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Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," a Highlight of k.d. lang Performances, Hits the "X Factor"

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2008
    Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," a Highlight of k.d. lang Performances, Hits the "X Factor"

    Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" has became a classic over the nearly 25 years since it was first recorded by Cohen in 1984 and has lately become resurgent in the UK pop world as the featured song on the finale of British TV singing contest X Factor. (Alexandra Burke was named the show's winner last weekend and has recorded her own version.) The song has been interpreted, famously, by countless performers, from Bob Dylan to Jeff Buckley to k.d. lang.

    k.d. recorded the tune for her 2004 Nonesuch debut, Hymns of the 49th Parallel, which features works from the "Canadian songbook" by fellow songwriters like Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young. Her stirring rendition at the 2005 Juno Awards in Canada brought the audience to its feet for a two-minute ovation, and since then it has become a highlight of her live performances, called “downright transcendent” by the Boston Herald and “mesmerizing” by The Guardian.

    Leonard Cohen's partner, singer Anjani Thomas, in an interview with Wears the Trousers magazine, says that of all the interpretations the famous song has been given, it's k.d.'s she and Cohen see as the definitive one:

    “After hearing k.d. lang perform that song at the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2006 we looked at each other and said, ‘well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It’s really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection’. I don’t think I could even try it, because it’s been so magnificently done.”

    Read more at wearsthetrousers.com.

    In light of the X Factor finale, the BBC has put together a multimedia quiz "Do You Know Your Hallelujahs?" testing readers' knowledge of the song's various incarnations. You can give it a go at news.bbc.co.uk.

    Journal Articles:Artist News
on December 17, 2008 - 12:49pm
Excerpt: 

Leonard Cohen's classic "Hallelujah" has lately become resurgent in the UK pop world as the featured song on the finale of British TV singing contest X Factor. The song has been interpreted, famously, by countless performers, from Bob Dylan to Jeff Buckley to k.d. lang. k.d. recorded the tune for her 2004 Nonesuch debut, Hymns of the 49th Parallel, and it has become a highlight of her live performances, called “downright transcendent” by the Boston Herald and “mesmerizing” by The Guardian. The BBC has put together a multimedia quiz "Do You Know Your Hallelujahs?" testing readers' knowledge of the song's various incarnations.

Copy: 

Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" has became a classic over the nearly 25 years since it was first recorded by Cohen in 1984 and has lately become resurgent in the UK pop world as the featured song on the finale of British TV singing contest X Factor. (Alexandra Burke was named the show's winner last weekend and has recorded her own version.) The song has been interpreted, famously, by countless performers, from Bob Dylan to Jeff Buckley to k.d. lang.

k.d. recorded the tune for her 2004 Nonesuch debut, Hymns of the 49th Parallel, which features works from the "Canadian songbook" by fellow songwriters like Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young. Her stirring rendition at the 2005 Juno Awards in Canada brought the audience to its feet for a two-minute ovation, and since then it has become a highlight of her live performances, called “downright transcendent” by the Boston Herald and “mesmerizing” by The Guardian.

Leonard Cohen's partner, singer Anjani Thomas, in an interview with Wears the Trousers magazine, says that of all the interpretations the famous song has been given, it's k.d.'s she and Cohen see as the definitive one:

“After hearing k.d. lang perform that song at the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2006 we looked at each other and said, ‘well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It’s really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection’. I don’t think I could even try it, because it’s been so magnificently done.”

Read more at wearsthetrousers.com.

In light of the X Factor finale, the BBC has put together a multimedia quiz "Do You Know Your Hallelujahs?" testing readers' knowledge of the song's various incarnations. You can give it a go at news.bbc.co.uk.

Publish date: 
Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 11:00
Article Type: 
featuredimage: 
k.d. lang, "Hymns of the 49th Parallel" [cover]

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