Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ Makes Its Hot 100 Debut
Better late than never: More than 30 years after it was released, Leonard Cohen's original recording of "Hallelujah" has cracked the Hot 100.
Billboard reports that an upsurge in digital sales and streams accounts for the milestone, which sees "Hallelujah" make its debut on the chart at No. 59, decades after arriving as part of the track listing for his 1984 Various Positions LP. It's one of two versions of the song on the current chart, trailing Pentatonix's cover, which comes in at No. 56.
As expected, news of Cohen's passing has triggered an increased interest in his catalog. Although his songs were a frequent popular choice for covers and interpretations over the majority of his nearly 50-year recording career, the non-commercial nature of his own recordings tended to keep his albums at the margins of the charts — even as Cohen songs like "Hallelujah" entered the public consciousness through other artists' versions.
The most widely covered track in his distinguished catalog, "Hallelujah" reached millions in 2001 courtesy of Rufus Wainwright's cover, which was part of the double-platinum Shrek soundtrack; it's also been the subject of popular tributes by Jeff Buckley and Justin Timberlake, among many others. "I think it’s a good song," Cohen himself once quipped, "but I think too many people sing it."
Cohen's latest and presumably final release, You Want It Darker, also sees a major increase in sales in the latest issue of Billboard. In its fourth week on the chart, the LP jumps from No. 48 to No. 7, nearly equaling the career-best No. 3 peak set by his 12th studio album, Old Ideas, in 2012.
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