'Hallelujah''s a bit of a shame really, because any Buckley fan knows that's not the half of it. The title track from his only full album is the masterpiece, and I don't think that's really been acknowledged enough.
Perhaps until now. When I looked it up this week on youtube, I saw to my glee that the song is being studied now for GCSE music. That's cool.
Quite a piece of music to study. Where do you start? Riff? Bassline? Lyric? Vocal melody? Coda? Probably ...
I watched the official video, and that prompted me to consider Buckley in context - making a video, maybe the record company hopes it will get on MFTV - a mid-90s rock guy, maybe like The Gin Blossoms or Deep Blue Something or Hootie and the Blowfish or Dave Matthews.
Not the legend of Buckley, just some mid-90s rock guy who never quite made it.
And, look, some of those moves, they're similar to everything we've come to hate, every narcissistic pretty boy rock boy really meaning it, and all the voices that have come after, all the good and godawful before and after, soaring tenors and squawking howlers - Freddie Mercury, David Coverdale, Axl Rose and James Dean Bradfield, metal singers, then Muse and Coldplay, Damien Rice, James Blunt and the Darkness and John Mayer or whomever, they're all in Buckley territory. All trying to do it, nearly all failing horribly.
But really, to me, there's Buckley doing Grace and then there's everything else.
The intensity, the way he uses his mouth and his whole head, again, we've seen it so many times in so many irritating ways since, but we've not heard anything like this again. He does that because he needs to, he's making a range of noises far beyond other singers.
There's so much more here than on Hallelujah, which is controlled and spooky and pretty. 'Grace' is mental, it's possessed. I've never heard anyone else sing like this. No one. There are other singers in pop music who are his equal, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin and ... (other names escape me) ... but even they, I'm not sure they're quite capable of this.
The rage ... the madness ... the echoes ... the marrying of different styles of singing, sometimes within single notes...
In terms of the song itself, it was actually the King Creosote cover which really helped me get to grips with it - one of the cleverest covers I've ever heard - he tames the untamable, and turns its into a sweetly eery folk ballad.
Then again, there's this ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/music/popular_music/rock1.shtml
which tells you plenty that I can't!