Watch John Cale's 'Macbeth'-Inspired 'Hallelujah' Cover - Rolling Stone
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Watch John Cale’s ‘Macbeth’-Inspired ‘Hallelujah’ Cover

Singer-songwriter’s reverent Leonard Cohen cover highlights reissue of 1992 live LP ‘Fragments of a Rainy Season’

John Cale smashes a miniature piano with an axe and lets insects crawl over his face in his creepy “Hallelujah” video. The forlorn track, a cover of Leonard Cohen’s 1984 classic, appears on an upcoming reissue of his 1992 live LP, Fragments of a Rainy Season album, out December 9th via Domino.

The clip, directed by Abby Portner, opens with a quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth before segueing in slow-motion to Cale seated behind a piano. A woman in a red dress walks behind the musician as the room fills with insects and miniature keyboard instruments.

Fragments of a Lonely Season documents Cale’s 1992 tour, which found the Velvet Underground co-founder performing a mixture of originals and cover tunes in an unplugged setting. The reissue will be released as a double-CD, digital download, standard double 12-inch vinyl and limited-edition triple gatefold 12-inch vinyl.

Cale’s “Hallelujah” cover first appeared on the 1991 Cohen tribute LP, I’m Your Fan, produced by French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles. That album also includes selections from R.E.M., Pixies and Nick Dave and the Bad Seeds, among others. 

Alt-rock icon Jeff Buckley issued the most famous cover version – one famously inspired by Cale’s take – on his sole completed LP, 1994’s Grace.

Fragments of a Lonely Season Track List

1. “A Wedding Anniversary”
2. “Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed”
3. “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”
4. “Cordoba”
5. “Buffalo Ballet”
6. “Child’s Christmas in Wales”
7. “Darling I Need You”
8. “Guts”
9. “Ship of Fools”
10. “Leaving It Up to You”
11. “The Ballad of Cable Hogue”
12. “Chinese Envoy”
13. “Dying on the Vine”
14. “Fear (Is a Man’s Best Friend)”
15. “Heartbreak Hotel”
16. “Style It Takes”

17. “Paris 1919”
18. “(I Keep A) Close Watch”
19. “Thoughtless Kind”
20. “Hallelujah”
21. “Fear (Outtake Melbourne)”
22. “Amsterdam”
23. “Broken Hearts”
24. “Waiting For the Man (Outtake France)”
25. “Heartbreak (Strings)”
26. “Fear (Strings)”
27. “Paris 1919 (Strings)”
28. “Antarctica (Strings”

In This Article: John Cale, Leonard Cohen


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