Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 142
Wed. May 30, 2012
On the night that all Buckley fans are mourning of the 15th anniversary of Jeff’s passing, we honor him with one of the most legendary outtakes in Buckley’s short lived canon.
“Forget Her” is Jeff Buckley’s modern day-closeted poetic update of Elvis “I Forget To Remember To Forget Her.” Originally, “Forget Her” was supposed to be the breakout single that Jeff’s label, Sony/Columbia was looking for. But Buckley nixed the song, after The New York Times printed a side by side review of Jeff’s Live at Sin-e EP with Michael Bolton. Buckley feared that Columbia wanted to market himself as the “Grunge Bolton.” So he refused to allow “Forget Her” to be released.
I once owned a copy of a short 3 minute fragment of this outtake. It was horrible quality but just to hear a muffled version was like unearthing a masterpiece of song. “Forget Her” used to be my theme song; I would play this lost jewel over and over again during my single days in New Orleans and Chicago—it’s the sympathetic soundtrack to anyone who’s ever loved and lost.
“Damn that’s Killer” was Grace producer, Andy Wallace’s reaction to witnessing Jeff perform “Forget Her” for the first time in the studio. In Dream Brother—David Browne perfectly describes the mystical moment when Buckley created “Forget Her” out of thin air. The way that Browne writes about this session is straight out of Rock ‘n’ Roll lore. “part lament and part purge, it was startling in its directness, and the ache and the hurt built with each passing line until a key change in the final verse sent emotions into overdrive […] it was good old fashioned fiery spew.”
That was the moment 1993, after Jeff recorded “Forget Her” when Grace first started to come to light. Unfortunately, it only took eleven years, circa 2004 on the Legacy edition of Grace for all Buckley fans to hear the greatness of the unreleased Buckley Holy Grail of a song that was “Forget Her.”
Put on your headphones and let Buckley take you to that place between desire and despair with “Forget Her.” Courtesy of Jeff Buckley, ache and longing never sounded this unforgettable.