Awhile back I made a post about a song I was kind of obsessed with. Mad World.
(The post with links to countless cover versions.)
Here we go again... :)
I just stumbled across a live John Cale rendition (with string quartet no less) of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah (original)
Here's a studio version by John Cale as well; no string quartet though.
The interesting part is that most of the covers you've heard of this song are more closely linked to Cale's version from the early 90's, not Cohen's original.
Jeff Buckley, relatively famous rendition.
Rufus Wainwright, made famous by Shrek's soundtrack.
Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, Kurt Nilsen together. (Quite good)
Imogen Heap, beautiful minimalist take. (Vunderbar, listen!)
trancey electronica/guitar, slow start but good.
Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris (pretty good)
K.D. Lang (not bad)
Bon Jovi (meh)
Some random kid with an accent I can't place, great multi-track solo cover.
Regina Spektor, terrible quality sound, great performance with cello, maybe viola.
KERMIT! Well, someone pretending to be. Pretty convincing. :)
Adele Cosco (operatic, not for me.)
Obligatory terrible metal version
(It's a favorite cover on X-Factor and American Idol type shows, search them if you want 'em.)
Progressive house remix of Imogen Heap's take, quite good.
Another remix of Imogen Heap, not bad.
euro-techno take (meh)
Oontzy dance remix (meh)
8-bit take. (meh)
Ouch. (Masochists only)
Now that your ears are bleeding, go listen to Cohen's again. :)