There are songs that are famous from the original singer. There are songs that are famous from someone else. And there are songs that are famous in a lot of different ways. This is a story about one of those third kind of songs. It is a song called Hallelujah, which has been sung by many different people and made famous in a number of different ways. One of those singers was Bono, which is why I am talking about the song today, although it is also because the sentiment of the song is very much related to the whole idea of U2.
Hallelujah was written and performed by Leonard Cohen, which should give you an idea that the original artist made it famous. But actually, it was a guy called Jeff Buckley who really took it to the peak, and a hundred others since then have sung it, including Bono. Buckley’s version is still the most famous, it is still the one that I think of when I listen to the song.
Bono’s version is, well, let’s say not good. I guess being so used to Buckley, Bono’s is kind of wild in comparison. It’s one of those songs that if it was a U2 song, it would be appearing on the b side of something, probably something off Pop, that’s the era it sounds like. Chanted, or spoken word, rather than sung, with weird sound in the background too. I have to say I dislike it, and dislike having to listen to it again for this review. Need to wash my ears out with the Buckley, or with Tower Of Song. Or there’s a video on YouTube that is Bono singing the Buckley version, as an intro to Streets, that’s a much better one to listen to.
The word itself has been used many times by U2, most notably in their own song titled Hallelujah (Here She Comes). I mentioned when I reviewed that song that the Here She Comes part is my trigger from the word Hallelujah, although I would be more correct in noting the mood I am in at the time drives the trigger. If I am in a bouncy mood, then yes, Hallelujah brings on Here She Comes, but if I am in a more melancholy mood then it is the Buckley version of the song that pops into my head.
Not going to rate the song today. Just not sure if it is U2 enough to be worth rating. If I were to give it something then I would be depending on knowing the specific version that I was rating. The original would get maybe a 5, Buckley a 9, and Bono, well, somewhere around 1 I think. It just doesn’t stick in my head the way the Buckley version does, except as a scab you want to pick at. I guess that’s the price you pay when you record a song that’s already famous, you have to do something weird to get noticed. Not like say Still Haven’t Found, which has been sung a bunch of different ways since it was first released. Maybe Streets, try singing that differently and see if you can get as well-known as the original