Personnel: Jeff Buckley (vocals, guitar, dulcimer, harmonium, organ); Gary Lucas , Michael Tighe (guitar); Loris Holland (organ); Matt Johnson (drums, percussion); Eric Eidel, Parker Kindred (drums).
Audio Mixers: Chris Shaw ; Clif Norrell; Michael J. Clouse; Mary Guibert; Michael Brauer; Andy Wallace; Thom Cadley.
Liner Note Author: David Fricke.
Recording information: Cafe Sin-E, New York, NY (08/17/1993-02/05/1997); On Air Studios, Tokyo, Japan (08/17/1993-02/05/1997); Sony Studios, New York, NY (08/17/1993-02/05/1997).
Authors: Dorothy Scott; Mick Grongahl; Duncan Sjeik; Matt Johnson ; Fran Healy; John Legend; Lenny Kaye; Mary Guibert; Michael Tighe; Mike Doughty; Peter Lindgren; Rufus Wainwright; Willie Nile; Ben Folds; Ben Harper; Parker Kindred; Romeo Stodart; Brandon Boyd ; Brenda Kahn.
Photographers: Hans van den Bogaard; Michael Linssen; David Gahr; Hollandse Hoogte; Merri Cyr; Niels Van Iperen; Hideo Oida; Mary Guibert.
Although Jeff Buckley completed only one full-length album, GRACE, before his accidental drowning in 1997, the young singer-songwriter, son of the folk icon Tim Buckley, left behind a considerable legacy, inspiring an entire generation of artists. Issued a decade after his passing, SO REAL is the first collection to span Buckley's tragically brief career, drawing tracks not only from GRACE but from the many posthumous live and studio releases that followed, most notably SKETCHES FOR MY SWEETHEART THE DRUNK, songs that Buckley was attempting to finish before he took that fateful swim in the mighty Mississippi.
Half of SO REAL--including the heartrending "Last Goodbye" and a spare, passionate take on Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"--is appropriately taken from GRACE and its extended LEGACY EDITION reissue, while others tracks are culled from MY SWEETHEART (see the urgent "Vancouver") and LIVE AT SIN-E, which introduced the world to Buckley's stunning, multi-octave voice and equally emotive guitar playing. Bolstered by a previous, unreleased version of the baleful "I Know It's Over," a Smiths tune that Buckley frequently performed in concert, SO REAL serves as an excellent overview of his key recordings, though nothing tops the thrill of discovering GRACE in its entirety.