Columbia / Legacy Recordings / Sony Music Entertainment Australia today will release YOU AND I, the very first studio recordings made by Jeff Buckley for Columbia Records.
These 10 tracks (most of them cut in Steve Addabbo's Shelter Island Sound studio in February 1993) have gone virtually unheard for more than two decades. Recently discovered in the Sony Music archives during the research for the 20th anniversary edition of Buckley's GRACE album, the performances on YOU AND I are a revelation, an intimate portrait of the artist performing a variety of cover songs and original music expressing a range of emotion channeled through his singular sensibility.
These 'Addabbo Sessions" which lasted for a mere 3 days in a 7th floor recording studio in New York City back in 1993. It was a very simple recording session where the producer (Steve Addabo) and A&R manager (Steve Berkowitz) kept out of his way and recorded him live. Jeff himself decided what songs were recorded across these sessions, with him trying to find his own way within the studio environment. Long rumored to exist, these sessions are a fan's 'Holy Grail" and represent a pivotal time in Jeff's career that helped develop his artistry, and looking back now, these represent a more magical time than what may have been thought of in the day.
Steve Berkowitz, the A&R Executive who originally signed Jeff to Columbia Records, visited Australia last month and explains; "Jeff loved being in Australia, playing in Australia and cherished the times he had there with his band, friends and fans."
The songs on YOU AND I reveal, in part, the eclectic scope of Jeff Buckley's extraordinary musical tastes and talent. The covers on the album include Jeff's highly personal interpretations of songs written by Bob Dylan (-Just Like a Woman'); Sylvester Stewart (-Everyday People' recorded by Sly & the Family Stone); Joe Green (-Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin', recorded by Louis Jordan, Ray Charles and others); Bob Telson (-Calling You', recorded by Jevetta Steele for the 1987 film Bagdad Café); Morrissey and Johnny Marr (-The Boy with the Thorn in His Side' and -I Know It's Over', recorded by The Smiths); Booker T. Washington "Bukka" White (-Poor Boy Long Way from Home', from a 1939 "field" recording made by John Lomax) and John Paul Jones/Jimmy Page/Robert Plant (-Night Flight', recorded by Led Zeppelin).
SBS Television will be airing the -You And I' 30 minute documentary this Saturday March 12th at 3:00pm AEST, which will also be available to view for 30 days on catch up.
From the time that Buckley first garnered national and international attention with the 1994 release of GRACE, he has stood out for the unparalleled praise he has received from some of the greatest musical artists across generations, and the profound influence he continues to have over artists today:
Adele: 'I try to listen to music that might uplift me but I don't really connect with it. So mainly, Jeff Buckley. And that's been my entire life I've done that. I remember falling out with my best friend when I was like seven and listening to Jeff Buckley, because my mom was a huge fan. Grace has always been around me."
Bono: 'Jeff Buckley was a pure drop in an ocean of noise."
Jeff Beck: 'The simplicity and beauty of Jeff Buckley's voice sounded amazing to me. I felt that if I could do with my guitar what he can do with his voice then I could have something pretty special."
Ben Harper: 'Jeff is one of my favourite musicians and singers of all time. Never have I seen such infinite musical potential in anyone."
Elvis Costello: '[Jeff's] -Corpus Christi Carol' was a completely conceived interpretation. I'd never heard the piece before and when I heard the original I realized what Jeff had done was even more amazing. He'd taken it into his own world. That's something my favourite classical musicians can do, be themselves but use all that expertise to make the music more beautiful. Jeff did that naturally."
Robert Plant: 'I was playing with Jimmy in the mid-90's, working with an Egyptian ensemble and we played at a festival in Switzerland. Jeff Buckley was playing and we went to see him, and it was mind altering – his voice. Spectacular singing. And, so much conviction."
1. Just Like A Woman (Bob Dylan cover)
2. Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
3. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin' (First recorded by Louis Jordan)
4. Grace (original)
5. Calling You (Jevetta Steele cover)
6. Dream Of You And I (original)
7. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (The Smiths cover)
8. Poor Boy Long Way From Home (traditional blues song, Bukka White cover)
9. Night Flight (Led Zeppelin cover)
10. I Know It's Over (The Smiths cover)