Monday, March 12, 2007

Five Hallelujahs

It’s Leonard Cohen’s song and the lyrics are terrific. But who does the best version?

Leonard Cohen
John Cale
Jeff Buckley
Allison Crowe
Rufus Wainwright

My order of preference would be:

1. Jeff Buckley
2. Leonard Cohen
3. John Cale
4. Rufus Wainwright
5. Allison Crowe

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Allison Crowe
2. Leonard Cohen
3. Rufus Wainwright
4. John Cale
5. Jeff Buckley

it's highly subjective, of course - but that's how I'd listen to them

that said, it's a beautiful song and everyone can enjoy it their own way!

Ben Wilkinson said...

Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah is incredible, pure and simple. His voice soars and echoes with genuine feeling and emotion.

Rob said...

I think all these versions are very good, but all quite different from one another.

I guess Allison Crowe has the "best" voice - she is a great singer - and John Cale probably has the "worst" voice in a technical sense, but I like the fragility for this song. Leonard Cohen has the best video and his style is unique. Rufus Wainwright sounds as if he's been listening to John Cale's studio version. For me, Jeff Buckley's version has the brokenness, the emotion, and the power, all rolled into one.

It is entirely subjective. Fantastic song.

apprentice said...

I'm with you on Jeff's being the best, but it's rather like coming second in your own look-a-like contest isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Don't like Buckley's OTT version. It's a coffee milkshake to Lenny's black tar original.

My favourite cover is by Edinburgh songwriter Gordon Grahame who is at last getting some attention due to his band's (Lucky Jim) song being used on a Kingsmill bread advert!

Roddy

Rob said...

I didn't know Gordon Grahame had recorded a version. I have an album and a 12" single from The Lost Soul Band recorded in the early nineties.

Good to know he's still around and might even achieve deserved success. It's a question of sticking in, isn't it?

I remember Alex Kapranos back in the late eighties. He used to organise gigs at Glasgow's 13th Note - my own band played there. Suddenly he's a megastar nearly twenty years later. I'm sure he doesn't give out his true age though.

Cailleach said...

John Cale
Leonard Cohen
Jeff Buckley
Rufus Wainwright
Allison Crowe

Always had a thing about John Cale's version, but then that would be linked to me VU obsession...

Anonymous said...

Thing is about Gordon Grahame - he's still a great singer, still a handsome devil (if not quite so thin and hairy as in the LSB days), and he knows deep down he is overdue some success.

His version of Hallelujah used to be on the Lucky Jim MySpace page, but isn't currently.

R

Anonymous said...

Just a note to the poster who said, "I'm with you on Jeff's being the best, but it's rather like coming second in your own look-a-like contest isn't it?":

This song was written by Leonard Cohen. Some of the lyrics were re-written by John Cale, and the song was re-arranged for piano. It is his version that he and Wainwright are performing. Buckley's version is a re-arrangement of Cale's for guitar. I can't say anything about the Crowe version, because I couldn't stand to listen to the whole thing; the vocals are totally overwrought with trills and runs. Yuck!

My order would be:
1. Wainwright
2. Cale
3. Cohen
4. Buckley
5. Crowe

Anonymous said...

Everything you probably don't want to know about this song:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallelujah_(song)