Originals performance / then covers on topic


Age quod agis
Music (again)

Post original performance (if possible) or performer(s)



Newsweek considers John Cales cover the best cover of Hallelujah.

1. John Cale (I’m Your Fan, 1991): Sparse, haunting, and impeccably sung, the former Velvet Underground member teased out the song’s melody in a way Leonard Cohen never could. Though he didn’t write the song, Cale’s interpretation rescued “Hallelujah” from permanent obscurity and established what it could—and should—sound like, rescuing several deserving verses from the cutting room floor in the process. (Legend has it Cohen faxed him 15 pages’ worth of abandoned lyrics.) For the piano phrasings alone, Cale deserves credit (or blame) for every “Hallelujah” that has come since. —ZS