Then there are some studio recordings with Verlaine after Parker joined on as well. It’s hard to pin them down because they aren’t mentioned in anything that’s been written about. One can only speculate.

We don’t know who is jamming with Jeff on “When The Levee Breaks” (which is a total joy to hear, considering Jeff’s love of Zeppelin), or on “We Could Be So Happy Baby” (which is fantastic to be able to hear an arrangement with a full band). I’m guessing this was recorded before his 4-track version from his solo sessions in Memphis that actually ends up on My Sweetheart the Drunk. It’s just lovely to hear him pulling the guys through some of these songs like when he sings out the chords: “Gimmie A,A,A,A,A…” in “When My Love Comes Down.”

I’m sure there’s a lot of music that Sony and the Estate are unaware of. Anyone who worked with Jeff during his recording lifetime is bound to have unreleased material. And you know how it is . . . music has a way of drifting around through fellow musicians, lovers, friends and acquaintances. It’s well known that Jeff made tapes for his bandmates and lovers. I met a guy here in SF that was friends with drummer Eric Eidel, who played and recorded with Jeff (between Matt’s exit and Parker’s entrance). He claimed to have those sessions on tape, which I believe are some of the Verlaine sessions.

There are a bunch of songs that are known of but haven’t surfaced yet. Some of them have twisted titles, such as “Dendrils of Death,” “Men on Drugs,” “Open Up and Bleed,” and “I Love Liquor.” Then there’s the infamous “Sky Blue Skin,” which (guitarist) Michael Tighe refers to as an important piece of music. And the hits keep coming — ha!

Anyway, hope that sheds a shred of light . . . Keep those Buckley posts coming. It’s wonderful that people are still excited to hear his work. You have to love the way the music inevitably finds its way into the hands of those who really desire to hear it. The best part is, no one can capitalize on it. It’s just all about the love of his music.

And yes, she writes that eloquently all the time. Flippin’ sweet.

When The Levee Breaks – Jeff Buckley
(Kansas Joe McCoy & Memphis Minnie cover, made popular by Led Zeppelin)

I Know We Could Be So Happy Baby – Jeff Buckley

Forget Her (alternate version) – Jeff Buckley
(I think this could have completely been a single, but Jeff disagreed with me and Sony on that one)

Opened Once (Instrumental) – Jeff Buckley

River of Dope – Jeff Buckley
(hypnotic)

When My Love Comes Down – Jeff Buckley


Untitled – Jeff Buckley

Tagged with .

61 Comments »

  • just stumbled across this now. thank you so much for this fresh wave of Jeff, i’m overjoyed to hear “new” material by him. Listened to it as i bought “screaming down from heaven” off ebay, so it’s been a pretty great day!

    Oliver — April 6, 2007 @ 9:16 am

  • These are simply amazing. How can I download these? Is it possible? Thanks.

    Anonymous — April 7, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  • Hello, I’m a french fan of Jeff Buckley, and I want to thank you for this Blog and the rarities.

    Here there some rare Jeff Buckley videos that you can download on lycos if you haven’t them :

    http://vachercher.lycos.fr/cgi-bin/pursuit?pag=2&query=jeff+Buckley&tld=com&family=off&inpcatvalue=video&cat=video&enc=utf-8

    My prefered is this video :

    http://www.ihearmusic.net/Grace_Live.mpg

    This is the first video that I’ve seen of Jeff in a French Tv Show called “Nulle Part Ailleurs”, I really love this video, so I hope that you’ll enjoy it too.

    Caro — April 16, 2007 @ 7:56 am

  • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to infinity.

    Anonymous — May 26, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

  • wow! these are amazing. is there any change you can make these into another type of file so i could put them on my ipod?
    thanks againnn!

    Anonymous — May 27, 2007 @ 6:42 pm

  • Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley

    My thanks for the music; I am afraid that this may have been overlooked.

    Warren — June 1, 2007 @ 4:08 am

  • Just when I thought I heard almost all his music,
    this is a gift

    all i can say is WOW and thank you!

    Anonymous — June 5, 2007 @ 3:30 am

  • Hi

    Great post – When The Levee Breaks is out of this world.

    I was lucky enough to see Jeff play live twice – the first time with about 20-30 in Birmingham UK club called Edwards No 8. I’ve seen 100s of gigs and this remains my favourite of all time.

    Anyway, I’m not sure if you’ve heard the duet with Liz Frazer of the Cocteau Twins, but it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard:

    http://www.a-reminder.org/music/?p=326

    Anthony

    Anonymous — July 1, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

  • I’m glad (so very glad) these songs have trickled out. It’s thrilling to hear “new” Jeff Buckley music. Just found “All Flowers in Time Bend Towards the Sun” last night. Have listened to it a good 30 times already. Falling in love all over again. And, now we’re on a Liz Fraser kick…

    Weak geeks like me are slow to find this unreleased stuff; it’s a ridiculous struggle against broken links, locked pages, or my own feeble ignorance (what’s a torrent?). Just so grateful to you for making these songs accessible.

    Question though: It’s been ten years,… how much longer do you think we have to wait? If the movie will get them to release more, then, OK, I vote for casting Heath Ledger and let’s get it over with. Or, is it a matter privately held tapes being more widely distributed? Does his estate ‘own’ the rights to a tape he made at home in 1995, then gave away? Have felt so frustrated while trying to find his rumoured tapes –thank you again for posting these and thanks, I suppose, to the estate for leaving the links alone. 10 years on — it’s time to unveil.

    Lilah — July 9, 2007 @ 1:38 am

  • There is a live version of “Forget Her” somewhere and i was wondering if any of you knew where I might find it. I’ve heard it on WOXY before. Thanks!!

    Anonymous — October 5, 2007 @ 10:33 am

  • AFAIK, Forget Her was only played live once, with a 3-piece band at CBGB. I forget the date, but that’ll help a little, I hope.

    Anonymous — October 29, 2007 @ 10:12 am

  • I was trying to find “Forget Her” for a playlist, and stumbled onto your blog. Learned alot–Thanks! I am a big Buckley fan, but haven’t had much time to learn about him.

    dsb — November 15, 2007 @ 9:31 pm

  • my goodness i am very much greatful to you for posting these as a long time and dedicated follower of such a one of a kind artist that was Buckley i am eccastatic to come by these songs. Thankyou for making my day. There is nothing like being capivated and completly seduced by the magic, intencity and beauty of such a voice. Jeff Buckley is legendary

    Anonymous — December 24, 2007 @ 9:04 am

  • Thank you so much. I am thirsty for rare Jeff Buckley songs. I am so grateful for these.

    stingo — January 31, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  • Jeff Buckley sang a cover of “Flutter Girl” by Chris Cornell. I have heard it exists but am unable to find it. Does anyone know where it may be?
    I am dieing to hear it!

    CAIN — February 13, 2008 @ 2:28 pm

  • j’aurais voulue savoir où avais-tu trouvé ces chansons de Jeff.Merci d’avance.Excuse moi si j’ai ecrit en french

    Evane — March 24, 2008 @ 3:45 am

  • Bonjour j’aurais voulue savoir où aviez vous trouvé les chansons de jeff en acoustique et autres.Merci d’avance et excusez moi de n’avoir pas écrit en anglais.

    Evane — March 24, 2008 @ 3:52 am

  • maravilloso blog ,, saludos desde España —SPAIN —-…..MUY BUENOS GRUPOS …..MUSICA cañeraaaa

    kastanya karraska — April 26, 2008 @ 5:19 pm

  • salutnj’aurais voulue savoir ou avais-tu trouvé les chansons de jeff buckley car moi je les trouve pas.Merci d’avance
    et désoler d’écrire en francais

    evane02 — April 27, 2008 @ 7:22 am

  • How many times have I stumbled on this page when searching blogs on JB? Was thanks to myself (via Oink R.I.P.) and a man called Jarno (via LJ) that these came to be widely spread after we both recieved them from an American friend about 6 months before this post. Big shout to Sis (shortened sudonym) for them!

    Bucklberry — July 29, 2008 @ 11:23 pm

  • Thank you for this!

    Anonymous — August 6, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  • Hi,
    I just read your blog about Jeff. I am so glad I found it…found him.
    I had always known who he was and ofcourse…”Hallelujah.”

    But not until lastweek my life changed. It has been changed through his mus=
    ic, his voice his everything.
    =A0
    I shall tell you the full story because it just means somuch to me (sorry n=
    o Reader’ s Digest version here.)
    =A0
    I was online lastweek looking up some Leonard Cohen songs to add to my ipod=
    .=20
    Then I saw=A0there was a video (on youtube btw) of Jeff singing “Hallelujah=
    .”
    (I had no idea that Hallelujah was written by Leonard Cohen.)
    =A0
    So nayhow I clicked on it, and in that instant my life has changed immeasur=
    eably.
    There perfomance is of him in Jpan on stage just him, his guitar and a mic.=
    Very simple and pure (like him.)
    Once he opened his mouth to sing, I died and went to Heaven. His voice just=
    overtook me, I was transfixed to the creen. Watching his face, his expresi=
    ons, watching his mouth move his fingers playing the chords on the guitar.
    =A0
    Every single note that came from him just blew me away. I let him, his voic=
    e was over me and permeate every part of my being.
    =A0
    I could stop listening to it and watching it. I had been reduced to knockin=
    g knees and on the verge of tears. (much like when I met Johnny Depp :O) )=
    =A0I can’t explain excatly how it made me feel but I have not been the same=
    since.
    =A0
    I have been trying to explain the feeling, the rush, the inspiration that I=
    have gotten from him and his music. I kept going over it in my head. Words=
    like gifted, gem, breathtaking, blessed all suited the moment and Jeff but=
    not exactly.
    =A0
    Until about two days ago I was just talking to myself about it the change I=
    feel from him and why and how.=20
    =A0
    And it hit me~
    Music is like water to me, I need it in order to survive (no I am not a mus=
    ican or singer or have any musical ability whatsoever) it it a part ofmy da=
    ily life.=20
    When I was teaching pre-school I would play music (good music not crap like=
    The Wiggles).
    When I wake up I turn music on, Ilisten=A0 to it when I exercise, I am sure=
    you get the point.
    =A0
    Anyhow you know how there is water in the Apls, or the galciers? The sweete=
    st,purest, most delicous water you could ever taste. Or never get to taste?
    Well Jeff Buckley is that water to me. He is the purest, sweetest, most del=
    icious water in the world to me. So high up in the Alps, so=A0 far deep in =
    the glaciers (of wherever) that he is untouchable. He is the BEST water in =
    the world to me.
    =A0
    Hearing his voice just lit something inside of me a spark, a hunger, a desi=
    re to do more creatively, to live, to not be afraid to live.
    =A0
    I remember when he passed away, I believe I was 18 or 19. I sa it on MTV Ne=
    ws. It didn’t really affect me Ijust thought that it was sad and it shouldn=
    ‘t have happened and all that.
    =A0
    But not until now at this moment in my life GOD, the Universe, fate what ha=
    ve you led me to that perfromance, to see him sing that song (eventhough I =
    had heard it many times before and loved it). It just hit me like a tidal w=
    avw of inexplicable and enexplainable joy.
    =A0
    From what I have found out about him is that not only was he supremely gift=
    ed, and gorgeous but he was also just him. No bullshit no filler. so pure, =
    funny and humble.
    He just told people what it was and if they didn’t like iit sorry too bad. =
    But he was gentle about it. Kind of like if he were to break up w/ you he’d=
    do it so nicely and full of grace ( no pun intended) and love it’s almost =
    like he wasn’t breaking up w/ you being really really nice and saying FUCK =
    OFF at the same time. Does that make sense??
    =A0
    He was incapable of bullshit, he just didn’t have it in him and that is so =
    beautiful to me.
    He truly is the best water that ever was.
    =A0
    Thanks for having a great blog about a great man!
    =A0
    Thanks So Much,
    Emily:O)

    Anonymous — August 11, 2008 @ 2:16 am

  • I have a version if A Day In The Life that Jeff played on guitar no rds just him on the guitar. I also have an acoustic versionof Spoonman w/ hm and Chris Cornell.
    Let me know if you wantto hear it!!
    E-mail me

    sweet_emmee@yahoo.com

    Anonymous — August 11, 2008 @ 2:50 am

  • I have to take exception with what Greg wrote two years ago about When the Levee Breaks. I have yet to see a Led Zeppelin IV album that didn’t credit Memphis Minnie as either the co-writer or composer for the song. Crediting the original songwriter is hardly “pilfering” or “stealing.”

    I own the Memphis Minnie/Joe McCoy version, and while a great blues song in its own right, shares nothing but a handful of lyrics with the Led Zeppelin “cover” of the song. The Memphis Minnie and Led Zeppelin versions of this song sound nothing alike. Jeff Buckley was covering the Led Zeppelin version of this song. I often listen to all three in chronological order since I enjoy all three versions.

    There seems to be a trend recently to bad mouth Led Zeppelin at every opportunity as being thieves that never credited their blues influences. The reality is the Led Zeppelin was quite good at identifying and crediting their sources during a period when that was somewhat rare. They did have some oversights in this department, as the WIllie Dixon lawsuit showed. Although modern music fans are unfamiliar with blues and folk traditions of recycling lyrics, it was at a time a very common practice.

    Anyway, thank you for posting these wonderful songs.

    rdsathene — October 15, 2008 @ 1:39 am

  • Just like to know anyone looking for a tablature for “Untitled” (the one where he sings “Chances are you wouldn’t even recognise the man I am now”) I’ve been looking everywhere without luck. I have the first few bars figured out pretty well, but when he starts getting melodic I have no clue. If anyone can help out, or wants to know the little I’ve figured out as a starting block send an email to “jarrody2k” at my hotmail address or add me on msn.

    Cheers for getting these songs out – they really are some of his best and refreshingly a completely different styling to his popular stuff. Been listening to them for a year and a half now and still not sick of them!

    Jarrod — December 27, 2008 @ 6:43 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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