Yesterday (November 10) we were made aware of the death of Leonard Cohen at the age of 82. Cohen died peacefully in his Los Angeles home on November 7.
Cohen was always humbled and appreciative when other musicians covered his music, noted in these excerpts from a 1997 interview at KCRW:
“But as for myself, whenever I hear anybody do one of my songs my critical judgements go into immediate suspended animation. I’m just knocked out when anybody does a cover of mine… I am happy that someone has heard the song and is moved to cover it. Second, of all it gives me a completely fresh take on the song and I can then enter it into my own judgmental process… I think there are songs that are better done than I have done them. Just more successful versions of the songs that I have done.”
Here are 10 of our favorite Cohen covers.
Jeff Buckley – “Hallelujah”
Lana Del Rey – “Chelsea Hotel No. 2”
Nina Simone – “Suzanne”
Johnny Cash – “Bird On A Wire”
Tori Amos – “Famous Blue Raincoat”
R.E.M. – “First We Take Manhattan”
Pixies – “I Can’t Forget”
Roberta Flack – “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye”
Joe Cocker – “Bird on a Wire”
The Lemonheads – “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye”
BONUS pick from KROCK: