Famous Blue Raincoat (Leonard Cohen vs Tori Amos)

OK I am really going to have a hard time not posting constantly about these original-vs-cover song battles. There are just so many good ones to write about. I think I could have a month’s worth of posts with just Leonard Cohen songs. And today, we are indeed focusing on one, the absolutely beautiful (for lack of a better word) “Famous Blue Raincoat”, written by Montréal poet Leonard Cohen about his brother who stole his woman away.  “My brother, my killer”…

Leonard Cohen is one of my favorite singers/songwriters. If you ask me which 5 albums I would bring with me if I were to live on a desert island, his first album would definitely be on my list (I think I will eventually start a poll about that, it could be interesting).

Tori Amos rendered a wonderful cover of this song. It’s different, but it’s definitely as gutwrenching.

My vote goes to Leonard – it has to. But I love both versions. Both guitar and piano sound wonderful here, but lets face it, it’s the lyrics that really make the song.


The first CD I ever bought was Tori Amos’ Winter single

I can’t believe it took me 52 posts to write about Tori Amos. As the title says, her Winter single is the first CD I purchased. It took me a long time to build my CD collection because back in the 90’s I had made such amazing mixed tapes… And I kept listening to them most of the time. In fact I would still be listening to them if the machine did not die on me… Anyway, point is, Tori’s songs were a very common thing on my tapes. Especially the songs from her first three albums. Gut wrenching songs, beautifully executed.

I saw her live too, during the Choirgirl hotel tour. Her warm voice would fill the whole stadium.  And it’s always impressive to see her go from the classical piano to the harpsichord or another instrument, or play them both at the same time…

Here’s a little taste of Tori live (songs: Past the mission and Not the red baron). By the way, you did know that Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails does the backvocals on the original version of Past the mission?