Today marks the 15th anniversary of the loss of one of the true greats, Jeff Buckley. Though he only released one album during his tragically brief lifetime—the pitch-perfect Grace from 1994—Buckley’s legend, like that of his father, Tim, has only grown. Buckley earned a cult following around his adopted home of Manhattan’s East Village, most notably at the club, Sin-é, in the early ‘90s by mesmerizing crowds with live performances littered with a diverse range of cover songs by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Bad Brains, Robert Johnson, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Bob Dylan, Édith Piaf, and Elton John, among others. After the release of Grace, Buckley toured relentlessly for two years before stepping off the road and moving to Memphis to attempt to write and record his second LP (which was to be produced by Television’s Tom Verlaine). On May 29th, 1997, Buckley accidentally drowned in an offshoot of the Mississippi River. He was just 30.
In remembrance of his passing, we’ve picked a handful of Buckley’s most moving interpretations of other peoples songs that shaped the young artist.