The latest excavation of the late Jeff Buckley’s archives took place this past Friday, marking the 25th anniversary of Buckley’s landmark debut Grace. Three Buckley releases — Grace (Legacy Edition), Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, and Mystery White Boy — were reissued with more than 50 bonus tracks between them. There were also four full live sets comprising largely unreleased recordings: Live At Wetlands, New York, NY 8/16/94, Live From Seattle, WA, May 7, 1995, Cabaret Metro, Chicago, IL, May 13, 1995, and, “for the first time in its entirety,” Live At Columbia Records Radio Hour (recorded June 4, 1995 at Sony Music Studios in New York City).
As is often the case with deluxe reissues, especially for artists whose discography has been repackaged as often as Buckley’s, this is mostly a case of grazing over well-grazed fields, padded out with slightly different versions of familiar songs. But included in the lot is one song that has never been released before, a demo called “Sky Blue Skin” that stands as one of Buckley’s final recordings from his final studio session. Specifically, he laid it down on Sept. 13, 1996.
“Sky Blue Skin” is a low-key smolder of a song. In Buckley’s signature fashion, it’s organic and raw and fluid to the point of shapeless. If you’re a fan, you’ll surely enjoy it, so do that below, where you can also find live footage of Buckley performing “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” at the Middle East in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on February 19, 1994.