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John Cale on Transforming Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ Into a Modern Classic

24 March 2017 3:30 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was a complex, nearly indecipherable musical riddle that flummoxed even its composer. Originally released as a funereal synth-laden dirge on 1984’s Various Positions, he spent years tinkering with the track during live performances in a relentless pursuit to unlock its full melodic potential. Ultimately, it was John Cale who provided the key.

The iconoclastic Velvet Underground co-founder, producer and innovative writer/arranger crafted an elegiac version of “Hallelujah” that vaulted the song into a rarefied strata of modern standards. Now he speaks to People about the song’s long journey.

First included on an obscure Leonard Cohen tribute album, »

- Jordan Runtagh

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1 item from 2017


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