“Avalanche” was the first Leonard Cohen song Nick Cave ever heard, as the lead-off track to Cohen’s third album Songs of Love and Hate. “I discovered Leonard Cohen with Songs of Love and Hate,” Cave said in a 1994 interview on French radio. “I listened to this record for hours in a friend’s house. I was very young and I believe this was the first record that really had an effect on me. In the past, I only listened to my brother’s records. I liked what he liked, followed him like a sheep. Leonard Cohen was the first one I discovered by myself. He is the symbol of my musical independence. I remember these other guys that came to my friend’s house that thought Songs of Love and Hate was too depressing. I’ve realized that this ‘depression’ theory was ridiculous. The sadness of Cohen was inspiring, it gave me a lot of energy. I always remember all this when someone says that my records are morbid or depressing.”
Fittingly, Cave’s cover was probably the first song of his many heard, as the lead-off track of his first album with longtime backing back the Bad Seeds in 1984. Thirty-one years and a few other Cohen covers later (“Hallelujah,” “I’m Your Man,” “Tower of Song,” “Suzanne,” “Dress Rehearsal Rag”) Cave has revisited that first song for the Starz pirate show Black Sails. It strips it back to just a piano and haunting violin, presumably played by Cave’s longtime collaborator Warren Ellis. Listen below. (via Entertainment Weekly)
Go here for more Nick Cave covers. Find his website here.