I was a fan of the McGarrigle sisters back in the day, so it was natural to be curious about Rufus (Kate McGarrigle's and Loudon Wainwright III's son) who sometimes toured with them. He turned out to be quite a prodigy. His self-titled Rufus Wainwright album is worth buying.
As you mentioned, Rufus performed a version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" for the Shrek soundtrack. Note that Rufus' version isn't the one used for the movie, though. John Cale's version is used in the movie. There aren't any reasonable explanations for that other than Rufus had a contract with Dreamworks (the company that released the movie and soundtrack) who wanted to get some exposure for Rufus who was releasing a new CD shortly afterwards.
of course, anybody who's anybody knows that jeff buckley's cover of hallelujah is far and away the best ever recorded.
rufus is great. i've been replaying poses for the first time in a year or two this week in my car, and i forgot how much i adore that album. awesome songwriting and not overly produced, it helps me recall all the cool stories he told when i saw him open for tori on her strange little girl tour.
poses is definitely my favorite by him. his self-titled debut is great too, but i'm having more trouble getting into his latest release.. ah well, perhaps it will come with time.
Originally Posted by grinch of course, anybody who's anybody knows that jeff buckley's cover of hallelujah is far and away the best ever recorded.
Yes, Jeff Buckley does a superb job of expressing the spirituality (and profanity) of Leonard Cohen's lyrics almost as well as Leonard Cohen himself does. It's an astonishingly moving version and Jeff's voice is stunningly emotive. It goes to show that he definitely inherited his father's voice.
Unfortunately for us, Jeff also inherited Tim Buckley's ill luck and met an untimely death. Quite the tragedy because we all know that he had far more beautiful music to offer us.
Anyway, everyone should run to the store and pick up Grace, Jeff Buckley's debut album, which contains "Hallelujah". There are a few pieces where Jeff puts his seven-octave voice to good effect, again reminiscient of his father. It is a very satisfying listen.
For about half a year now I've been quite a huge Rufus fan. Great songwriting, lyrics, voice, emotion, the whole deal. If it weren't so late right now I'd sing a few paragraphs of praise... maybe sometime in the next few days I'll blabber on about how much his music means to me.
And yes, Grace by Jeff Buckley is a tremendously great album... in fact I think I'll put it on right now as I fall asleep in my cozy warm bed...