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05 August 2007


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Allison Crowe - respectable version because she really does have a good voice for it.

Sonny Boy Mick -- very interesting version. I like the acoustic guitar.

This is probably one of a handful of alltime fave songs -- and the Shrek (Rufus) version is the one I like the best.



Thanks for focusing on this amazing song. I have to say, though, that one of my pet peeves is what I consider to be the improper use/interpretation of "Hallelujah." It seems to be featured most frequently as the accompaniment to a deeply sad moment, i.e., the death of a beloved peson or a horribly wrenching break-up. My opinion is that the song is ironic, humorous, bombastic, and a bit sarcastic. I think this comes through most clearly in Mr. Cohen's performances.

Lee Charles Kelley

It's a great song. And I agree that the Cohenesque friction between love/tenderness and irony/sarcasm is what really makes it work.
Personally I like the kd lang version first (she's simply one of the greatest singers of all time, and the tension she finds between chord changes, and her voice rides that tension is an example of her voice at its best), Rufus second (he has that quiet, inner pain thing in HIS voice), and Leonard Cohen third, mainly because he just doesn't have the vocal capability other singers have.

If this is a challenge, it got me to thinking of a similar project, which goes way back to the 1920s:

Favorite versions of "Stardust":

Louis Armstrong (one of the best recordings of any song by any artist, ever)

Hoagy Carmichael, just voice and piano (Hoagy wasn't much of a singer, but he wrote the damn tune in the first place, which counts for a lot...)

Nat King Cole (he sang just the verse, which was used in the opening credits of SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, and probably some other films, and it's sheer perfection)

John Coltrane (10 minutes of subtle improvisatory bliss--like heroin with chord changes)

Spanky and Our Gang (this is a killer version with lots of 60s pop gloss and a great Spanky MacFarlane vocal)

Bob Dylan (just kidding)

Willie Nelson

I would love to know if kd lang or Rufus Wainwright have recorded it.


Emily Clark

This song really is amazing, but one of my all-time favorites has to be Brandi Carlile's version. I've seen her perform it twice. I have a video of it up on YouTube that I think's pretty good.

And I have lots of audio, plus the original KCRW recording.


This recording by Allison Crowe amazes me. It's my favorite version out of the many great takes on this magnificent song by Mr. Cohen.

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