View Full Version : Leonard Cohen

07-10-2010, 01:50 PM
There must be other Cohen fans here.


I saw him at Mercedes Benz World last year. It was an outdoor gig and it rained. There was something quite apt about sitting on hard plastic lawn furniture in the rain whilst Laughing Lenny did his thing. It was a great gig. :) The support was Suzanne Vega! [post28]

Perky Compson
07-10-2010, 06:43 PM
I would eat a baby to see Cohen in concert. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to.

*spins Songs of Love and Hate*

07-10-2010, 08:03 PM
"Sisters of Mercy" is probably my favorite song ever.

07-10-2010, 08:48 PM
He had a concert here last year, but of course it sold out in seconds. He's coming back in August but of course I can't as I'll be working.... blaaaargh.

May H
07-11-2010, 04:57 AM
Leonard Cohen is my favourite artist! I'm going to see him this month for the first time.
My favourite songs of his are Stories of the Street, Take This Waltz and Who by Fire.

I saw him at Mercedes Benz World last year. It was an outdoor gig and it rained. There was something quite apt about sitting on hard plastic lawn furniture in the rain whilst Laughing Lenny did his thing. It was a great gig. :) The support was Suzanne Vega! [post28]

Leonard Cohen and Suzanne Vega! That must have been wonderful.

May H
07-26-2010, 10:21 AM
I saw him in concert yesterday. It was wonderful. The concert lasted about two and a half hours, his performance was very emotional and he seemed happy and smiled a lot -- I must admit I had this image of him as a perpetualy sad person. All the musicians with him were wonderful, especially Sharon Robinson, who sang Boogie Street solo. I'm still overwhelmed.

09-21-2010, 10:14 PM
Happy Birthday Leonard you legend!

Great piece here (http://thethirdestate.net/2010/09/on-his-76th-birthday-some-thoughts-on-leonard-cohen/).

09-21-2010, 10:46 PM
I'm not a Cohen expert but I like the two albums I have heard.

(I also thank him for encouraging Nico to write her own music and for inspiring some of Joni Mitchell's finest early songs!)

09-21-2011, 03:23 PM
Happy Birthday Leonard: 77 today! :D

And has it really been a whole year since this thread had some love?!

09-23-2011, 07:44 AM

I really like this album and it contains my favorite Cohen song ever Who By Fire.

09-24-2011, 05:26 PM
The other day I was flicking through channels and there was an old repeat of a BBC music show and it had Leonard Cohen doing "The Stranger Song" in 1967. Wonderful! Listened to Songs of Leonard Cohen yesterday.


11-08-2011, 03:09 AM
I have officially qualified Tower of Song as possibly one of my favorite songs ever. It has such a healing power that no matter your state, it would still elevate you [post28]

01-19-2012, 07:03 PM
Leonard Cohen shows there's life in the old dog yet with launch of new album (http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jan/19/leonard-cohen-old-ideas-new-album)

His detractors may sarcastically call him Laughing Len, but Leonard Cohen kept a roomful of journalists entertained on Wednesday night as he launched his first album in eight years.

"How is it for you to listen to your own records?" asked onstage interviewer Jarvis Cocker after the album, Old Ideas, had been played.

"I wasn't listening," said Cohen. He went on to say that he did keep an ear out to see whether he had "ratcheted it up to the right degree of excellence. But mostly I was wondering if I myself could be swept along with it. This particular record invites one to be swept along with it even if you happen to have written it yourself."

Cohen's tones have become even more sepulchral with age. "We have to mention the voice – its seems to have got even deeper," said Cocker. "Do you think there's a bottom it can get to or can it go all the way?"

"It's what happens when you give up cigarettes, contrary to public opinion," he told Cocker. "I thought it would destroy my whole position and my voice would rise to a soprano." He joked that his aim is to take up smoking again at 80, so if he continues to tour, "I can smoke on the road".

Old Ideas proves that Cohen's long-term preoccupations with sex, death and salvation have endured. The inside cover features a drawing, by Cohen, of a naked woman and a skull.

The 77-year-old said that being a songwriter used to be popular with the opposite sex: "It was agreeable to have some kind of a reputation or some kind of list of credentials so you didn't have to start from scratch with every woman you walked into. Now it doesn't really matter one way or the other."

Cocker said that he had always been impressed with the "intimacy" of Cohen's work.

"You know, you just work with what you got," said Cohen, after a pause. "I always felt I was kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to get the song together. I never had the sense that I was standing in front of a buffet table with a multitude of choices. I felt I was operating in more like what Yeats used to say was the 'foul rag and bone shop of the heart'."

He persistently rebuffed Cocker's attempts to decode his songwriting, warning him: "We've got to be careful analysing these sacred mechanics because somebody will throw a monkey wrench into the thing and neither of us will ever write a line again."

He said that songwriting involved "perseverance, perspiration, but also a certain kind of grace and illumination."

Cocker asked that as Cohen's publishing company was called Old Ideas, was it something he'd always wanted to call an album?

"You know, I don't have that many ideas," jousted Cohen.

"In another song, Come Healing, there's a line 'the penitential hymn' and it struck me that that could work as a label for a lot of your songs," Cocker persisted.

"I'm not sure what that means, to be honest," responded Cohen, to guffaws from the audience. "Is the penitence appropriate to God or to man? Who's to blame in this catastrophe? I never figured that out."

Cocker also asked about the song Banjo, which uses the image of an instrument floating in the sea. "The banjo can be a funny instrument," he said.

"It's hilarious," Cohen deadpanned, after a pregnant pause. "If it was a Stradivarius that wouldn't be so interesting."

"The sea would be full of art dealers plunging in to rescue it," he concluded.

Cocker responded by asking Cohen if he realised 'banjo' was Sheffield slang for a sandwich, since the person eating it brushed crumbs off their jumper with a strumming gesture.

The Pulp frontman finished by asking how Cohen felt about being awarded the PEN New England award for literary excellence in song lyrics.

"The thing I liked about this award was that I'm sharing it with Chuck Berry," said Cohen. "'Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news' – I'd like to write a line like that."

Once questions were opened to the floor, Cohen revealed that he is likely to tour after the album's release, despite fainting on stage after a bout of food poisoning in Spain two years ago. The singer said he had been "invigorated and illuminated" by his last tour, which took in 247 shows over two years to huge audiences and ecstatic reviews.

Before he'd started the tour, Cohen said, "I hadn't done anything for 15 years. I was like Ronald Reagan in his declining years. He remembered he'd had a good role – he's played the president in a movie and I felt somewhat that I had been a singer. Being back on the road really re-established me as being a worker in the world and that was a very satisfactory feeling."

The tour had been prompted by Cohen's precarious financial situation. The singer sued his former manager for stealing £2.8m from his retirement fund while he was on a five-year retreat in a Zen Buddhist monastery. However, Cohen said: "When I finished the tour I didn't feel like stopping, so I wrote the record." He added that a further record and tour were likely.

When asked whether having two grandchildren made him think about his artistic legacy, Cohen said: "I cannot associate those little creatures with any larger idea such as a legacy. It's just a delight to be in the presence of this amazing expression of family destiny."

Last February, Cohen's daughter Lorca had a baby with Rufus Wainwright, but Cohen denied that a duet with Wainwright was on the cards. "He can keep a tune and that puts me at a disadvantage."

Cohen's first album was released in 1968. Cocker told Cohen that he found the rudimentary nature of his guitar playing "touching", despite Cohen long being self-deprecating about it. The singer said that critics in England had initially been mean about him: "They said I knew three chords when I knew five".

He also revealed that he would never have written his first novel, The Favourite Game, in 1959 without his landlady in Hampstead, London, where he lived, threatening to throw him out if he didn't write three pages a day.

When asked how a new song, Darkness, tallied with his famous line in the 1992 song Anthem that "there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in," Cohen replied: "You've got me stumped there."

After some prompting from Cocker, he finally divulged: "It's just the song that allows the light to come in. It's the position of the man standing up in the face of something that is irrevocable and unyielding and singing about it. It's the position that the Greek Zorba had – that when things get really bad, you just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig and that's about all you can do."

01-19-2012, 10:23 PM
I just preordered Old Ideas. The Darkness is already one of my favorite songs from him.

01-19-2012, 10:49 PM
Every single member of my family has seen him live at this stage I think, except for me. Some of his songs are staples of our family music sessions, as my mum is a long time fan. She tells a story of the first two tapes herself and her first flatmate bought with their wages from their first job - a tape of leonard cohen's first album, and a bee-gees tape, and they copied each of them so they both had both albums.

02-02-2012, 09:46 PM
I got the new album twice today, as a preorder from his site and I won a contest where you had to send in your favourite Cohen lyric! :D On my first listen now.

02-02-2012, 09:56 PM
^ I've got it on order. :)

UK on-line retails including Play.com (http://www.play.com/Music/CD/4-/24020721/The-Complete-Studio-Albums-Collection/Product.html?searchtype=allproducts&searchsource=0&searchstring=leonard+cohen&urlrefer=search) and Amazon have got a 11 CD boxset of Leonard's studio albums for around 25 quid which seems like a bargain. They're remasters and sound very good apparently. I've ordered as I've only got a couple and some best-ofs and live stuff.

Disc 1 - Songs of Leonard Cohen

Master Song
Winter Lady
The Stranger Song
Sisters of Mercy
So Long, Marianne
Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
Stories of the Street
One of Us Cannot Be Wrong

Disc 2 - Songs From A Room

Bird On The Wire
Story Of Isaac
A Bunch Of Lonesome Heroes
The Partisan
Seems So Long Ago, Nancy
The Old Revolution
The Butcher
You Know Who I Am
Lady Midnight
Tonight Will Be Fine

Disc 3 - Songs of Love and Hate

Last Year's Man
Dress Rehearsal Rag
Diamonds In The Mine
Love Calls You By Your Name
Famous Blue Raincoat
Sing Another Song, Boys
Joan Of Arc

Disc 4 - New Skin For The Old Ceremony

Is This What You Wanted
Chelsea Hotel #2
Lover Lover Lover
Field Commander Cohen
Why Don't You Try
There Is A War
A Singer Must Die
I Tried To Leave You
Who By Fire
Take This Longing
Leaving Green Sleeves

Disc 5 - Death Of A Ladies' Man

True Loves Leaves No Traces
Paper Thin Hotel
I Left A Woman Waiting
Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On
Death Of A Ladies' Man

Disc 6 - Recent Songs

The Guests
Humbled In Love
The Window
Came So Far For Beauty
The Lost Canadian (Un Canadien Errant)
The Traitor
Our Lady Of Solitude
The Gypsy's Wife
The Smokey Life
Ballad Of The Absent Mare

Disc 7 - Various Positions

Dance Me To The End Of Love
Coming Back To You
The Law
Night Comes On
The Captain
Hunter's Lullaby
Heart With No Companion
If It Be Your Will

Disc 8 - I'm Your Man

First We Take Manhattan
Ain't No Cure For Love
Everybody Knows
I'm Your Man
Take This Waltz
Jazz Police
I Can't Forget
Tower of Song

Disc 9 - The Future

The Future
Waiting For The Miracle
Be For Real
Closing Time
Light As The Breeze
Tacoma Trailer

Disc 10 - Ten New Songs

In My Secret Life
A Thousand Kisses Deep
That Don't Make It Junk
Here It Is
Love Itself
By The Rivers Dark
Alexandra Leaving
You Have Loved Enough
Boogie Street
The Land Of Plenty

Disc 11 - Dear Heather

Go No More A-Roving
Because Of
The Letters
Morning Glory
On That Day
Villanelle For Our Time
There For You
Dear Heather
To A Teacher
The Faith
Tennessee Waltz

02-02-2012, 10:15 PM
That's a great deal, but I've got most of his albums already... Oh well.

02-02-2012, 11:12 PM
Was just about to post about that box set - I'm very tempted, I only have Songs of Leonard Cohen and a download of Songs of Love and Hate.

02-06-2012, 12:41 PM
Old Ideas enters at UK #2 on sales of around 39,000 - making it his equal highest-charting album with Songs from a Room, which reached #2 in 1969. It's also his fourth UK Top 10 album - Songs of Leonard Cohen made #10 in 1969, just before Songs from a Room peaked, and then Songs of Love and Hate made #4 in 1971. So it's also his first UK Top 10 album for almost 41 years. Pretty impressive!

02-06-2012, 12:59 PM
^ Thanks for in the info! :) My copy of Old Ideas arrived today. I've only had one listen so far while doing other stuff but like what I heard.

02-06-2012, 02:50 PM
Here's the report

Del Rey's success sadly denies Leonard Cohen the honour of becoming the oldest male solo artist to have a number one album. Cohen's 12th studio set in a recording career spanning more than 44 years, his latest album Old Ideas scores his best ever first week sale of 38,029 copies, and equals the number two chart peak of his previous highest charting set, 1969's Songs From A Room, which served as runner-up first to The Best Of The Seekers and then to The Moody Blues' On The Threshold Of A Dream. Old Ideas is Cohen's first album of new material since Dear Heather debuted and peaked at number 34 in 2004, and likely benefitted from being his first release since his song Hallelujah simultaneously topped the chart for Alexandra Burke and reached number two for Jeff Buckley in 2008. It will most certainly have had an uplift from the track Darkness getting considerable support from Radio Two in the last few weeks. Whatever the cause, its sales would have made it number one by some distance in any of the last four weeks, and 77-year old Cohen would have become the oldest male solo artist to top the chart, replacing another folk hero, Bob Dylan, who was 67 when he topped with Together Through Life in 2009.

02-06-2012, 06:32 PM
He made it to the top of our Dutch charts, hah! :D

02-06-2012, 09:55 PM
One of my favorite songs of his:


And of course, my absolute favorite. It sort of carries a special meaning for me, too.


02-07-2012, 05:41 PM
Got Old Ideas and have been listening to it. It's nice so far.

02-07-2012, 05:53 PM
Not sure if this will be of interest to anyone, but I thought to mention it ...

There is a GIGANTIC billboard advertising Old Ideas in Times Square in NYC. And I'd say it's gigantic even by Times Square standards, which is saying a lot. Specifically, it's on 42nd Street between 7th and 8th.

I don't know why, but every time I pass by there it just strikes me as being the funniest thing. It must be extremely expensive to have that billboard up, and it's just so ... odd. I can imagine a Britney or Rihanna or Gaga billboard or something like that, but Cohen? In super-touristy Times Square? It just looks SO out of place, amidst all of the giant Coca-Cola and TV ads.

02-14-2012, 08:38 PM
Did you get the 11-disc box set yet, beanstew? I'm curious about it.

02-14-2012, 08:51 PM
I did! It only arrived the other day though and I haven't got around to ripping the discs to my media-centre yet. The 11 discs are in slip-cases are are all in a box along with a little booklet containing what I presume to be the original liner notes.

02-14-2012, 08:58 PM
I'm probably going to end up getting it, it does seem like a good deal. I know very little of later period Cohen but it seems like a handy place to get all the pre-Old Ideas studio albums.

04-13-2012, 10:54 AM
Leonard Cohen ex-manager found guilty of harassment (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17700431)

Leonard Cohen's former manager has been found guilty of harassing the singer by a court in Los Angeles.

Kelley Lynch was also convicted of violating court orders forbidding her to contact the star, after a campaign of expletive-strewn emails and letters.

The 77-year-old musician, who cut ties with Lynch in 2004, testified that her messages left him scared at times.

Lynch's lawyer argued that her communications were "cries for help, not criminal conduct".

Nikhil Ramnaney also contended that the 55-year-old's actions were prompted by the loss of her career.

But he added that Lynch had never approached the singer or gone to his home.

Cohen sued Lynch in 2005 over an allegation of the theft of millions of pounds from his personal fortune but she did not face criminal proceedings over the matter.

The pair had a brief romantic liaison which Cohen told the court ended after the theft claims.

The Hallelujah singer was accused of tax evasion, perjury and drug abuse in Lynch's messages, which his lawyer said had made his life "a complete and utter living hell".

He told the court: "I was not willing to take the risk, the risk that someone who leaves me messages that are deranged and violent is not going to turn up outside my house."

Lynch could face up to five years in prison for leaving the messages over the course of the last year.

Cohen was announced earlier this week as one of the headliners at the Hop Farm music festival in the UK.

08-11-2014, 09:56 PM
New album!

Leonard Cohen to release new album Popular Problems this September (http://www.thefourohfive.com/news/article/leonard-to-release-new-album-popular-problems-on-his-80th-birthday-140)

Leonard Cohen is preparing to become the Manoel De Oliveira of the music world (in case you don't know him, he's the Portuguese film director that still works despite being 105 years old), and that's totally fine with us.

The follow-up to his 2012 album Old Ideas is set for a release this autumn, and is reportedly set to coincide with his 80th birthday (he turns 80 on September 21st). Popular Problems will be the Canadian musician's 13th studio album and will contain 100% new material: "Leonard has worked hard on his next studio album of entirely new songs," wrote Jarkko Arjatsalo, who runs Cohen's official website.

No tour plans have been unveiled yet.

Great news!

08-11-2014, 10:04 PM
Awesome [post28]
And that Manuel di Oliveira shout was great! ;l

Perky Compson
08-12-2014, 12:15 AM

09-15-2014, 02:43 PM
New album streaming on NPR first listen (http://www.npr.org/2014/09/15/347480040/first-listen-leonard-cohen-popular-problems?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nprmusic&utm_term=music&utm_content=20140915).