I mentioned this song in my blog on Cohen and made reference to this being used in the movie “Shrek”, the actual excerpts used were from Cale’s version, the soundtrack issue however was from Rufus Wainwright (2001). He connected to the song through his admiration of Jeff Buckley and later recorded this tribute song “Memphis Skyline” in 2004. The inclusion of the song in the movie has unleashed millions of unknowing little Cohen fans whose parents might be somewhat mortified to hear the whole song and understand some of the sexual overtones. That said after Buckley’s cover a forgettable version was recorded by one of the top selling artists of all time Bono (1995).
The next one to cover the song was a group called ‘Angelou‘ with lead singer Holly Lerski, this first version by a female is superbly done and vastly overlooked.
Needless to say I can’t list all of the versions of this song and by the time I’ve published my blog someone else might release another rendition, but I will list some of the more notable ones; Bob Dylan sang this live in concert (1988) before John Cale recorded it in 1991, Allison Crowe (2003), worth another mention a brilliant performance from k.d. Lang (2004), Willie Nelson (2006), Sara Gazarek (2007), I have some of her stuff and was pleasantly surprised she’d done a wonderful job on this, I think she’s great. A popular version from Bon Jovi (2007), Justin Timberlake & Matt Morris feat. Charlie Sexton (2010), Neil Diamond (2010), Colm Wilkinson w/Aine Whelan and/or Siobhan Pettit perhaps?(2010), Pentatonix (2016), Popa Chubby (2017) and Julia Westlin (2019).
The Juno Awards are on Sunday March 17 from right here in London ON. For those of you who may not know, in Canada the Juno’s are our equivalent to the Grammys and they started in the the 1970’s. I’ve mentioned many past recipients in my posts and in this issue there are; Leonard Cohen, Rufus Wainwright and k.d. Lang. Both Bon Jovi and Justin Timberlake have taken home International Album awards. This years show is hosted by Sarah McLachlan who has been nominated for 29 Juno’s and has been awarded ten, as well as three Grammy Awards. It is always a great show and you can live stream it via CBC, though I’m not sure how that might work from out of the Country. Here is a link to an article about just a small bit of London’s musical history.
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