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Ranking: Every Jeff Buckley Song from Worst to Best

on May 26, 2017, 12:00pm

67. “Macdougal Street Blues”

From Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness


Buckley and Joe Strummer collaborated to contribute backing music to Kerouac reciting the namesake poem. That is all the information you need to know. Let us move on. – Kristofer Lenz

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66. “Angel Mine”

From Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness

This time Buckley provides backing guitar, sitar, and atmospheric mouth sax as special lady friend Inger Lolle recites the titular Kerouac poem. Again, the less said the better. – Kristofer Lenz

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65. “Back in N.Y.C.”

From Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk (originally by Genesis)

An oddly raw cover of a Genesis track from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. This version is remarkable within Buckley’s catalog for being perhaps the only recording where both the guitar and his voice sound terrible. – Kristofer Lenz

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64. “How Long Will it Take”

From Songs to No One (original by Pat Kelly)

The Gary Lucas-Jeff Buckley collaboration Songs to No One bore many fruits. “How Long Will I Take” is possibly the discolored apple on this tree. A bit of an anomaly, but when investigated closer, it is nothing if not interesting. The ambiguously effected guitar that coos on the beat connotes an alternate universe’s Beach Boys progression. I’m also almost sure it’s been sampled for a videogame at some point. – Kevin McMahon

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63. “Malign Fiesta (No Soul)”

From Songs to No One

Here’s Buckley attempting fast, breathless folk-punk. Not a great fit for him, but dig the slide guitar and frenetic energy. – Zach Schonfeld

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62. “Your Flesh Is So Nice”

From Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk

This is a very dirty song. Not the normal, pensive Buckley you can take home to mom. The fuzz that lies over the guitar coupled with the lyrical content makes it sound like a bedroom punk recording (with notably professional vocals). – Kevin McMahon

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61. “Dink’s Song (Fare thee Well)”

From Live at Sin-é (Legacy Edition) (cover of traditional song)

Though Buckley’s arrangements hardly ever breach folk territory, the genre and movement had a huge impact on his career. “Dink’s Song (Fare Thee Well)” was covered by many of the notables during the ’60s folk movement, like Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan, but has its roots in the early 1900s. Buckley’s version removes the twang and plays it as an electric guitar, R&B spectacle. While maybe not one of his most notable live performances, it’s an ode to the artists that inspired him. –Dusty Henry

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