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Friday, 23 December 2016

The Year the Music Died

Within the space of 10 minutes my morning radio channel was haunted by two cover songs: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and John Lennon’s “Imagine”.  Not before this I saw everyone go crazy on social media about Disturb's cover Simon and Garfunkle's The Sound of Silence. These classic songs are so well-known they are almost the equivalent of hymns in the history of popular music. They have been covered so many times that there are even lists of the top 60 (!) “best ever” versions of these songs.  I write this in 2016, the year saw the unexpected deaths of David Bowie and then Prince. Both these trailblazing musicians were undeniable critical and commercial auteurs. They achieved the elite distinction of being known for their creative integrity and yet could also reach a wide range of people.