James Blake, born James Blake Litherland, recorded his own rendition of Don McLean's "Vincent" following a series of successful European shows this year. The musician's emotional cover of the 1971 classic hit has earned praises from fans and from McLean himself.
Blake shared a studio recording of "Vincent" on his official YouTube page jamesblakeproduction. The video has since received over 42,000 views, as of this writing, since it was published on Dec. 24. The live recording took place at Conway Studios in Los Angeles on Dec. 23.
"Great music, great performance. Thank you for this. It lit up my Christmas night away from my family," one fan commented on YouTube.
"Simply, beautiful and emotional music," wrote another fan, while others commented on how the song made them cry. Another fan revealed that Blake sang "Vincent" at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church and that his performance was absolutely beautiful.
Blake reportedly also performed the cover in one of his U.S. West Coast shows.
Aside from his fans, McLean himself praised the musician for his cover. On a tweet sent on Christmas eve, McLean said he is touched by Blake's singing and called him an extraordinary artist.
Just listened to @jamesblake version of my song ‘Vincent’ and I’m struck but what an extraordinarily good musician he is. His singing and piano playing are superb.. Thank you James for recording my song so beautifully.
— Don McLean (@donmcleanonline) December 24, 2017
The live studio recording, from director Andrew Douglas and producer Kathleen Heffernan, shows the London musician on the piano as he sang the lyrics to the song. Blake covers a melancholic and somehow bittersweet version of "Vincent," which is reminiscent of the original piece. McLean's classic song also invokes that feeling of sadness, which speaks of the life the recipient of the song led. "Vincent" is a song about the famous artist Vincent Van Gogh. McLean made the song as a tribute to the late artist. It originally appeared in his 1971 album American Pie.
The video was released following a series of European shows earlier this year to support Radiohead. He recently also debuted a new song that incorporates the band's track "Videotape" from their 2007 album In Rainbows.
Jay-Z also featured Blake in his album 4:44 earlier this year. The songwriter appeared in the track called "ManyFacedGod."
Blake is preparing to hit the road again to support rapper Kendrick Lamar in his European and UK arena tour next year from February to March. The tour kicks off in Dublin on Feb. 7 and concludes in Berlin on March 5.
Blake's cover of McLean's "Vincent" is part of his occasional installment of live studio recordings.