About the Song
Originally a folk rock, “Hallelujah” was penned and first recorded by Canadian singer Leonard Cohen in June 1984. It was later released in December that year as a part of his seventh studio album, Various Positions. Music producer John Lissauer produced the song under Columbia Records.
In addition, “Hallelujah” became the baseline of certain secular hymns. Secular hymns are a type of non-religious popular songs that have elements in common with religious music especially Christian hymns.
However, Cohen’s original recording of the song failed to become a hit. It did not achieve the success it is expected to have. However, it found greater popular acclaim through a recording by John Cale, which inspired a recording by Jeff Buckley.
After its release, the song has spanned over 30 years in and out the charts. As a matter of fact, it actually entered the music charts in over 19 countries where it notched the no. 1 spot in France and New Zealand.
In 2016, American a capella group Pentatonix released a cover of “Hallelujah” as a part of their quintet’s album, A Pentatonix Christmas. Later that year, they also released its music video.
In an interview, Pentatonix shared that they decided to impart some holiday sass and cheer to the coming new year. While it is not a traditional Christmas song, “Hallelujah” exudes perfection closing out the tumultuous year that was 2016.
The performance was absolutely jam-packed with gorgeously sung harmonies. Blending without instrumentals, the group sings the classic tune in unison bringing a powerful message very relevant to the season.
The song in its purest form is already perfectly written, but this cover is for sure among the best we’ve ever heard. The impressive vocal performance of the group was coupled with the impressively gorgeous music video. Without a doubt, this could be one of the best performances of Pentatonix to date.
Chart Performance (Pentatonix)
After its release on October 21, 2016, the cover went to popularity as it became a hit in over 13 countries. Its highest appearance on a chart was in Austria where it placed no. 1 on the Ö3 Austria Top 40. In the United States, it peaked at no. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016.
Later, it was certified gold in countries namely, Canada, Germany, Italy, and the United States.
WATCH: Pentatonix channel their vocal prowess performing an a cappella version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.
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Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen, pentatonix