Sunday, 4 October 2009

50 ways to leave your body

I regard Leonard Cohen as a bit of a genius. I started with his first album and my next exposure to his stuff was "I'm Your Fan" - a pretty good covers compilation of his songs. Despite the presence of John Cale's mighty version of Hallelujah my favourite on there was the House of Love's version of "Who by Fire". There's nothing clever about it, just Guy Chadwick's vocal and a plangent guitar played just so. I learned it was from "New Skin For The Old Ceremony" which consequently went straight to the top of the list of albums to get. However, before I found it I picked up the song on his greatest hits and was a bit disappointed. They're very similar but Cohen's version seemed the lesser on account of its slightly dramatic cheesy strings. The sad thing is it put me off buying "New Skin For The Old Ceremony" for a few years. Once again I found the simpler version more appealing, and again I'm left wondering if I always just prefer the first version I hear.

House of Love: Who By Fire

Leonard Cohen: Who By Fire

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