Dave's Music Database books

Tuesday, August 23, 1994

Jeff Buckley’s Grace Released: August 23, 1994

image from themusicslut.com

Originally posted 8/23/2011. Updated 3/9/2013.


Released: 23 August 1994
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. Mojo Pin 2. Grace 3. Last Goodbye (3/22/95, #54 UK, #19 MR) 4. Lilac Wine 5. So Real 6. Hallelujah (12/20/08, #2 UK, sales: 1.0 m) 7. Lover, You Should’ve Come Over 8. Corpus Christi Carol (for Roy) 9. Eternal Life 10. Dream Brother

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 1.5 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 149 US, 42 UK

Rating:


Review: Buckley had “one of the finest voices of a generation,” AD a voice which “resembled a cross between Robert Plant, Van Morrison, and his father Tim.” AMG His delivery ranged from “delicate and dreamy to highly charged and nakedly emotional.” IC He “could go from a whisper to a roar” AD with his “impassioned, octave defying singing…inherited from his late father Tim along with his matinee idol good looks.” SM “Buckley is doubtless sick of the Son Of Tim tag (especially as dad was never around) but the inheritance of his father’s vocal range and disregard for conventional form is inescapable.” IC

“Buckley had been plying his trade round the coffee houses of New York before hooking up with ex-Magic Band guitarist Gary Lucas in the short lived Gods and Monsters. The band failed to release a record, but Buckley’s profile was raised sufficiently to get him a solo deal…Entering the studio with a hurriedly recruited band, Buckley set about making Grace.” SM

“His extreme intensity and emotional sincerity make Grace…a flourishing achievement.” CH Buckley crafted original “songs of mystery and spirituality” IC which “are full of a search for redemption and all about love, loss and faith.” AD He “jumbles jazz, R&B, blues and rock references” SZ along with “French chanson, eastern melodies and classical choral music to create a classic rock record almost without precedent.” SM It “sounds like a Led Zeppelin album written by an ambitious folkie with a fondness for lounge jazz.” AMG

Sadly, it was the only full-length solo album released in Buckley’s lifetime. He went drinking with a friend on May 29, 1997, and died of an accidental drowning after diving in to the water fully clothed.

Hallelujah


Resources and Related Links:


Award(s):


Saturday, July 16, 1994

The Lion King soundtrack hit #1: July 16, 1994

Originally posted July 16, 2012.

image from fanpop.com

“Walt Disney Pictures had its fourth straight massive hit with an animated movie musical in the summer of 1994 with its tale of the coming of age of a young lion. The movie studio changed composers, replacing Alan Menken, who wrote The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, with Hans Zimmer (instrumental score) and Elton John (songs); lyricist Tim Rice, who took over on Aladdin after the death of Howard Ashman, remained in place.” WR

“Elton John doesn’t seem like a natural choice to write for a Disney musical, but he rose to the task on The Lion King, transcending his usual penchant for the softest of soft rock.” AZ He “took a leaf from the Paul Simon Graceland songbook and filled his music with references to South African mbaqanga.” WR John’s “collaboration with Tim Rice (former writing partner of Andrew Lloyd Webber) helps connect the soundtrack to the theatrical lineage of all Disney musicals – so much so that, like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King was eventually adapted for Broadway.” AZ

Can You Feel the Love Tonight

However, from a content standpoint, “there wasn’t that much of it” WR but that didn’t keep the album from topping the charts for 10 weeks in the U.S. on its way to 10 million in sales. “Undistinguished songs like Can You Feel the Love Tonight? are far outnumbered by stirring, stately tunes that lent the film so much of its sense of pageant and play.” AZ

Circle of Life

However, “while it is hard to argue with the ecology lesson behind Circle of Life or the impossibly infectious rumba of Hakuna Matata,” SL there’s really only “about five songs here, three of which are repeated at the end in versions by John.” WR

Hakuna Matata

Then this “already padded soundtrack was further padded with four excerpts from Zimmer’s score.” WR Of course, some would suggest that “the true heart of the original soundtrack…was the…inspiring and majestic score.” SL


Awards:


Resources and Related Links:

Monday, April 25, 1994

Blur released Parklife: April 25, 1994

Originally posted April 25, 2012.

In the summer after Parklife was released, Britpop reached a feverish peak with the Blur vs. Oasis battle. The only the thing the bands truly shared, “apart from their public loathing of each other, was their preoccupation with the sixties, with the former attempting to re-write the entire Beatles back catalogue while Blur revived the archetypical English whimsy and art school artifice of The Kinks.” PR

However, “Blur’s admiration of The Kinks isn’t as blatant as their rivals’ fixation for The Fab Four.” PR While previous album “Modern Life Is Rubbish established Blur as the heir to the archly British pop of the Kinks, the Small Faces, and the Jam” AMG, Parklife “revealed the depth of that transformation” AMG by serving up “more eccentricity and more focused evocations of everyday life than Oasis’s work.” TB “The ghost of Ray Davies can be heard on the character sketch Tracy Jacks and there are echoes of the similarly styled Small Faces in the title track,” PR a “mod anthem” AMG in which Phil Daniels, the star of Quadrophenia, “lends his broadest ‘sarf London’ accent.” PR

Parklife

However, the band doesn’t just utilize “Ray Davies’ seriocomic social commentary” AMG; “Parklife runs through the entire history of post-British Invasion Britpop in the course of 16 songs, touching on psychedelia, synth pop, disco, punk, and music hall along the way.” AMG “From the fairground-style dembellishments and novelty instrumentation to the flirtations with punk and psych-pop, Parklife constantly surprises with its diversity of material and infectious good humour.” PR “Damon Albarn even manages a fair stab at Syd Barrett on Far Out.” PR

Indeed, Albarn “intended these songs to form a sketch of British life in the mid-‘90s, and it’s startling how close he came to his goal; not only did the bouncy, disco-fied Girls & Boys and singalong chant Parklife become anthems in the U.K., but they inaugurated a new era of Britpop and lad culture, where British youth celebrated their country and traditions.” AMG However, it was still “a thoroughly modern record in that it bends genres and is self-referential.” AMG “And, by tying the past and the present together, Blur articulated the mid-‘90s zeitgeist and produced an epoch-defining record.” AMG

Girls and Boys


Awards:


Resources and Related Links:


Tuesday, April 5, 1994

Kurt Cobain commited suicide: April 5, 1994

Originally posted April 5, 2012.

image courtest of billboard.com

On August 8, 1994, an electrician found Kurt Cobain’s body at his home in a room above the garage. He was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A gun and suicide note were nearby. The coroner determined the 27-year-old rock singer/songwriter had died on April 5.

Nirvana, the band Cobain fronted, attained global fame in 1991-92 with Nevermind, a #1 album which achieved sales of 10 million in the U.S. and more than 20 million worldwide. It ranks in the top 10 albums of all time. That album’s lead single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, is also considered a landmark in music history, ranking in the top ten of the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999.

The huge success of that album and song put Nirvana at the forefront of the grunge movement. Considered the most vital music genre to come about in years, Cobain was heralded as its John Lennon – the voice of a generation of dissatisfied teens and young adults in their twenties.

Cobain was tortured by a chronic stomach ailment, heroin abuse, depression. In death, he became – some say intentionally – a member of “the 27 club,” a group of musicians including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and later Amy Winehouse, who all died at age 27. Quoting from a Neil Young song in his suicide note, he said it was “better to burn out than to fade away” (read note here), an indication of his desire to go out on top.

CNN’s repot on Cobain’s death

NBC’s report on Cobain’s death


Awards:



Resources and Related Links: