JEFF BUCKLEY fans are the latest to be thrown off NAPSTER for downloading unreleased material from the controversial file-sharing application.
Buckley only completed one studio album, ‘Grace’, which was released in 1994 – three years before he drowned in the Mississippi at the age of 30. However, in the period prior to his death, he had written and recorded hours of unreleased material, the highlights of which appeared on the posthumous album ‘(Sketches For) My Sweetheart The Drunk’.
A statement was released to MTV news yesterday (December 20) on behalf of the Buckley’s estate, claiming material Buckley recorded at this time, as well as other rarities and live recordings, were never intended for release. The statement said: “Jeff (Buckley) made it very clear that certain songs and materials were not for publication. He was religiously protective of the quality of the recordings released for public consumption. For Jeff’s mother and those of us who work with her, his known wishes are sacrosanct.”
It continued: “…We’re not interested in waging war with understandably angry (often young) banned Napster users, whose only real ‘crimes’ are a fervent love of Jeff’s music and ignorance of Jeff’s wishes and the law… We’d rather they were enlightened, not inflamed.”
Following the death of Buckley, control of his estate was taken over by his mother Mary Guibert. In a recent mail-out to fans, she hinted at her annoyance at Napster users, saying “Of course, it should go without saying that websites shouldn’t be offering MP3 downloads or bootleg recordings”.
A spokesperson for Buckley’s estate, who have initiated the ban, rather than Buckley’s label Columbia, hinted that they would have preferred to just remove the tracks from Napster, but this is currently not possible.
This ban comes shortly after Rage Against The Machine fans were thrown off Napster for downloading tracks from their new album ‘Renegades’. However, the members were reinstated soon after when guitarist Tom Morello declared the ban a “horrible mistake” on the part of the band’s management, and posted a series of tracks and videos to compensate.