30-Day Song Challenge Day 15
Day 15 of the 30-day song challenge has arrived. We’ve reached the halfway stage and I’m still going strong. I’ve had my half-time shot of vitamin C and I’m ready to rock the second half! I don’t know what is more shocking, the fact I’m still doing this or the fact you’re still reading them. Thank you to those of you that are sticking with me! Today I am tasked with picking a song that is a favourite cover version – what another very easy thing to decide!
For those new to this, the 30-day challenge is ‘forcing’ me to pick 30 different songs over consecutive days based on the list below. I decided, 15 days ago, that it would be fun to write a blog post about each of my choices. It still is fun…kind of…just 😉
Many modern cover versions are awful. Let’s be honest, most of them seem to be recorded by kids who are instructed how to sing them by a ‘svengali’ such as high-waisted trouser fan, Simon Cowell. But the history of music shows that there are some cover vesions that are even better than the original. Hurt by Johnny Cash and Sinead O’Connor’s heart-wrenching cover of Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ are just two that would figure high on most peoples list.
Whichever song you pick there will always be somebody that will accuse you of blasphemy for even thinking that song is better than the original. The case my be true for the song that I am picking but as I have learnt, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I have also learnt that I can’t please any of the people any of the time too.
But You Don’t Really Care For Music Do You?
When I first heard the song I am choosing, I had yet to hear the original. This may be why I love this cover so much. Many people, myself included, will often fall in love with the version they hear first and the others fail to live up to comparison. This is true with my choice, Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley.
Hallelujah was originally written and recorded by Leonard Cohen in 1984. Since its release Hallelujah has been covered by over 300 artists but for me I doubt any of them come close to the beauty and sorrowful sound of Jeff Buckley’s. Jeff Buckley recorded Hallelujah in 1994 for his only completed album, Grace.
Well It Goes Like This, The Fourth, The Fifth
Upon it’s initial release, Grace failed to garner much attention, peaking at number 149 in the US album charts. Over time though it has aquired critical and commercial success and is often cited as one of the best albums of all time. David Bowie was quoted as saying Grace was the best album ever made.
In Cohen’s original the lyrics are almost mumbled whereas Buckley’s are stark and beautiful. The lyrics are sung with sadness, pain but also with moments of almost elation and joy. The song seems to rise and fall, much like life. The guitar playing is, without a shadow of doubt, some of the most beautiful ever commited to tape. Buckleys version was ranked 259th in Rolling Stone’s top 500 songs of all time and it’s easy to see why.
Love Is Not Victory March
I first heard Jeff Buckley while I was working in music store at Waterloo Train Station in London around 2003. One night after work I went home and caught a documentary about Jeff Buckley and the album Grace on BBC2. The very next day I went into work and insisted playing the album in the shop.
I obviously wasn’t the only person that had seen the documentary as person after person came in asking for the album. We sold out of all the copies we had in store that day. The following day more were delivered, all of which promptly sold out.
Sadly, Jeff Buckley didn’t live to see this late and much deserved fame as on the night of May 29, 1997, Buckley drowned while swimming in the Wolf River Harbour in Memphis.
I hope you enjoy this utterly beautiful song and thanks for reading this post. If you’re new here why not hit that subscrube button.
Or stay a have a look around my other song choices – 30-DAY SONG CHALLENGE DAY FOUR
If you are on Spotify you can listen and follow my list here –