Leonard Cohen – Live In London (2009)

FrontCover1.jpgLeonard Cohen’s first UK tour in 15 years has been captured on this album and was recorded at one of his London O2 Arena shows, on July 17, 2008.

Part of the reason Cohen, who was 73 at the time, went on tour in 2008 was to rebuild his finances after being swindled by his manager Kelley Lynch. Sylvie Simmons explains in her 2012 biography on Cohen that Lynch “took care of Leonard’s business affairs…[and was] not simply his manager but a close friend, almost part of the family.” However, Simmons notes that in late 2004, Cohen’s daughter Lorca began to suspect Lynch of financial impropriety, and when Cohen checked his bank accounts, he noticed that he had unknowingly paid a credit card bill of Lynch’s for $75,000 and also found that most of the money in his accounts was gone (including money from his retirement accounts and charitable trust funds). Cohen would discover that this theft had actually begun as early as 1996 when Lynch started selling Cohen’s music publishing rights despite the fact that Cohen had no financial incentive to do so at the time. Cohen, who was on a five-year retreat at the Zen center Mount Baldy near Los Angeles at the time, remained oblivious.

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On 8 October 2005, Cohen sued Kelley Lynch, alleging that she had misappropriated over US $5 million from Cohen’s retirement fund leaving only $150,000. Cohen was sued in turn by other former business associates. These events placed him in the public spotlight, including a cover feature on him with the headline “Devastated!” in Canada’s Maclean’s magazine. In March 2006, Cohen won a civil suit and was awarded US$9 million by a Los Angeles County superior court. Lynch, however, ignored the suit and did not respond to a subpoena issued for her financial records. As a result, it has been widely reported that Cohen may never be able to collect the awarded amount.

In the meantime, Cohen published a book of poetry, prose and drawings called Book of Longing in 2006 and produced Anjani’s 2006 album Blue Alert (he also provided lyrics for the songs). Cohen was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Lou Reed in 2008. In his book Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life, biographer Anthony Reynolds observes that throughout the ordeal, Cohen remained calm: “In public, at least, Cohen did seem remarkably sanguine about the loss. He was never angry or accusatory, and his stock answer to the calamity was the dry one-liner, ‘It’s enough to put a dent in your mood’ but when pushed he admitted, ‘I don’t know what helped me deal with it…I guess it just hasn’t hit me yet.'”

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Cohen, who had always professed to interviewers how much he enjoyed the discipline imposed by hard work, recognized the economic necessity of getting back on the road and announced a tour in January 2008. The first show took place at the Fredericton Playhouse in New Brunswick. Cohen played dates in Canada and Europe to enthusiastic crowds who were delighted to see him on stage again.

The album was long listed for the Polaris Music Prize.[8] Cohen’s humility and self-deprecating sense of humor is evident in the between-song banter throughout the London performance, with him telling the audience, “It’s been a long time since I stood on a stage in London. It was about 14 or 15 years ago. I was 60 years old, just a kid with a crazy dream. Since then I’ve taken a lot of Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Ritalin, Focalin. I’ve also studied deeply in the philosophies of the religions but cheerfulness kept breaking through.” (by wikipedia)

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As more than one writer has pointed out, in 2008 and 2009 Leonard Cohen’s loss became his audience’s gain. After spending five years living as a monk in a Buddhist monastery during a sabbatical from music, Cohen discovered in 2005 that his former business manager had embezzled nearly all his savings, and two years later, in order to put his finances back in order, he warily agreed to an international concert tour, his first in nearly a decade and a half. Given the circumstances that prompted Cohen’s return to the stage as well as his age — 73 when the tour began — one would have the right to wonder just how enthusiastic the great songwriter would be about meeting his audience again. But judging from Live in London — a two-disc set recorded during a rapturously received appearance at London’s O2 Arena on July 17, 2008 — these concerts have unexpectedly given Cohen a chance to remind the world of his strengths as a musician and a performer, and he’s embraced the opportunity with joy.

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The notion of Leonard Cohen playing a 20,000-seat arena may seem a bit surprising (at least in America), but Cohen and his nine-member supporting ensemble give 25 songs from his catalog a treatment that fills them out enough to work in a massive room (at least compared to the intimate arrangements of his early work) without crushing the nuances of gentler numbers like “Who by Fire” and “Suzanne,” while “The Future” and “Democracy” sound just as big as they need to be. There’s sometimes a bit too much David Sanborn in Dino Soldo’s horn solos, but otherwise the band is superb — especially Javier Mas on banduria, laud, archilaud, and guitar, and the vocal ensemble of Sharon Robinson, Charley Webb, and Hattie Webb — and despite the craggy, weathered state of Cohen’s voice, he sounds sure and committed from the first moment to the last, often finding notes that seem elusive at first, and his performance here is genuinely engrossing. It’s also surprisingly witty; Cohen may have a reputation as one of the most dour performers in contemporary music, but his between-song patter is charmingly droll, and he finds a passion and a humanity in his songs that sets them apart from their studio counterparts.

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Cohen sounds genuinely moved by the affectionate reception he receives from his audience, and he seems determined to give them a show to match their loyalty, and with his band (who he frequently lauds during the performance) he truly gives of himself; if this isn’t quite the strongest live performance Cohen has released for public consumption, it’s certainly the warmest and the most emotionally resonant. Perhaps fate forced Leonard Cohen’s hand to stage the tour documented in part on Live in London, but it seems that fate knows just what it’s doing, and this album eloquently demonstrates how much Cohen still has to offer, and how clearly his music still speaks to him (and us). (by Mark Deming)

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For over four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. His songs have set a virtually unmatched standard in their seriousness and range. sex, spirituality, religion, power – he has relentlessly examined the largest issues in human lives, always with a full appreciation of how elusive answers can be to the vexing questions he raises. But those questions, and the journey he has traveled in seeking to address them, are the ever-shifting substance of his work, as well as the reasons why his songs never lose their overwhelming emotional force. documentaries, awards, tribute albums and the ongoing march of artists eager to record his songs all acknowledge the peerless contribution Cohen has made to what one of his titles aptly calls The Tower of Song.

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In 2008 Leonard Cohen embarked on his first tour in 15 years. quickly recognized as musical folklore in the making, 29 of the original dates sold out almost immediately, leaving fans and critics alike hailing the show as a once in a lifetime experience. The Live in London release fully captures and recreates the extraordinary show from that tour that earned Cohen more than 80 five-star reviews for his performances. (by roughtrade.com)

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Personnel:
Roscoe Beck (bass, background vocals)
Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Rafael Bernardo Gayol (drums, percussion)
Neil Larsen (keyboards, accordion)
Javier Mas (banduria, laud, archilaud, guitar)
Bob Metzger (lead guitar, pedal steel guitar, background vocals)
Sharon Robinson (vocals)
Dino Soldo (saxophone, clarinet, harmonica, keyboards, background vocals)
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The Webb Sisters:

Charley Webb (guitar, background  vocals)
Hattie Webb (harp, background vocals)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Dance Me To The End Of Love (Cohen) 6.20
02. The Future (Cohen)) 7.20
03. Ain’t No Cure For Love (Cohen) 6.17
04. Bird On The Wire (Cohen) 6.15
05. Everybody Knows (Cohen/Robinson) 5.53
06. In My Secret Life (Cohen/Robinson) 5.03
07. Who By Fire (Cohen) 6.35
08. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye (Cohen) 3.48
09. Anthem (Cohen) 7.21
10. Introduction 1.30
11. Tower Of Song (Cohen) 7.07
12. Suzanne (Cohen) 3.47
13. The Gypsy’s Wife (Cohen) 6.43

CD 2:
01. Boogie Street (Cohen/Robinson) 6.57
02. Hallelujah (Cohen) 7.20
03. Democracy (Cohen) 7.09
04. I’m Your Man (Cohen) 5.41
05. Recitation (Cohen/Larsen 3.54
06. Take This Waltz (Cohen/Lorca) 8.38
07. So Long, Marianne (Cohen) 5.25
08. First We Take Manhattan (Cohen) 6.16
09. Sisters Of Mercy (Cohen) 4.56
10. If It Be Your Will (featuring The Webb Sisters) (Cohen) 5.23
11. Closing Time (Cohen) 6.15
12. I Tried To Leave You (Cohen) 8.34
13. Whither Thou Goest (Singer) 1.27

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Leonard Norman Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016)

Leonard Cohen – Live At The BBC (1968)

frontcover1Leonard Cohen, the hugely influential singer and songwriter whose work spanned nearly 50 years, died at the age of 82. Cohen’s label, Sony Music Canada, confirmed his death on the singer’s Facebook page.

“It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away,” the statement read. “We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.” A cause of death and exact date of death was not given.

After an epic tour, the singer fell into poor health. But he dug deep and came up with a powerful new album

“My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records,” Cohen’s son Adam wrote in a statement to Rolling Stone. “He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor.”

“Unmatched in his creativity, insight and crippling candor, Leonard Cohen was a true visionary whose voice will be sorely missed,” his manager Robert Kory wrote in a statement. “I was blessed to call him a friend, and for me to serve that bold artistic spirit firsthand, was a privilege and great gift. He leaves behind a legacy of work that will bring insight, inspiration and healing for generations to come.” (by Richard Gehr, Rolling Stone)

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Leonard Cohen, 1960

To honor this great poet … here´s a rare album with early BBC recordings:

While Dylan was the transition point for protest music to move towards singer-songwriter, there were others too championing to focus on songs not politics. Canadian Leonard Cohen, with his brooding monotonous voice, was a talented poet who would never have won American Idol. But where he lacked a sweet voice, he made up for it with the intensity of his songs.

Together with younger artists Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro and Paul Simon, singer-songwriters moved to make songwriting an art form. Their efforts were recognised when mainstream acts covered their songs. All this happened in the whirlpool that rock music was creating.

These well-preserved sessions at the BBC in 1968 offer a fly-on-the-wall experience to witness a young Cohen singing practically the entire first album. The voice is fresh and deep, pushing the songs outside the Tin Pan Alley perimeter, and delving into poetry with a richness of words and subject. Today, they still have that raw appeal of a young artist at the peak of his powers.

Suzanne, So Long Marianne and Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye are beautiful love songs without catchy hooks. They got your attention with words and the emotions in the song.

Tagged to this 1968 session are three songs from a Top Gear show hosted by John Peel. The final track is a duet with British folk singer Julie Felix on Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye. The quality on these four tracks are still very good.

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The origin of this BBC session began when bootleg label Yellow Cat released Leonard Cohen – At The Beeb [YC 018] to a wider audience as a silver-disc bootleg. It ran slow and was a few generations from the master. Then Cohen fan “briggY” shared his much improved version on the Dime site.

Another music fan, JWB, took a copy and improved on the sound. He said: “I’ve remastered this torrent… removed all the pops and clicks (there were several per song and in between tracks)… restored the sound to true mono… and improved the EQ which really cleared up the sound… I did not use any compression or noise reduction tricks… I reduced hiss with some deft EQ moves while still maintaining clarity.”

But the original source was from a fan called “Artery”. This is how he came upon a copy: “This is most probably my transfer from Jim D’s cassette. I did it about 6 years ago. Jim wrote to a man at the BBC who sent him the cassette. He’d made a cassette audio copy for his own use I believe and indicated the videotape had been wiped.”

So for all who wanted to know, the video of this BBC show has been “destroyed”. Artwork for this comes from “luckburz”. Many thanks to all who had a part in preserving this show and improving upon it. By your actions, many others who were not there in ‘68 can now share the experience.

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Leonard Cohen with Julie Felix, 1968

Personnel:
Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar)
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Julie Felix (guitar, vocals on 17.)
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The Stawbs
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Dave Cousins (banjo)

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Tracklist:
01. You Know Who I Am 3.48
02. Bird On The Wire 4.23
03. The Stranger Song 6.19
04. So Long Marianne 7.56
05. Master Song 8.03
06. There’s No Reason Why You Should Remember Me [improvisation] 1.42
07. Sisters Of Mercy 3.56
08. Teachers 3.59
09. Dress Rehearsal Rag 5.54
10. Suzanne 5.24
11. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye 3.48
12. Story Of Isaac 4.12
13. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong 3.58
14. Bird On The Wire 3.37
15. So Long Marianne 5.55
16. You Know Who I Am 3.10
17. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye 3.12

All songs written by Leonard Cohen

Tracks 1-13 Recorded Spring 1968 at Paris Theatre, London
Tracks 1-5 Broadcast August 31, 1968 on BBC2 TV (”Leonard Cohen Sings Leonard Cohen”)
Tracks 6-13 Broadcast September 7, 1968 on BBC2 TV (”Leonard Cohen Sings Leonard Cohen”)
Tracks 14-16 Recorded August 11, 1968 & Broadcast on BBC Radio 1 (”Top Gear with John Peel”)
Track 17 Recorded January 27, 1968 & Broadcast on BBC2 TV (”Once More With Felix”)

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Rest In Peace

Leonard Cohen – Songbook (1971)

LeonardCohenSongbook_01ALeonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ (born 21 September 1934) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, painter, poet, and novelist. His work has explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In 2011, Cohen received a Princess of Asturias Awards for literature.

The critic Bruce Eder assessed Cohen’s overall career in popular music by asserting that “[he is] one of the most fascinating and enigmatic … singer/songwriters of the late ’60s … [and] has retained an audience across four decades of music-making…. Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) [in terms of influence], he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century.”

LeonardCohenHis second novel, Beautiful Losers (1966), received attention from the Canadian press and was considered controversial because of a number of sexually graphic passages. The Academy of American Poets has commented more broadly on Cohen’s overall career in the arts, including his work as a poet, novelist, and songwriter, stating that “Cohen’s successful blending of poetry, fiction, and music is made most clear in Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, published in 1993, which gathered more than 200 of Cohen’s poems … several novel excerpts, and almost 60 song lyrics… While it may seem to some that Leonard Cohen departed from the literary in pursuit of the musical, his fans continue to embrace him as a Renaissance man who straddles the elusive artistic borderlines.”

Cohen’s first album was Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967) followed by Songs from a Room (1969) (featuring the often-recorded “Bird on the Wire”) and Songs of Love and Hate (1971) (by wikipedia)

ThreeLongplayersOfLCAnd this is a songbook, which contains the lyrics from hsis first 3 albums. This is a very rare songbook, because it´s pirate edition form Germany (but printed in Denmark).

Maybe we should listen his old albums from that period.

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Leonard Cohen – Songs Of Love And Hate (1971)

FrontCover1The album was mainly recorded in Columbia Studio A in Nashville September 22–26, 1970. “Sing Another Song, Boys” was recorded at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 30, 1970. Further recording took place at Trident Studios in London. The album title is descriptive, outlining its main themes. The songs contain emotive language and are frankly personal; “Famous Blue Raincoat” ends with the line “Sincerely, L. Cohen”.

The front of the album is a sparsely detailed black and white photo of Cohen with a several days’ beard growth, and he is smiling. The back cover of the US album has no track listing and quotes Cohen’s short poem “They Locked Up A Man”:

They locked up a man / Who wanted to rule the world / The fools /
They locked up the wrong man.

The album reached no. 145 on the US Billboard 200, but was his most commercially successful album in many other parts of the world, reaching no. 4 in the UK and no. 8 in Australia.

In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album no. 295 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of all Time, the only Cohen album to make the list. It was ranked no. 74 on Pitchfork Media’s 2004 list of the 100 best albums of the 1970s. (by wikipedia)

LeonardCohenALeonard Cohen will not likely be remembered for his voice, reedy and nasal as it is, and musically, the unspoken directive behind his haunting, sparse acoustic compositions has always seemed to be “stay out of the way.” For these reasons, discussion of Cohen’s work always focuses on his words– which, invariably dwarfed by the monstrous poetry of his lyrics, almost seems an insult. Songs of Love and Hate delivers exactly what its title promises– though the emotions are often so closely intertwined that one is virtually indistinguishable from the other– and does so with all the beauty, scorn, venom, and sorrow that has secured his place among the greatest lyricists, living or otherwise.

In Cohen’s world of victims, love takes many forms– those willing to love another are damned as frequently as they are redeemed, and the truest hate springs unfailingly from those unlucky souls. Though arguably not as inspired as his first two albums in lyrical character, he makes up for it with unflinchingly raw pathos, for what may be his most emotionally wrenching album; given Cohen’s catalog, that’s no easy task. (by Eric Carr)

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Personnel:
Leonard Cohen (guitar, vocals)
Ron Cornelius (guitar)
Charlie Daniels (guitar, bass, fiddle)
Elkin “Bubba” Fowler (guitar, banjo, bass)
Corlynn Hanney (vocals)
Bob Johnston (piano)
Susan Mussmano (vocals)
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The Corona Academy, London (children’s voices)
Michael Sahl (strings on 02.)

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Tracklist:
01. Avalanche 5.07
02. Last Year’s Man 6.02
03. Dress Rehearsal Rag 6.12
04. Diamonds In The Mine 3.52
05. Love Calls You by Your Name 5.44
06. Famous Blue Raincoat 5.15
07. Sing Another Song, Boys (Live at the Isle of Wight Festival, August 31, 1970) 6.17
08. Joan Of Arc 6.29
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09.  Dress Rehearsal Rag (early version) 5.37

All songs were written by Leonard Cohen

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