This Just In: You & I

Hey! You! There are new (old) Jeff Buckley recordings now available on fancy vinyl and slightly less-fancy CD. I’m not gonna go on some long Jeff Buckley tirade here, because if you don’t know about this mythical, magical creature already, all you have to do is LISTEN (below). We’ve also got a ton of other new records and CDs in stock this week, but why would you want to listen to anything else besides Jeff Buckley anyway? Just kidding – there’s plenty of other great stuff, new and used, all up in the racks here. Come dig! -MLE

Jeff Buckley – You & I 2LP, CD
Listen: “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side”
“It’s hardly a new observation that when entertainers die prematurely, they tend to stay fixed in our imagination as forever young and beautiful — free of blemishes, missteps and the twin ravages of age and commercial decline. In the case of Jeff Buckley, who died at age 30 in 1997 after only a few years of recorded output, the phenomenon is even more pronounced: Because the years leading up to his death have been so picked over, vault-diggers have had to delve ever further into the past, all the way back to early, developmental recordings like 2002’s Songs To No One, a batch of songs he’d recorded with Gary Lucas in 1991 and ’92. To hear some of Buckley’s oldest known recordings now is to watch an already ethereal musician age in reverse.

You And I collects 10 of his demos, which were recorded in February 1993, shortly after he’d signed to his label. For more than 20 years, they sat forgotten in the vaults — and, more to the point, were never bootlegged or otherwise circulated. Newly unearthed, they showcase a late-blooming 26-year-old artist who’s still finding and harnessing his voice: learning how to manipulate its gale-force power, learning when and whether to hold back, and learning how to fully translate his influences into a sound of his own.

Most of these songs are covers, and the artists represented help lay out the contours of Buckley’s own style: Two of the best (‘I Know It’s Over,’ ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’) are by The Smiths, while Bob Dylan, Sly & The Family Stone, Bukka White and Led Zeppelin help round out a set that also includes ‘Calling You’ (written by Bob Telson and recorded by Jevetta Steele) and ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin” (popularized by Louis Jordan, Ray Charles and others). Other anthologies have captured Buckley’s love of even clearer influences on his voice — Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nina Simone, et al — but the eight covers here still help provide a sense of where his rock and pop influences dovetailed with his love of blues and jazz. (Buckley rarely touched the catalog of his long-dead father, Tim Buckley, whom he famously resembled in both appearance and sound.)

Then there are the two originals: ‘Grace,’ written with Lucas, would become one of Jeff Buckley’s signature songs, while ‘Dream Of You And I’ jots down the barest framework for what would become ‘You And I.’ That’s where this collection is most illuminative. When the final version of ‘You And I’ was released posthumously on 1998’s Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, it had fleshed out the ideas and sounds explored here — but it was still technically unfinished, which means Buckley spent roughly four years translating an evocative moment from a barely remembered dream into something he still couldn’t quite embrace.

That’s part of why collections such as this hold so much value: They show how songs breathe and evolve, and help explain how their creation can unfold over the course of many years. Bob Dylan’s many archival sets showcase the same phenomenon all the time, but unlike Dylan, Buckley was anything but prolific as a songwriter; he interpreted more songs than he wrote. ‘Dream Of You And I’ demonstrates how difficult it is to transform a few hauntingly sung words (‘You and I, you and I, you and I / All for you’) into a finished work, while also capturing a few compelling moments of conversation wherein he lays out the song’s meaning.

Like so much of Jeff Buckley’s posthumous output — nearly 20 years’ worth, at this point — You And I was never meant to be heard by the public. Under ordinary circumstances, it’d be little more than a curiosity, trotted out for obsessives only. But as it is, it’s another crucial piece of a puzzle that, by definition, can never feel complete.” -NPR

buckley_jeff-you

You & I listening to new releases, reissues and restocks…
Adnan Othman – Bershukor LP
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color (Clear) 2LP
Alex Merbouti – Echoes Of The Invisible World CD*
Amy Winehouse – Lioness: Hidden Treasures 2LP
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not LP
Bad Religion – Recipe For Hate LP
Basic Channel – Q Loop 12″
Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality LP
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Natty Dread LP,  Legend (The Best Of) LP
Boys Noize – Midnight 12”
Brian Jonestown Massacre – Braveryrepetitionandnoise LP, Methodrone 2LP
Carlo Savina – Grand Tour LP
CFCF – On Vacation LP
Chet Faker – Built On Glass 2LP, Thinking In Textures EP 12”
Coil – Backwards 2LP
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits 2LP
David Bowie – Man Who Sold The World LP, Ziggy Stardust 2LP
Dead Moon – Nervous Sooner Chances LP, Tales From The Grease Trap Vol. 1: Live At Satyricon LP
Dennis Brown – Dubbing At King Tubby’s LP
Dillinger Escape Plan – Under The Running Board 10”*
D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Messiah 2LP
Don Carlos – Wipe The Wicked Clean LP
Don Cherry – Eternal Rhythm LP
Earl Sweatshirt – Doris LP, I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside LP
Edith Piaf – 23 Classiques Inoubliables 2LP
Elia Y Elizabeth – La Onda LP
Fela Ransome Kuti & Africa 70 With Ginger Baker – Live! LP
Flume – Flume LP
Four Tet – Rounds 2LP
Frank Sinatra – Songs For Swingin’ Lovers LP
Fred McDowell – Amazing Grace LP
G-Eazy – When It’s Dark Out 2LP*
Gang Of Four – Entertainment! LP
GZA – Beneath The Surface 2LP*
Hop Along – Get Disowned LP*
In Oculus – Silence Is Deafening CD*
Iron Maiden – Powerslave LP, The Number Of The Beast LP
Jackie Mittoo – Rides On LP
James Brown – Hot Pants LP
Jay-Z – The Black Album 2LP
John Coltrane – Giant Steps LP
Juju Pie – Welcome To Your Not Alone CD*
Justice – Cross 2LP
Kanye West – College Dropout 2LP
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid 2LP
King Tubby – Dancehall Style Dub LP
Kolsch – 1977 2LP
La Sera – Music For Listening To LP*
Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy LP
Lightnin’ Hopkins – Blue Lightnin’ LP
Magrudergrind – II LP
Maurizio – Ploy 12”
Miles Davis – In A Silent Way LP
Misfits – Collection II LP, S/T LP
Motorpsycho – Supersonic Scientists 2LP
Morbid Saint – Spectrum Of Death LP*
Muddy Waters – After The Rain LP
Nas – Illmatic LP
Neko Case – Furnace Room Lullaby LP
Nirvana – In Utero 2013 Mix 2LP
Nicolas Jaar – A Time For Us 12”, Marks & Angles 12″, Space Is Only Noise LP
Nina Simone – It Is Finished LP, Little Girl Blue LP, The Amazing Nina Simone LP
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return To The 36 Chambers 2LP
Otis Redding – Early Sounds (1960-1962) 10”
Outkast – ATLiens 2LP, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below 4LP
Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold LP
Pedro The Lion – It’s Hard To Find A Friend LP
Pete Yorn – Arrangingtime LP*
Pocket Of Lollipops – Thanks Theo CD*
Protagonist – Jean Jackets In June (Tour Edition) 10”*
Radiohead – Hail To The Thief 2LP, In Rainbows LP, Kid A 2×10″
Raekwon – Only Built For Cuban Linx (Colored) 2LP
Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed LP, Some Girls LP, Sticky Fingers LP, Through The Past Darkly LP
Sade – Best Of 2LP*
Sam Cooke – S/T LP
Santigold – 99 Cents LP, CD
Secret Boyfriend – Memory Care Unit LP
Shuggie Otis – Freedom Flight LP
Smashing Pumpkins – Gish LP
Sun City Girls – Torch Of The Mystics LP
Sun Ra – Heliocentric Worlds Vol. 1 LP, Sun Song LP
Souls Of Mischief – ’93 Til Infinity Deluxe 2CD
Sunwatchers – S/T LP
Tame Impala – Currents 2LP
Telefon Tel Aviv – Immolate Yourself LP
Tenastelin – Burial Tonight 12”
Terry Riley – In C LP
The Feelies – Only Life LP, Time For A Witness LP
The Gun Club – Dance Kalinda Boom LP
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness 2LP
Wrong – Stop Giving EP CD
Various – A Fistful Of Fuzz LP
Various – Drop On Down In Florida 2CD+Book
Various – God Don’t Ever Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson LP
Various – Jukebox Mambo Vol. 2 2LP
Various – Michigan Brand Nuggets 2LP
Various – No New York LP
Various – Tropicalia Ou Panis Et Circensis LP+CD

*Indicates new release or new reissue