Jeff Buckley's Ozark Melody

November 22, 2009 8:19 AM

In the summer of 1996, less than one year before he died, Jeff Buckley wrote and recorded this song which was released for free on the Internet, but never on any of his albums.

My first and last meeting with Jeff Buckley was when my musical partner Fred Reed and I recorded this song. While I wrote the lyrics, Jeff and Fred worked out the tune, strummed mandolin and guitar, and recorded the entire song in one breakneck four-hour session.

Jeff's music is not usually associated with humor or comedy, but that day was full of laughs and fun. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

posted by joetrip (19 comments total) 91 users marked this as a favorite

Oh, this is so good. "I'm the planet's new age Julia Child"?? Very nice. I like this version of Buckley. Good story, good song. What is that wonderful sound at the end?
posted by Corduroy at 8:56 PM on November 22, 2009

Thanks, Corduroy. It began when I told Jeff about my alien book I had written and he just started strumming on the mandolin singing "Oh the aliens are coming." I quickly started writing the rest of the lyrics, and the rest, as they say, is musical history -- of a sorts.

The sounds at the end are Jeff saying "Don't come back, you somabitch". A little earlier he had started vocal improv on the aliens saying "They had gun racks, Union Jacks, and everythang..."

Priceless stuff...
posted by joetrip at 1:35 AM on November 23, 2009

Holy shit. Of all the things one can encounter on MeFi Music, I never would have expected to find Jeff Buckley. This is wonderful. Is that him doing the fake theremin around 3:40 too?
posted by Saellys at 7:18 AM on November 23, 2009

Yes, Saellys, that's Jeff doing the vocal theremin. I've never worked with a more talented musician than Jeff. He was fun, quick, and wonderfully surprising.
You can download the MP3 of the song, and more, here.
posted by joetrip at 7:58 AM on November 23, 2009

Holy crap, joetrip. That's awesome.
posted by cortex at 1:57 PM on November 24, 2009

Thank you for sharing this.
posted by keli at 2:14 PM on November 24, 2009

That's so awesome. Thank you!
posted by rtha at 2:22 PM on November 24, 2009

Yeah holy shit. Thanks Joe!
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:55 PM on November 24, 2009

Wow, cool story and what a great memory to have.
Certainly a different Jeff Buckley than we're used to.
Thanks for posting.
posted by chococat at 3:06 PM on November 24, 2009

Oddly enough, this is not exactly what I expected to find on MeFi Music today. What a scream!
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:09 PM on November 24, 2009

This would have been great at the end of the final X-Files episode.

But this is just great any ol' which way.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:04 PM on November 24, 2009

Here's an archive of the page that Rolling Stone linked to, which is now dead. Weird, fantastic, and wonderful! Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:11 PM on November 24, 2009

Holy crap. That's a hell of a story.
posted by spiderskull at 11:16 PM on November 24, 2009

Thanks, everyone!
Effigy2000, I actually wrote an unproduced episode for The X-Files which you can read here.
filthy light thief, thanks for the linkage.
Just a thought, how many of you would like access to the unmixed tracks of that session?
posted by joetrip at 3:16 AM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

*long sustained squealing noise*
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on November 25, 2009

this is the greatest thing ever. such a huge jeff buckley fan. thanks a ton for this.
posted by shmegegge at 10:43 AM on November 25, 2009

also, YES! unmixed tracks would be fucking awesome.
posted by shmegegge at 10:43 AM on November 25, 2009

posted by ageispolis at 10:58 AM on November 25, 2009

I do love blue grass, but it also gives me the fear......
posted by andyfallon at 12:51 AM on December 11, 2009

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