Hallelujah

Best of Cover Wars: Hallelujah Edition

[Originally Published: May 25, 2010]

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, off his 1984 album Various Positions, is one of those songs that seems ubiquitous but the original version rarely heard. The song plays out as an epic saga and has a seemingly endless supply of lyrics that never drag on if delivered properly. It’s been covered nearly as many times as there are verses. Countless times it’s appeared on soundtracks to films and television shows as a poignant backdrop to directors’ attempts at tugging on heartstrings. While what follows are each great renditions, I implore you to start with the original done by a maestro and true craftsman of song.

Cover Wars

The Contestants:

Jeff Buckley: Buckley’s hauntingly dramatic version from his 1994 debut Grace is the best known cover of Hallelujah. It’s one of the best known covers of any song ever. Many people who love the Buckley version have no idea Cohen was the originator – I know I’ve met more than a few.

[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/hallelujahbuckley.mp3]

READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…

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Cover Wars March Madness: Sweet 16

Cover Wars March Madness rolls on. We’ve had our play-in round and our first full round of 32 covers and we’re left with our Sweet 16. We are in our third year of this tournament and we have just now done the obvious, we have generated an actual bracket so you can visualize how this is all going to go down. Have a look and be sure to vote in all eight matchups.

Matchup #1

Ramble On (Led Zeppelin)

Phish debuted this cover at Alpine Valley in the Summer of 1998. As most Phish fans know, there has been one other performance ever and it was the following week at Vernon Downs where the band paired Ramble On with their own Slave To The Traffic Light to close the first set. There are some killer Ramble On Teases in the Slave jam. Source: 8-1-1998

[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/phramble.mp3]

UPDATE: The text in all the descriptions for Cover Wars March Madness are taken from the original editions which at times – are out of date. As one of our readers pointed out in the previous round – Phish has since performed one more partial performance of Ramble On, and yes – it was pretty terrible.

VS.

Wilco – Thirteen (Big Star)

Wilco recorded this cover for the 2006 Big Star covers record Big Star Small World. Though never played live by Wilco, the song has made at least 11 appearances at Jeff Tweedy solo shows.

[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/wilco13.mp3]

READ ON to vote on the remaining seven matchups in the Sweet 16.

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Video: JT & Matt Morris – Hallelujah

One of the many musical highlights from Friday night’s Hope For Haiti Now telethon was a simply stunning version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah done by Justin Timberlake and his new

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