The Grace Scandal
Why is Jeff Buckley's Grace album now eleven tracks long instead of ten?
Why is a track Jeff Buckley personally despised - "if I hear it again, I'll throw up" - now the eleventh track on the Grace album? Jeff Buckley never wanted '"Forget Her"' on the album and got his way despite Columbia's numerous attempts to persuade him otherwise. However, now that Jeff has passed on it seems the record company has achieved what they initially set out to accomplish.
"if I hear it again, I'll throw up"
In fact, not only did Jeff not want "Forget Her" to be part of his first and only completed album he didn't want the song to be released to the public at all. What a double whammy!
Nevertheless, it must be made clear here the issue this article is purely concerned with is the fact that "Forget Her" is now listed as a Grace track. Not a bonus track an actual track!
Grace is a piece of art that is valued and highly regarded by fans and musicians alike. The artist always intended for the album to be ten tracks long. Now an individual who is introduced to Grace for the first will time will judge Grace on it's eleven tracks. The tenth track 'dream brother' beautifully closes the album in my opinion. But now the album closes with the tacked on track "Forget Her". It alters the entire ambience and structure of the album. If the track was listed as a bonus track it would help.
You can see why Columbia always wanted Jeff to release "Forget Her" as the first single on the Grace album. It was more accessible to any listener with simple lyrics and a simple blues structure. Jeff however, wanted Grace to stretch people. He wanted the album to show originality and depth and reward on repeated listens. "Forget Her" didn't fit in with this ideology and the experienced listener can pick up on this when they listen to Grace. That is why Jeff was delighted when Michael Tighe his band guitarist shared with him a riff which he used and developed into a new track 'so real'. Jeff stated 'my album is saved' and quickly removed "Forget Her" from the album in favour of the better track 'So real'. There has also been rumours that suggested Jeff didn't want to release "Forget Her" because of personal reasons. I find this the least plausible explanation. Either way Jeff never wanted "Forget Her" to be on Grace.
Therefore I feel it is with a form of respect that we treat Jeff's wishes rather than trample on his grave. To mess with somebodies art in the way Columbia has done I find very unsettling. It is the artist and the artist alone who is the person who determines what should or should not be part of their own piece of art. Not some plastic suit man who has little respect for anything other than money.
Grace is the most beautiful, serene album that has ever been written. It's a gem from start to finish and with the addition of Forget Her, it completely throes off the flow and sequence. Dream Brother, which I think is the greatest song he ever wrote is irreplacable as the album's closing track. What better way to end an album with a song such as that that makes you ponder in awe. - Steven Bodrug