Leonard Cohen released the beautiful and haunting Hallelujah in 1984. It has been said that Cohen wrote around 80 draft verses for the song. In 1994, Jeff Buckley breathed new life into the song with a version on his album Grace. Jeff Buckley’s version was ranked 259th in Rolling Stone Magazine’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
Hallelujah has been covered over 300 other times, so it takes a special something to make a unique performance. Fortunately Choir! Choir! Choir! was able to do just that. Based in Toronto, C!C!C! is in essence a choral flash mob. Staging events in North America, they invite singers to come join them for an evening, spending a few hours learning a single song, leading up to a final performance. This recording of Hallelujah was lead by Rufus Wainwright and includes over 1500 singers. It was recorded at a decommissioned electrical generating station in Toronto.
A few months ago, I was sharing C!C!C! videos with a friend at work who sings in a choir, and he discovered that they were staging an event at a nearby city. He went and enjoyed the evening. I am not a good singer or I probably would have gone as well.