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Jeff Buckley's Grace (33 1/3) Paperback – April 28, 2005

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Product Details

  • Series: 33 1/3 (Book 23)
  • Paperback: 157 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (April 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826416357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826416353
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.4 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


feature in Princeton Weekly Bulletin 10/18/04 mentioning Jeff Buckley's Grace

“Such inspiration is seen in Brooks’ current book project, ‘Jeff Buckley’s Grace,’… The book will examine the legacy of the singer-guitarist, who only released one full-length studio album but had amassed a cult following before he drowned at the age of 30.” –Eric Quinones, Princeton Weekly Bulletin, October 18, 2004

“…Daphne Brooks reveals and obsession- so intense it’ll make you blanche- with the late Jeff Buckley.” –Philadelphia Weekly

About the Author

Daphne A. Brooks is Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Center for African-American Studies at Princeton University where she teaches courses on African-American literature and culture, performance studies, critical gender studies, and popular music culture. She is the author of Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 (Duke University Press, 2006).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Marc A. Berger on August 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Thomas Lhamon's review (July 5, 2005) criticizing GRACE for its technical inaccuracies and flowery prose is misguided and evinces the writer's immature taste. To be more direct, it's just plain wrong.

I am a musician--a guitar player to be exact--of the worst kind. At rock shows, I'm the guy who stands next to the stage passing judgment on everything from the year an amp was made to the gauge of the strings a guitar player uses (Blackface Twin reissues don't sound as good as the originals; .09s are just terrible). I feign a kind of meta-expertise that permits me to shrug off other people's opinions about the music I listen to. Ever want to recommend a new record to me? You'd better expect a response in line with, "Oh, that?!? It's okay." The more I like the record, the more apathetically I talk about it.

As such, you might expect a person like me to share Mr. Lhamon's opinions, the reviewer is no doubt a card-carrying member of my pseudo-club (after all, no one but a club member would harp on the differences between a Mexican-made Telecaster and a American one). We're both musicians, we both fiend for those obscure factoids that we can feel cool dropping at parties with our arrogant musician "friends." We should be besties.

Too bad he completely misses the ball.

Daphne Brooks is not a member of our club. She's not even a musician. Rather, Ms. Brooks is a scholar of literature, and her writing is beautiful, nuanced, and evocative. Somewhere along the way, she shared in the experience that many of us musicians hold close to our hearts--Jeff Buckley's transfixing swansong entered her life and she fell in love. With exquisite clarity, brutal honesty, and language so awesome the word "transcendent" underestimates its power, Ms.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. Weed on December 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I got out of music school some 25 years ago, and I'm still in love with the electric guitar, and great music made with it. It's a pleasure to see Brooks' focus on Buckley's terrific record. But her efforts to translate the poetry of the music into the written language demonstrate how hard it is to do. Phrases like "swirling guitars," "crunching power chords," "resonant swirl of punked out romance and passion," become tired and vague after awhile. I'd rather see some more objective analysis of the music...for example, a chapter could have been written on the peculiar--and brilliant--cliche-busting structure of "Lover, You Should Have Come Over"--not to mention the complexity of the recording process in that and many of the other songs. Brooks touches on these issues to some extent, although I think she tends to tie Buckley too closely to his influences, rather than focus on the amazing way that he ultimately transcended them all, and recreated himself and his music into something magnificently unique. I respect Brooks' effort to describe his uniqueness in poetic terms, but, in the end, some of us (I think) would like to see greater objective, technical analysis. I guarantee the material is there.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Christensen on August 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a relative newcomer to Jeff Buckley's music, I was thrilled with Daphne Brooks' excellent book on the genealogy of his album Grace. Well-researched and passionately-even lovingly-written, her book 33 1/3 Grace offers long-time and would-be Buckley fans a way to make sense of the musician's wildly diverse musical influences, which include Led Zeppelin, Mahalia Jackson, Judy Garland, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, to name just a very few. Combining description of how Buckley developed his singer-songwriting craft with close readings of individual songs, Brooks shows very concretely how Buckley drew from these influences to create a music that was simultaneously an homage and entirely new. Not only did this make me listen to Grace a wholly new way, it also sent me back to Led Zeppelin, Leonard Cohen, and even Buckley contemporaries like Nirvana with a new ear to their music.

One of the things I most appreciated about Brooks' book is its attentiveness to what it means to be a fan of Buckley's music. Too often writing on rock musicians like Buckley-especially those who die young as he did-plays on the tired clichés of tortured genius, a la Kurt Cobain, or mystic masculine rock god, a la Jim Morrison. This kind of cliché-driven writing does little more than offer the fan-constituted as young, male, and white-the opportunity to vicariously live out the fantasy of a mythological rock stardom. Brooks, in contrast, not only avoids those clichés but begins and ends with a meditation on what it means for her, an African American woman from the Bay Area with a PhD, to be a fan of Jeff Buckley's rock music.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Glasser VINE VOICE on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
Daphne A. Brooks was originally supposed to help with the liner notes of Jeff Buckley's Grace Legacy Edition CD released late in 2004. When Sony decided to use another's opinions, Brooks decided to compile her information and use it to write this book. Because of this, the information is obviously opinionated. However, these opinions often get in the way of deciphering which parts are opinion and which parts are cited facts. The book is basically a repetitive compilation of information from other sources with opinions thrown in. Some of the quotes are new because of the author's access to materials that have not been officially released, but most of the information is recycled from previously released albums, DVDs, and books. This makes the book unnecessary for avid fans, but perhaps still desirable for the opinions of a fellow fan.

Although the book is titled "Grace," it discusses songs that did not make the album like "Forget Her" and songs sang during the Mystery White Boy tour like Judy Garland's "The Man That Got Away" and Edith Piaf's "Je N'En Connais Pas la Fin."

Brooks is obviously a devoted fan who visited St. Ann's Church where Jeff first sang his father's songs and where a memorial was held after his death. She was also fortunate enough to attend the performance in which Jeff sang his now famous "Chocolate Mojo Pin," a version explained as highly sexual, but unlike mainstream sexuality of the time. Brooks' explanations of the songs on the album and what they meant to her are interesting and offer a different perspective than what one might have concluded.

Strangely, Brooks manages to misquote several song lyrics including So Real on more than one occasion and dialogue from the Live at Sin-E CD.
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