WHAT: JeffBuckleyCollection.com, a new website launched today by Sony Legacy that offers a virtual tour through the record collection of the much-beloved late singer Jeff Buckley.
WHO: The site was curated by Mary Guibert, Buckley’s mom, who also manages his legacy and recordings. (She’s the reason why the countless hours of recordings in the vault from the singer, who died after one critically adored album, have been doled out very slowly over the past two decades, rather than flooded into the market.) Sony Legacy created the site, and visitors can listen to the actual albums in the collection through Spotify.
WHY WE CARE: For someone who died in 1994 after just one lone album, Jeff Buckley’s influence on popular music is nonetheless massive. His interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is responsible for the song’s ubiquity, and everyone from Radiohead to Coldplay to latter-day U2 wears his influence on their sleeve. This project, though, flips that in reverse–rather than tracking the artists who Buckley influenced, it tracks the ones he loved enough to keep on his shelf in his 30 years. And there are some surprises there, too. The collection is full of likely suspects (Leonard Cohen’s discography is well-represented, as are David Bowie’s and Lou Reed’s), but also offers some insight into a harder-core side of the singer: Who would have guessed that along the Bob Dylan and Miles Davis, we’d see so much of ’80s punk bands the Dickies and the Descendants? Buckley’s death–by drowning–was tragic, and came decades before something as prosaic as a “record collection” as a way to showcase what kind of music you listened to became obsolete, but it also means that there’s a firm document of his influences. And when you’re talking about an artist who means as much to music as Jeff Buckley, that document is an exciting thing to be able to tour through.