back to article Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah set for top two spots in Christmas Day charts

A bunfight has kicked off on the interwebs between fans of the teary-eyed winner of X Factor and fey, navel-gazing muso types who want their Hallelujah back. The result? Leonard Cohen’s oft-covered love song could occupy the number one and number two slots on Christmas Day. Fans have been doing their best to counteract …

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Rob
Heart

buckers ftw

I hope dearly buckers can bring it back from the grave and then a truly deserving cover will be #1, burke is quite a good singer, but no-one's ever gonna beat jeff's version, just leave it be!!!

I'm glad theres enough people with an appreciation for jeffs one that this has gained such momentum, over the past month or so i've been enjoying grace immensely as I sit by the open fire sucking on tasty volcano vapor, I recommend everyone else does the same, keep it festive

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Paris Hilton

Go Jeff...

Surely a link to the facebook group is in order...80,000 members and climbing...

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=66500765224

Paris, because I'm sure she's a closet Buckley fan...

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Anonymous Coward

None are a patch on the original

If someone had been on the ball in Cohen's management they would have released a live version from the tour - that would have shown up both covers as nothing short of monkey poo compared to the Master himself.

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IT Angle

What??

Sorry - what is this X-factor thing?

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Anonymous Coward

Music labels

oh how great it is to be a money sucking leach like sony.

I personally hope that both of these music "artists" die in a hysterical car accident after a night binge drinking in London.

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Silver badge

Bah

Everyone knows the definitive version is the one Bono did on Tower of Song.

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Stop

The cause

Just to point out.. the aim of the group is not to stop Sony BMG making money - in fact most know full well they stand to win whatever happens. Nor is it to mindlessly slate Miss Burke.

It's simply to highlight the greatest version of the song. If it achieves number 2 at the weekend... then that has been achieved. Of course regardless of the Alexandras talent, most would say its a pretty weak cover. Thats not her fault though.

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Flame

The Charts?

"Hey, get round the television, everyone: it's Sir Stiff vs. Status Queue, part 374!" The annual Christmas music charts obsession, like tabulating and extrapolating music sales is still *so* interesting and relevant. British media groupthink at its very finest, and everyone is sure to be watching the left hand while the right hand gives them the shaft. Dumb enough yet are we, Britain?

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No need!

As a fan of actual music (as opposed to noise with a brand name attatched), I'm morally opposed to both Buckley's narcissistic, 'look at me, I'm so depressed because my mum won't drop me off round the corner from school when she gives me a lift in the Range Rover - it's so embarrasing because I'm only 16 and my friends are 17 and all drive brand new Nissan Micras' rot and the 'I've said it before and I'll say it again, democracy just doesn't work', X-Factor Opportunity Knocks pish.

I'm hoping for a decent Christmas number one.

Go John Sergeant!

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The funny thing is that...

...people are treating it as a sacred song. Check the original, it's a little bit bitter and a little bit sexual.

I hope Lenny gets enough out of it to retire. He's top of my list of people I'd like to get pissed with...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Music labels

Ahem.

1) 'Leech'.

2) One of the artists is already dead, dipstick, and wishing it on others is *so* uncool.

Personally I think the Buckley version is unsurpassable, so I'm not going to get all offended by one more person doing a version - I'm just not that interested in it. If others are into it and miss out on better versions, it's their loss. It's one of the greatest songs ever and almost unequalled in its robustness when it comes to being covered - you can't really fuck it up or somehow ruin the original or whatever you consider to be the definitive version by doing another forgettable one. Timmy Mallett couldn't fuck it up, so a competent enough and vaguely soulful warbler like Alexandra Burke will do fine. Let her have a Christmas number one. Why should anyone get upset?

Ahhhhh, it's so relaxing not to care about these things.

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(Written by Reg staff)

actually

Come to think of it I feel a bit sorry for Alexandra. This is her one moment of lovely awesomeness and joy before she's put on the treadmill, starts to realise how horrible and soul-destroying the industry actually is, and becomes just another generic pop singer who'll either ascend to Leona-grade stardom or slither back into ignonimious normalcy and obscurity where she'll always wistfully remember the one time she was recognised.

Kind of seems mean-spirited to do this Buckley-bomb, then. Buckley's been dead for years - his legacy is secure, and people will either flap their arms and pule about what a whining adolescent he was (oh behave), or celebrate him as an artist of merit, blah blah. He wouldn't care. It's ridiculous.

Hmm, now I feel like going and downloading Alexandra's version, just to make a point about the point everyone else thinks is so important to make. But then I still don't care enough to do that.

Meh.

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Boffin

indie bores Snow Patrol

Come on. The fist album was brilliant. 2nd not so much and 3rd... well. hmmm.

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Happy

What amuses me about this song...

.. is that of all the versions I've heard so far I like Cohen's the least. Buckley gave it a very creative spin, Rufus Wainwright did a slightly boring but rather pretty makeover - but Cohen's is just terrible.

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IT Angle

Things I don't think you can improve on.

My favorite version of this song is John Cale's from "Fragments of a Rainy Season", and likely always will be. Hope Cohen gets some grocery money on the sudden interest, at least.

Oh, never mind, they're downloading the song. There's the IT angle.

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IT Angle

Please, save our Christmas!

Everybody buy the Buckley version, or we'll keep hearing this one on every year's Christmas hits compilation from here on.

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Anonymous Coward

So the RichRoll thing isn't going too well then?

I thought it would be quite amusing if this: http://www.ultimaterickroll.com/ did actually work and scuppered the X-Factor winner from getting to number 1.

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Leonard Cohen beats them both

Leonard Cohen's rendition is far and away the superior version.

And who says he ain't the prettiest?

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Stevie and Dominic

I was going to say something along the lines of Dominic's post - comparatively few people have the original Cohen album it comes from, but those who do know it's a gigantic pile of 80s cheese: great songs, somewhat compromised by the poorly-recorded gospel choirs and synthesized *everything*.

Also, Stevie, no fair! I have that album, and have been diligently trying to bury the memory of that hideous, Godawful cover from the one time I accidentally let it play for thirty seconds. *shudders*

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Dead Vulture

Another cracker of an El Reg article!

Informative, relevant, concise, impartial - this was none of those!

Classic El-Reg hacktard excrement!

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Coat

X Factor Judges

> One of the artists is already dead, dipstick, and wishing it on others is *so* uncool.

Does that include wishing it on Simon Cowell? Last I noticed he was a man whose waistband is around his nipples, which is about as uncool as you can get. He's getting paid millions for televising some auditions. That's right, auditions!

Mine's the coat with the gun and a bullet with Cowell's name on it...

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Thumb Down

So this Xmas...

... at the most depressing time of year for many people, the Number One song could be "music to slit your wrists to"...!

Well, maybe there's a god above,

But all I've ever learned from love

Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.

It's not a cry that you hear at night

It's not somebody who's seen the light

It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah...

Happy Xmas everyone...

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Anonymous Coward

Sheer pain

I'm damaging muscles from wincing and rolling my eyes at the mere mention of the Yuk factor. If anyone felt a convincing reason was required to ban ITV entirely and erase all mention of them from history, this programme is it. I never thought I'd see El Reg stoop so low.

Anyway, as mentioned above, Cohen's version is unsurpassable.

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Black Helicopters

What about the kinks?

Hallelujah? what's the big deal? it's a boring song no matter who sings it. Give me the kinks - father christmas any day!

Santa drives a black helicopter in the non xmas season...

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Flame

Re: X Factor Judges

"Mine's the coat with the gun and a bullet with Cowell's name on it..."

Back of the line ... and believe me, it's a long one.

Personally, I couldn't give a flying fuck who gets the Christmas no.1 although I derive some comfort that it's not gonna be Sir Stiff Pilchard.

There'd be something deliciously ironic about Leonard Cohen being no.1 ...

Flames, because I'm sure there's a special circle of Hell being prepared for Cowell & co.

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Hally-what?

Give me John Cale's version any day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckbdLVX736U

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Boffin

ARRGHHH I'd rather listion to Vogan Poetry instead!!

Personally I'm at a loss to find a Song more hateful then this steaming Pile of Rancid Feces!

I don't care who sings it!!!

Then again anything hat has to do with Adults and there "Imaginary Friends", is enough to send me in a tizzy.

Please pitch-in and stop this needless Mind-Pollution...

Sci-Guy 'cause I agree w/Darwin. Now if only these Monkeys on X-Factor would only evolve!?!

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Ben

@ Dominic van Berk

"Buckley gave it a very creative spin"

No he didn't - he put an echo pedal on and copied John Cale...

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Hallelujah

Whoops, I posted something similar to the WoW article, but maybe this is the best place for it...

Hallelujah by The Happy Mondays c. 1989 is the definitive version... yes, not the same song, but it is much better, don't you know...

@ Sarah Bee.. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, we're here to pull yer...

;-s

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IT Angle

It doesn't matter who sings it

it's still the musical equivalent of freezing drizzle.

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Coat

KD Lang

I'll take K D Lang's version over Buckley's or some dozy X-Factor bint any day;

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FTv9m8c6hnw

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"Just a kid with a crazy dream"

Most of the other songs on that Cohen album are better. The John Cale version is by far the best. Buckleys duet with Liz Fraser 'All Flowers in time bend towards the sun' is a far better song than his cover of Hallelujah.

Shouldn't JLS have sang Cohens 'Alexandra leaving' instead ?

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Flame

For Christs (mass) sake

boycott both and buy the Terry Wogan / Aled Jones version of Little Drummer Boy, at least the money's going to Children In Need and not Sony & Cowell

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Flame

This song is dreadful

Seems I have Cohens version in my collection, well I did and after listening to about 75% of it I have deleted it. The X-factor one was on the radio earlier and it's weak, just like everything else in the programme (lets face it, if any of them were any good they would have been discovered years ago).

If it can be stopped from being xmas number one by anything we need to do it and then hopefully it will get the dross of the TV forever.

I think Peter Kays song should be number 1 as at least the profits go to a worthy cause and with Baby P fresh in everyones minds an NSPCC song is very appropriate, rather than lining Cowell and Sonys pockets.

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Happy

Did a *bit* of research

And found that the Andy Buckley version is rubbish...

I still maintain the Happy Mondays version is the one you want to hear with Grandma on Xmas day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2yK-NUyAIY

Still, this is better with your loved(ex) ones

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBQ3t6ezh2I

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Anonymous Coward

Oh, Sarah Bee

You said "normalcy". It just ruined my Christmas.

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Bloody Covers

So do people still write songs anymore and can we take bets on how many songs in the Xmas top 10 are going to be covers?

Hendrix, All Along the Watchtower, best cover ever people should have given up after that.

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IT Angle

I don't care about this so much I posted two comments

saying so.

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Joke

Re: I don't care about this so much I posted two comments

See?

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@Andrew Taylor

>boycott both and buy the Terry Wogan / Aled Jones version of Little Drummer Boy

If anything will raise my venom levels higher than X-Whatever its the mention of the W***** word. Lets all all argue about the definitive version of a rather depressing dirge (I do like Cale and Buckleys versions BTW) but lets not descend into complete mindless mediocrity by bring that Irish tw*t into the debate.

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I'm guessing

That this X-Factor thing is another one of those karaoke shows? I still think the quality karaoke shows all come from Japan, nothing beats a Japanese version of the Beatles and the timeless classics they belt out.

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erm just a thought

but shouldn't it be 'ignominious' sarah? or have I missed some adult humour...damn the xbox!

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Stop

insert something of any relevance here

All things being equal who gives a fu...oh i can't be arsed.

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Thumb Down

Ewww.

Even the worst production in the history of the universe couldn't ruin this song, but Buckley & Burke's pansy versions are just offensive. Checkout Cohen at Glastonbury on youtube for the gravelly truth.

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Flame

Obviously you are all wrong!

The only version of this song that is worth anything is Willie Nelson's! Sheesh. Do a little research people!

Flame on!

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Zen

Another vote for Cale here. And KD Lang in #2 spot.

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Tom
Silver badge

@Ian Tunnacliffe

I broke all my limbs and had my teeth kicked out in fight and was unable to bite my tongue and bleed to death or hold my breath long enough to pass out so I was stuck watching the telly when X-Factor came on an I couldnt do anything about it.

It turns out that X-Factor is the medias equivalent of the BSoD.

You can upgrade to avoid this - it requires a 1kg mass of fired earth and should be installed through the glass of your CRT or flat screen at about 50ms-1. It simply not worth having a TV in case you get caught like I did.

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Gold badge

@Niall

The Sisters of Mercy doing Floyd's "Comfortably Numb". They used to do this better than Floyd ever did it and that's saying something. Trouble here is (AFAIK) they only ever did this live. So it's a "you had to be there" sort of thing. The time they opened with it on a Tuesday some 15 years ago (fuck, I feel old now) at the Brixton Academy is probably the definitive version. Awesome.

When it comes to covers IMHO, if you can't think of a way of reinterpreting the original, you shouldn't bother. If you want to do it the same way it's always been done, form a tribute band.

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Coat

I wonder who owns the publishing rights?

Ahh, the Cowell money making machine continues to roll. Cowells company Sony BMG owns the publishing and sheet music rights to Hallelujah, (dreadful old durge), and he has just been granted label rights to the work of all the X-Factor winners for another 5 years. www.femalefirst.co.uk/business/Simon+Cowell-225.html.

Bring back the Generation Game, Blankity Blank, or Stars in their Eyes (No, only joking, really no!)

Should see him nicely through the recession though.

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Re: Music Labels

"I personally hope that both of these music "artists" die in a hysterical car accident after a night binge drinking in London."

You idiot....

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