Cover vs. Original

Hallelujah


Admittedly Rufus Wainwright's cover was the first version of the song I heard, but it holds as my favorite. Wainwright's vocals fit the song better and bring more emotion to the song than Cohen's.

- Jessica, St. Charles, United States, 06.02.2006


Rufus Wainwright
2001

vs.

Leonard Cohen
1985

CD-Cover: Rufus Wainwright - Shrek Original Soundtrack 61.8 % 38.2 % CD-Cover: Leonard Cohen - Various Positions
Results of the voting: Cover versus Original
Click on the cover for listening Click on the cover for listening
Rufus Wainwright 2026 Votes Leonard Cohen

Comments about Hallelujah:

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WHO IS LEONARD COHEN AND WHY DOES HE DESERVE THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME OVER THE BEASTIE BOYS? Great Cover it's amazing
- Jim, Rome, United States, 21.01.2008
I think Jeff Buckleys version tops them all, with Rufus coming in a close second. John Cale is good also. Don't get me wrong I like Cohen and he write a great song but his voice doesn't have enough emotion in it. Truth be told he doesnt even sing, just speaks the words in that deep voice of his which just doesn't do this song justice. I much prefer his song "Everybody Knows" performed by himself. Everything aside, Rufus has a fantastic voice.
- Tammy, Newport News, United States, 21.01.2008
I think that most of the covers of this song are very good (except for Imogen Heap -- Ugh!). I think that the Wainwright version is my favorite, followed by Cale, Buckley, and Cohen. I love Rufus' version partly because I love his voice, but also because I think that the piano is a perfect accompaniment to this song. Buckley's is beautiful and incredably heart-rending, but honestly, I think it's a little slow. I love what Cohen did with the original recording: the Church-like choir that backs him up is inspired. It shows the irony of the word "hallelujah" with its religious connotations and the very un-holy way it is presented -- as "cold and broken", very oxymoronic. However, I just don't think that his recording brings out as much of the emotion as some of the single-singer covers do.
- Ana, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 06.01.2008
I agree with Erin. Leonard Cohen wrote the song. End of story. The others aren't worth mentioning.
- Cole, Austin, United States, 02.01.2008
Sorry people much as I love the Rufus version its a straight [sorry!] lift of the version by John Cale whose version pisses all over both!
- Andy, )xford, England, 23.09.2007
I agree with Andryn: Jeff Buckley's version is the best I've heard, it definitely captures a sense of cold, desperate holiness.
- Johann, Cape Town, South Africa, 29.08.2007
Here's a question: would these results be anywhere near where they are if this guy had recorded the song but it was never in Shrek?
- Roni, Laguna Hills, United States, 23.07.2007
No one, anywhere, ever, will cover any of Leonard Cohen's material and be as good as him. Not possible. He is the lord and master of all he surveys.
- Erin, Houston, United States, 29.06.2007
Jeff Buckleys version is, in my opinion, the best. It seems almost holy! Sung by a lost soul. Even more poignant because he is dead.
- Andryn, Johannesburg, South Africa, 24.06.2007
Agreed, the best version is John Cale's
- John, London, England, 20.05.2007
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