dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hallelujah! Idol Renews Interest In Jeff Buckley And Blake Lewis

I'll admit, I didn't watch American Idol this week, thereby causing me to miss the apparent musical zeitgeist that was 20-year-old Texan contestant Jason Castro performing "Hallelujah." Within two days, Jeff Buckley's 1994 cover of Leonard Cohen's song shot to the top of the iTunes download chart. The flatlining career of last year's Idol runner-up, Blake Lewis, also got a shot in the arm when he was graciously allowed to come on and perform "How Many Words" (currently at #81 on iTunes).

Saleswise, this past week has also seen renewed interest in Jeff Buckley's Grace, the only complete studio album released by the singer before his death in 1997. Amazon is currently sold out of the CD.

Meanwhile, Randy Jackson's Music Club Volume One is released on Tuesday. His and Paula Abdul's "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" single is at #72 on Billboard's Hot 100. Maybe Paula can sing the track live on the show to help boost sales? Well...

WATCH:
* Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"
* Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah"
* Jason Castro's "Hallelujah" on American Idol
* Blake Lewis performing "How Many Words" on American Idol

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13 Comments:

  • At 2:34 PM, Anonymous So Imbruglia, Baby said…

    The only thing that bugs about this is that Jeff Buckley is so hipster-approved, you know? Like when they mail you your black eyeliner, oversized black hoodie (with the holes in the sleeves for your thumbs) and your ennui/angstiness, they also enclose Grace.

    Still, great song, but I'm torn.

     
  • At 4:09 PM, Blogger Poster Girl said…

    THAT performance got people to download "How Many Words"? People must have been impressed by his hair or something, because I don't see how what they heard (and saw, if we include Blake's nonstop random gestures) that night could have sold it to them. Oh well, at least he got to see the iTunes top 100 at least one more time. And at least some people realized what a great song it is.

    I wonder how much Jason's version of "Hallelujah" is selling; iTunes doesn't show where the Idol tracks would fit into the top 100 (though someone must have slipped up because Jason's version entered the low end of the top 100 for a morning or something and then quickly disappeared when in all reality it was presumably climbing).

    Also, I am shocked at the number of people that must not know "Hallelujah"--even if people didn't know Jeff Buckley's cover, I genuinely thought a lot of people knew a version of it from (yes, laugh at me if you will) the Shrek soundtrack. I guess I thought the song was more well-known than it must be. (Unless Jason's version was truly revelatory and just made people feel the need to buy a track they already knew just because his version was so great? I don't know--I'm not caught up yet.)

     
  • At 4:22 PM, Blogger Paul said…

    i#'m with PPG - it wasn't a great performance of How Many Words, and i'd rather see his album fly up the charts! Oh well i did like his hair and his outfit (and his body etc etc)

     
  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    Poster Girl, yeah, I completely forgot to mention the Rufus W. version from Shrek... oops!

    Paul, you're back!

    SIB, the ball and chain has a bunch of Jeff Buckley CDs from back in the day, but I'd never listened to his version of "Hallelujah" the whole way through till this week.

     
  • At 8:57 PM, Anonymous shaun said…

    I'm a helpless hipster, I guess (according to http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/ I may be hopeless...), but I had the opposite reaction--I hold Grace in such high regard that I'm a bit distressed by its association with Idol...I'm not saying Buckley necessarily would have disapproved or anything, but I guess I've taken a certain amount of joy in being able to introduce people to Grace over the years without them saying "Oh yeah, he was on Idol, right?"

    Wow, I really am hopeless according to the blog above, which maintains that one of the favorite pass-times of hipsters is coveting our little secret artists and then educating the dirty masses...

    At any rate, Grace is great through and through (esp. "Last Goodbye," "Lover You Should've Come Over," and "Grace").

     
  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    The Buckley albumis close to perfect and has some great pop songs. His version of Hallejuah was branded the definitive one by none other than kd lang recently. Rufus, bless him, cannot touch it in my opinion.

     
  • At 9:23 PM, Blogger John said…

    Poster Girl, I think we're soulmates or something. Or you stole my diary, because that's exactly what I would have typed. Horrible performance of a great song. And when he's inducted into the RnR Hall of Fame in 2033, he won't sing his own songs, either.

    And yeah...I was just struck by lightning.

     
  • At 9:59 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    Shaun, I think you meant "according to comment above," not "the blog above." There was no hipster name calling here :)

    John, quit flirting. The doggone Poster Girl is mine.

    XO, I may have to dig it out of the drawer now.

     
  • At 10:06 AM, Blogger Yuяi said…

    I have to agree with the gang, Blake was vocally not up to par. But what the hell, it got folks interested again, and that's what matters.

     
  • At 1:41 PM, Anonymous shaun said…

    Oh no...with that comment, I was again referencing back to the unbelievably hilarious "stuffwhitepeoplelike" blog mentioned earlier in the comment...per that blog, I'm a hopeless hipster, like everyone else I know...

    I know D'Luv does not throw stones...ever... ;o)

     
  • At 6:21 PM, Blogger M. G. said…

    Wow, American Idol doing something positive? Kids today now know about Jeff Buckley ten years gone. Hallelujah is right.

    While Grace is a pretty good album, I prefer the posthumous release of Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk. Some amazing songs on there -- even the ones that weren't quite completed.

     
  • At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For someone that writes about music, you certainly don't know about what charts are and aren't relevant.

     
  • At 7:04 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    But I know all about your mom.

     

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