23rd May – The Number One Album in Australia – 1998 (Jeff Buckley – Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk)


The Number One album in Australia on the 23rd May, 1998 was Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk by Jeff Buckley.

Jeffrey “Jeff” Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997), an American singer-songwriter and guitarist was the son of musician Tim Buckley (February 14, 1947 – June 29, 1975) who released a string of critically acclaimed albums throughout his career including Goodbye and Hello (August 1967), Starsailor (November 1970) & Greetings from L.A. (October 1972).

The Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk album – a collection of four-track demos & studio tracks – was recorded across Summer 1996 in New York & Spring 1997 in Memphis; and was the follow up to his successful debut release Grace.

Jeff Buckley’s response to the question posed by Richard Kingsmill (Triple J) about what was planned for Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk?

“… a really radical evolution from Grace, just because we’ve been together as a band for so much longer than that. On Grace, we had just been together for maybe five weeks and Michael [Tighe] wasn’t even in the band. And now everybody really has a really integral part in the way the music’s made. It’ll be better.”

Buckley’s captivating voice is a shining light, the focus on the emotional and raw material across the two discs demonstrating his innate songwriting talent.

The producer for Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk was Tom Verlaine – best known as the frontman for the art rock band Television from New York; whose debut album Marquee Moon (February 1977) inspiring many guitar bands including Joy Division, U2, R.E.M., & Sonic Youth.

Verlaine connected with Jeff Buckley when they met each other in 1996 when they had both made guest appearances on Patti Smith’s Gone Again.

Though when Buckley and the band did a third recording stint with Verlaine, in Memphis, there was dissatisfaction with the sessions and Buckley contacted Andy Wallace (who has worked with marquee recording artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Nirvana), the producer of Grace, to come onto the project as Verlaine’s replacement

Buckley commenced recording 4 track demos – songs such as Murder Suicide Meteor Slave, Back In N.Y.C., Demon John, Your Flesh Is So Nice & Jewel Box – in preparation for a forthcoming session with Andy Wallace.

“Half of the art of making records is letting the whole thing go… even your mistakes. The nature of it is excruciating. Or, it’s obsessive. Because you’re dealing with ultimate things. You know? It’s not like a live show where you play it and it just disappears into the air like smoke. It’s like painting – sound painting” – Jeff Buckley, Everybody Here Wants You (Documentary)

Some of these demo tracks were sent to New York, where his band was residing; they were scheduled to return to Memphis on May 29 for recording and rehearsals sessions.

On that evening (May 29, 1997), Buckley went swimming in a channel of the Mississippi River, was caught in the wake of a passing boat and drowned; his death ruled as accidental with the autopsy showing no signs of alcohol or drugs in his system.

The posthumously released album received positive reviews around the world.


Disc One

The Sky Is a Landfill (Jeff Buckley, Michael Tighe) – 5:09

Everybody Here Wants You – 4:46

Opened Once – 3:29

Nightmares by the Sea – 3:53

Yard of Blonde Girls (Audrey Clark, Lori Kramer, Inger Lorre) – 4:07

Witches’ Rave – 4:40

New Year’s Prayer – 4:40

Morning Theft – 3:39

Vancouver (Jeff Buckley, Mick Grondahl, Michael Tighe) – 3:12

You & I – 5:39

Disc Two

Nightmares by the Sea (Original Mix) – 3:49

New Year’s Prayer (Original Mix) – 4:10

Haven’t You Heard – 4:07

I Know We Could Be So Happy Baby (If We Wanted to Be) – 4:27

Murder Suicide Meteor Slave – 5:55

Back in N.Y.C. (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) – 7:37

Demon John (Jeff Buckley, Michael Tighe) – 5:13

Your Flesh Is So Nice – 3:37

Jewel Box – 3:37

Satisfied Mind (Red Hayes, Jack Rhodes) (recorded 1992.10.11 WFMU) – 6:00

All tracks composed by Jeff Buckley; except where indicated


Art Direction, Design – Gail Marowitz, Nicky Lindeman

Bass – Mick Grondahl

Drums – Eric Edel (tracks: 1-1, 1-8, 1-9), Parker Kindred (tracks: 1-1 to 1-7, 1-10)

Engineer [Assistant] – Jim Caruana (tracks: 2-3, 2-5, 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11), Joe Lizzi (tracks: 2-3, 2-5, 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11)

Guitar – Michael Tighe

Liner Notes – Bill Flanagan

Liner Notes [Mary’s Message To The Fans] – MG

Mixed By:

Andy Wallace (tracks: 1-1 to 1-9, 1-10),

Mary Guibert (tracks: 2-3, 2-5, 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11),

Michael J. Clouse (tracks: 2-3 to 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11),

Thom Cadley (tracks: 2-3, 2-5, 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11)

Columbia A&R  – Steve Berkowitz

Other [Il Dottore Di Musica] – Chris Cornell

Other [La Mano D’aiuto] – Don DeVito

Photography – Merri Cyr

Producer – Tom Verlaine

Recorded By – Jeff Buckley (tracks: 2-4 to 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11)

Research [Tape] – Jon Naatjes

Voice, Guitar – Jeff Buckley

Written By – Jeff Buckley (tracks: 1-1 to 1-4, 1-5 to 2-6, 2-8 to 2-10)


* Haven’t You Heard

Recorded at 135 West 26th Street Studio, NYC (February 5, 1997).
Mixed at Sony Music Studios, NYC (February 5, 1998).
Additional assistance at GinStar, Inc.

* I Know We Could Be So Happy Baby (If We Wanted To Be

Recorded on 4-track in Memphis, TN (Spring 1997).
Mixed at GinStar Music Studio, Cresskill, NJ (Fall 1997).

* Murder Suicide Meteor Slave, Back In N.Y.C., Demon John, Your Flesh Is So Nice & Jewel Box

Recorded on 4-track in Memphis, TN (Spring 1997).
Mixed at Sony Music Studios, NYC (February 5, 1998).

* Satisfied Mind

Recorded live on The Music Faucet – WFMU-East Orange, NJ (October 11, 1992)
Produced for The Music Faucet


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