Cover vs. Original

Hallelujah


Buckley's stripped-down version sounds more sincere & graceful. Cohen's original seems less elegant & his spoken/sung lyrics sound almost tongue-in-cheek. Just my opinion. They're both great versions of a masterfully written song.

- Matt, New York, NY, United States, 13.11.2005


Jeff Buckley
1994

vs.

Leonard Cohen
1985

CD-Cover: Jeff Buckley - Grace 64.5 % 35.5 % 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
Jeff Buckley 3667 Votes Leonard Cohen

Comments about Hallelujah:

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Ok, I can understand not liking Buckley's version - it took me a while to enjoy it - but K.D. Lang's version? K.D. not only destroys the song, but she destroy's Buckley's version of the song! If you listen to her version, she isn't covering Cohen's original, she is covering Buckley's remake, just like Anthony Michael Hall did for the Dead Zone TV soundtrack. Hers is TERRIBLE! Her voice is strained. There's no depth. It's as if she is searching for some type of meaning in an otherwise meaningless air.
- Annamarya, Brooklyn, NY, United States, 23.05.2007
I absolutely hate Buckley's version of this song, although I like most of the Grace album. He overplays it to the extent where he might as well be Mariah Carey.

The best versions of this song are by John Cale and kd lang. Cale's version sends shivers down my spine - Rufus Wainwright's version of this song is based on the Cale version.
- Adam, Glasgow, Scotland, 10.04.2007
jeff's is better imo just as every other cohen song is better done through covers...much like lou reed, dylan, etc...masterful songwriters that cannot do their own songs justice.
- thumphreys, chicago, United States, 25.03.2007
Allison Crowe's version is my favorite. Props to Leonard Cohen for creating this beautiful song in the first place.
- Holly, Grand Falls, Canada, 15.03.2007
John Cale
- Ade, Glasgow, Scotland, 26.01.2007
Leonard Cohen is an amazing poet and songwriter; however, his voice does not do his songs justice. Some of the best versions of Cohen's songs are covers, but this does not discredit Cohen's talent in writing the songs.
- Kelly, Ottawa, Canada, 11.12.2006
Buckley's version is brilliant, but that doesn't diminish Cohen in any way. It's masterfully written song, but Buckley found beauty in there that Cohen's version only hinted at.

Also, Buckley's version isn't just a matter of good presentation or some repackaging, there's some real re-thinking going on there. Compare the two and listen to where they place the emphasis -- it's not just a matter of degree, Buckley shifts the focus from one phrase to the other, and it's for the best.

-Craig
- Craig, Houghton, United States, 22.11.2006
I refuse to vote! Australian Idol there is a singer named damien who is in the final 3 (thats what it's up to now) he sang this song last week and his version = awesome
- Rowan, Sydney, Australia, 07.11.2006
I think you are apt to appreciate the version you first fell in love with. Granted Buckleys voice is a much finer instrument..but for me it lacks the gravitas that Leonards vocals embue the song with.
- Hufflen, thunder Bay, Canada, 26.10.2006
I'm sorry to say that my favorit version is the John Cale cover. You can come across it in the first Shrek movie. Sadly, on the soundtrack cd it's yet another performer; Rufus Wainwright, the least of all, in my humble opinion.
- Jan Verdonck, Antwerp, Belgium, 19.08.2006
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