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Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!

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Reynolds 08 Dec 02 - 04:26 PM
Clinton Hammond 08 Dec 02 - 04:31 PM
Jazzyjack 08 Dec 02 - 04:46 PM
Bernard 08 Dec 02 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,daylia 08 Dec 02 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Bardford 08 Dec 02 - 05:07 PM
Clinton Hammond 08 Dec 02 - 05:22 PM
Helen 08 Dec 02 - 05:45 PM
Reynolds 08 Dec 02 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,Q 08 Dec 02 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,daylia 08 Dec 02 - 09:53 PM
sharyn 08 Dec 02 - 09:54 PM
Jazzyjack 08 Dec 02 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,daylia 08 Dec 02 - 10:14 PM
sharyn 08 Dec 02 - 10:22 PM
Clinton Hammond 08 Dec 02 - 11:50 PM
Helen 09 Dec 02 - 12:12 AM
Catarina 09 Dec 02 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,daylia 09 Dec 02 - 12:16 PM
Pied Piper 09 Dec 02 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Geordie 09 Dec 02 - 01:08 PM
Ross 09 Dec 02 - 03:34 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Dec 02 - 03:40 PM
Maryrrf 09 Dec 02 - 04:32 PM
Helen 09 Dec 02 - 05:01 PM
hahawa 10 Dec 02 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,Abraham Diner 06 Oct 04 - 01:22 AM
alanabit 06 Oct 04 - 01:39 AM
Lanfranc 06 Oct 04 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 06 Oct 04 - 04:19 AM
Paco Rabanne 06 Oct 04 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,Henryp 06 Oct 04 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,James 06 Oct 04 - 08:12 AM
Paco Rabanne 06 Oct 04 - 08:15 AM
Grab 06 Oct 04 - 08:30 AM
Paco Rabanne 06 Oct 04 - 08:34 AM
Georgiansilver 06 Oct 04 - 09:44 AM
Little Hawk 06 Oct 04 - 01:09 PM
Georgiansilver 06 Oct 04 - 01:30 PM
Little Hawk 06 Oct 04 - 06:49 PM
Compton 06 Oct 04 - 07:10 PM
Tattie Bogle 06 Oct 04 - 07:13 PM
Peace 06 Oct 04 - 08:25 PM
Eric the Streetsinger 06 Oct 04 - 10:35 PM
Grab 07 Oct 04 - 06:04 AM
Little Hawk 07 Oct 04 - 08:36 AM
Paco Rabanne 07 Oct 04 - 08:44 AM
Little Hawk 07 Oct 04 - 08:54 AM
black walnut 07 Oct 04 - 09:08 AM
Blissfully Ignorant 07 Oct 04 - 04:19 PM
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Subject: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Reynolds
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 04:26 PM

I love Leonard Cohen's music because he covers the full range of emotions. From the very dark and sombre to the less dark and sombre.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 04:31 PM

Heh...

It's been said he's what gives Canada it's 'cool'

:-)


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 04:46 PM

I forgot to include Cohen in the list of those whom I dislike the most. I am a Canadian but I do not appreciate his feeble attempts to put his writings to music. The music is extremely bad and his voice should never torture the ear of anyone. He is a fraud and should stick to writing only. I detest people who have no ability to perform music having the icredible gall to think that they can suddenly become performers, subjecting us to their inflated egos.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Bernard
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 04:53 PM

I'm amazed that Leo Sayer (or his writer?) was never prosecuted for plagiarism - his hit song 'When I Need You' is based (albeit inadvertently, but look what happened to George Harrison!) on 'Famous Blue Raincoat'...

If you listen to Cohen's line 'And Jane came by with a lock of her hair' (etc.), the tune is identical - even down to the speed and key!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,daylia
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 04:58 PM

As a Canadian I always try to root for Canadian musicians, because they rarely get enough support at home. Seems they don't get noticed till the Yanks find them! And by then they're so frozen and hungry...

But I do find it hard to root for Cohen - he's depressing. Maybe I've just missed his 'less dark and sombre' stuff.

Jazzyjack, are you sure you're not confusing him with Bob Dylan?

I always thought Canada got it's 'cool' from Burton Cummings, eh?

daylia


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 05:07 PM

A few years ago Cohen won a Juno Award (kinda like a Canadian Grammy). He said, and I paraphrase - "Only in Canada can a guy with a voice like mine win a prize."


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 05:22 PM

"I was born like this, I had no choice
I weas born with the gift of a golden voice.."

-Tower Of Song- L. Cohen

Burton who? Never heard of him....


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Helen
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 05:45 PM

Jazzyjack,

My sentiments exactly. I can stand listening to Cohen's songs and Bob Dylan's songs *only when someone else sings them*. But not when they sing them themselves.

I'll admit that Cohen's musical ability has improved from his first album, but musically he still annoys the hell out of me, and it is the music which is the prime focus for me, rather than the words. (I posted a little theory of mine in a thread here a couple of years ago: that the people who love Leonard Cohen & Bob Dylan relate to the words and don't care so much about the music, and the people who can't stand LC & BD relate to the music and don't care as much about the words.)

Unfortunately my hubby loves Cohen, and for some reason, he inflicts it on me on a regular basis, and gets upset if I go out of the room or ask politely whether we have to listen to so many of his CD's in one sitting. (I think he thinks that it will grow on me. A faulty logic, because Jeff Buckley hasn't grown on him. Maybe I should play Jeff Buckley more often.) To explain, Hubby has a 200 CD player with about 3 or is it 4 Cohen CD's in a row, starting with the oldest one. You know the one: the "let's all go outside and slash our wrists" one, with only about 3 musical notes repeated in endless boring repetitious patterns, i.e. the one I can't stand the most, the one that some radical English teacher first inflicted on our class about 30 years ago and many of the other class members raved about it and they refused to believe that I hated it.

Sorry to be so rampant about this, but I get so tired - over the last 3 decades - of people who think that the more I listen to Cohen the more likely it is that I will suddenly have a "revelation" and fall in love with his songs.

I'm not saying that this is Reynolds' intention in starting this thread. I'm just saying that for some reason many of the Cohen buffs *I know* have this evangelical urge to convert other people to his songs.

So, in my opinion it is "live and let live". I've had my say and now I'll stay out of this thread. And I apologise for being so adamant and raving on like this. I'm not trying to upset Reynolds, or anyone who loves LC.

If anyone can cast any light on why so many LC fans are so intent on converting LC-haters to the cause I'd be eternally grateful, though.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Reynolds
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 05:48 PM

Helen,

I guess your sarcasm meter was broken when you read my post.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 06:31 PM

I have some Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan on old LPs by Nana Mouskouri. Musically much improved, but much of the meaning is lost.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,daylia
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 09:53 PM

Well, Clinton, about the "Tower of Song" lyrics - if he figures he's "got no choice" maybe that's why he's so dark and sombre, as the 'golden voice' thing appears to be in question.

And it's not 'Burton who', it's the Guess Who! ;-)

Anyway, for the record, my 20-yr old son and his friends say it's the Tragically Hip who give Canada it's 'cool'!

Whoever it is, they're sure doing a good job tonight! Brrrrrrrr

Peace

daylia


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: sharyn
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 09:54 PM

First of all, no conversions planned or in process: if you don't like Cohen, you don't like him.

Why I do. He has a wonderful self-mocking sense of humor. I cite his line quoted above "I was born with a golden voice." He knows. And I like his voice -- at least as heard live within the last ten years -- but then, I like bass voices. He writes incredibly romantic lovesongs:

I see you on the subway. I see you on the bus.
I see you lying down with me. I see you waking up.
I see your hands, I see your hair, your bracelets and your brush.

(From one version of "No Cure For Love")

He tackles unusual subjects: who among you has written a good song about Joan of Arc or about how death will come for us all("Who By Fire")?

He has integrity: when Columbia Records had an awards banquet to celebrate the success of "I'm Your Man" he thanked them for the modesty of their interest in his recording career.

However unmusical some of you might find his singing, I find many of his songs melodic and many of his arrangements memorable: I like his use of piano lines and female back-up singers.

Scoff on, if you must. And, by the way, Dylan's voice improved with age and experience and he has written many lovely melodies (and stolen others from traditional songs).


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 10:08 PM

Yeah we goofed Reynolds. I reacted as soon as I saw Cohen's name and didn't read carefully. As far as Dylan goes, I like most of his stuff up to and including " John Wesley Harding ". The film of his tour in England showed how electrifying he was on stage. His combination of unusual lyrics, part singing, talking vocals and pretty basic guitar work ends up being appealing to me. I got to see him live about 13 years ago and he stunk out the place. What a downer. I still retain 2 of his tunes in my repertoire " Girl of the North Country " & " I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine ". "Mr. Tam. Man " & " Desolation Row " are stand out classics but unperformable.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,daylia
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 10:14 PM

"You were the promise of dawn - I was the morning after
You were Jesus Christ my lord - I was the moneylender ...

And is this what you wanted - to live in a house that is haunted
By the ghost of you and me"

Isn't that Cohen? Romantic, you say? Hmmmmmmm how tragic...

Only in Canada, I guess.

daylia


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: sharyn
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 10:22 PM

Yep, Daylia,

That's Cohen, too. Not one of his best, in my opinion, although the refrain is pretty good -- reminds me of another one: "Let's sing another song, boys./This one has grown old and bitter."


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 11:50 PM

"Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic 'till I'm gathered safely in
Life me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to th ened of love"

Or one of my favorites....

"Where, where where is my gypsy wife tonight?"


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Helen
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 12:12 AM

Aw hell, caught out again. Jazzyjack's right again - I didn't read it properly, even when I looked again at the thread title, after I had shut it down, and thought: What was it that Reynolds likes about Cohen? So I opened it up again and re-read the opening post.

It's not April Fools' Day anywhere in the world outside of Oz, is it?

Helen


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Catarina
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 11:47 AM

So, some people like Leonard Cohen, and some people hate Leonard Cohen. Can we live and let live?
I mean, I like Leonard Cohen. I don't feel the need of inflicting him on anyone. Sometimes my hubby complains about me listening to LC records. Weel, sometimes I have to listen to Bach's "Passion according to John" (one of his favourites) for hours, though it bores me to death. We're even.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,daylia
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 12:16 PM

I'm with you, Catarina.

After struggling for years with my teenage son about whose music gets played in the house/car, we finally came to a workable agreement,

He doesn't play Cannibal Corpse or Slipknot while I'm around, and likewise I spare him Loreena McKennitt and Amazing Grace.

Music is a very powerful thing. Unfortunately within families people sometimes use it as 'weapon' to abuse or control one another. So respecting each other's space - and that includes the airwaves in that space - is something we work on every day.

Here's to happy tunes!

daylia


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Pied Piper
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 12:45 PM

Jazzyjack, every body is entitled to their opinion, even if they are talking Bollox.
I've seen LC live three times (obviously I'm a fan). Live he is very humorous and entertaining, and always had an excellent band backing him. The concerts I attended had people of a wide age range and the quality of the arrangements really stood out.

All the best PP


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Geordie
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 01:08 PM

I love leonard Cohen. The fact of not having a great voice has not kept him from being a great singer...there are many in that category..Bob Dylan, John Prine, come to mind. So I guess it is all personal choice. But I do think his lyrics are great, better than Dylans.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Ross
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 03:34 PM

It's the ability to catch something in a smattering of words

such as -

'when you're not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you've sinned'

or

'if your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off & condemn'

or

'but he himself was broken, long before the sky would open'

Cohen's a great poet

He should be admired for having the guts to stand up & portray his world in one dominated by crap holywood/walt disney illusion

One where only pretty people are allowed to participate

now sing Chelsea Hotel


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 03:40 PM

Heh..

You know Chelsea Hotel is about Janus (sp?) Joplin eh?

She's the one he remembers "Talking so brave and so sweet"

Heh...


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Maryrrf
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 04:32 PM

Count me as one who likes Leonard Cohen. I like (most) of his lyrics and I like his voice - there's something soothing about it. Someone else mentioned, and I agree, that he tackles subjects that are different and I admire him for that. My favorites are his early albums - Songs from a Room and Songs of Leonard Cohen, I think they were called. I still remember a concert of his that I attended in Ludwigshafen, Germany. It was superb. He DOES seem to be a performer that people either love or can't stand - not much in between!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Helen
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 05:01 PM

Catarina,

My problem with my hubby is that he seems to think that I *have* to listen to LC, and gets annoyed when I ask if we can play something else (after the first CD - one at a time is more than enough for me, and the order in the CD player is that the one I hate the most comes first - I don't mind the later one, with Famous Blue Raincoat on it, where there is a bit better guitar work and a female back-up singer) - but, I would *not* turn it off if he started playing it and didn't want to stop it. I just go outside or into my computer room and play a CD on the computer with my headphones.

But, here is the problem! When I play something hubby doesn't like, e.g. Jeff Buckley, or The Chills, or...or...or... - the list is pretty big - he just goes in and turns it off without even asking. It's an uneven battle so far, but I am working on negotiations with him. I've also just decided to change the order of the CD's to put the one I can stand first and the one I can't stand last, so that when hubby just lets the CD player go through the CD's in sequence at least I'll be able to listen to the first one without wanting to scream, and I'll have enough warning to leave the house or make alternative arrangements for the next 2 or 3.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: hahawa
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 11:12 AM

Virtually tuneless & depressing I'm afraid from my point of view....if you think Cohen's music is full of emotions then you obviously haven't heard anything by Norma Waterson!!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Abraham Diner
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 01:22 AM

There are two sides to him. He could be very romantic, and
then other songs are extremely depressing. As a Jew, I find
it strange that the grandson of a rabbi should be so fixated
with Christian images. Yet, he has incorporated many judaic
scenes into his songs. The " Sacrifice of Isaac" has become
an anti-war song. " Who By Fire" was inspired by the Yom Kippur
prayer, but is not a favorite of mine.
His ability to write a KLEZMER song is fantastic. In a mixture
of Hebrew/greek melodies, he created "Dance me to the end of love?".
I love his version of this song, as well as versions done by other
Klezmer Bands.
I enjoy reading parts from his novel BEAUTIFUL LOSERS, some very comical.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: alanabit
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 01:39 AM

I think you should always try and recognise the craft of an artist, even if it isn't for you. I found his early albums heavy going - although not without merit. His voice/singing takes some getting used to for some folks, but I can live with that too. Hearing later songs like "Everybody Knows", I am struck by his sly sense of irony and humour. Some of the lines in that song made me laugh out loud. That mixture of melancholy and irony makes him a cousin of Randy Newman in spirit if not in sound.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Lanfranc
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 04:06 AM

I have now loved Cohen's music for almost 40 years. Not to listen to 24/7, but then who is there that could take that much exposure? Listening to one album at a time can still produce an unexpected revelation. Shallow the lyrics are not; sparse the tunes, maybe; haggard the voice, OK, but usually on pitch and well accompanied.

My favourite cover versions (other than those I do myself!!) are those of Jennifer Warnes.

Hang on in there, Lenny, some of us love ya!

Alan


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 04:19 AM

Ah Leonard Cohen .............. songs to commit suicide to ..... that's what we call them as we listened to them back in the 70's, pass that razor blade !! Some things don't change


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 04:25 AM

Mr Cohen is godlike! Good news too chaps, according to his website he is releasing a new album at the end of this month.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 07:19 AM

From 'Some of the lines in that song made me laugh out loud' to 'Songs to commit suicide to'.

He certainly provokes a response from listeners! Nobody listens to Leonard Cohen and says, "That was quite nice."

He makes me laugh too. I didn't realise there were so many people without a sense of humour.

If you don't like his voice, try listening to Judy Collins, the person who encouraged him to perform and took his songs to a wider audience. She has just released 'Democracy', a collection of his songs.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,James
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 08:12 AM

I too love LC. I also like Norma Waterson a lot as well and I find him no less emotional in his singing than she. I am glad to hear that Judt Collins is doing an album of his songs as I think she has done far better renditions of his stuff than Jennifer Warnes has.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 08:15 AM

One of his recent backing singers called Perla batala is also recording an album of his songs. She sang with him at The Albert Hall in 1988, and yes, I was there. Isn't life fab?


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Grab
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 08:30 AM

ST, I hope his new album is better than the dross he released on his last album. If you looked beyond the recording, some of the songs had potential, but they were crushed by the misuse of shitty drum machines and keyboards by some truly awful musicians. They didn't even reach the standard of mediocre, they were just crap. That album could have been put together by any monkey with 6 months practise on a Casio keyboard. Unless someone posts a review of the new album on here and says it's terrific, I'm not buying any new LC albums - frankly I think he's lost it and I don't plan on wasting my money.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 08:34 AM

yo grab,
       Agreed, it wasn't his best, but two tracks "love itself" and "Alexandra leaving" are as good as any of his earlier stuff I reckon.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 09:44 AM

IMHO...when you study the lyrics of Leonard Cohens songs and begin to understand the depth of feeling in them...you see the man himself.
Aside from that...When I sung "Suzanne" at a Folk Club in Lancashire around 20 yrs ago...it was so well accepted, I was asked to repeat it on a few occasions..Incidentally, why are we talking about the guy now....because he still has a following...his music/songs can still be heard on radio occasionally.......there must be something in that!!!
Best wishes.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 01:09 PM

Leonard Cohen is about as good as it gets when it comes to songwriting. His voice has grown deeper over the years, and has tremendous atmosphere which sets off the lyrics perfectly. He has a marvelous sense of humour.

You could say all of the above as well about Bob Dylan.

People who can't stand either Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan always sound to me like they have fixated on one or two details about the man in question...and completely failed to comprehend anything else about him whatsoever.

It's as if they were evaluating New York City on the basis of a single street or something...

It works this way: there is something that initially puts them off...(the sound of the voice)...(a "depressing" song they heard). They form an opinion based on that, and they never look any further. It's as if they picked up a book, randomly opened it to a single page, read a sentence they couldn't identify with...and said, "This is crap!" End of story.

Leonard Cohen is simply marvelous, and it is totally silly to characterize all his songs as "depressing" or lacking a good tune. Ditto for Dylan. Dylan has written some of the most beautiful tunes in history, and those among you who can't stand his voice could grasp that instantly if you heard someone else (whose voice you like) doing those tunes. But...if someone told you, "That's a Dylan song." your autopilot would probably kick in right away, and you'd say, "It's crap!" :-)

Dylan is at least as much a musician as he is a lyricist, and he's a superb lyricist. So is Cohen. Listen to Jennifer Warnes do Cohen if you don't like his voice, and THEN tell me those songs have no good tune!

Just because you don't like a musician's style does not necessarily mean he's no good AS a musician.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 01:30 PM

Little Hawk, Have you not thought to yourself that some of the so called singers on here are perhaps so good that they are in a position to judge Dylan and Cohen on their merits by their own standards.........but then again perhaps some of the so called singers on here are jealous of the fame and fortune that both Dylan and Cohen have amassed and continue to......Is there really anyone on here who is in a position to judge them???? I'm not sure!.
I have LPs of them both which I love to take out and listen to sometimes. I am no expert but there are I am sure many others who like them as much as I do.
Best wishes.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 06:49 PM

Oh, yeah, it's occurred to me. I myself am a darned good singer, with an agreeable tenor voice that would no doubt please these people who can't stand the way Dylan and Cohen sing.

When I was 15 years old, I couldn't stand the way Dylan sounded. Later I became much more knowledgable about his material, and my opinion did a complete 180 degree shift. I saw past the superficial outer form to the content...and the content is marvelous. Once you appreciate the content, you begin to appreciate the form it is contained in as well. It's like falling in love with someone who isn't technically "good looking". You see deeper than skin deep and you realize that they are something much more important than "good looking"...they are beautiful. Then something magical happens, and they start looking good on the outside too.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Compton
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 07:10 PM

I love Leonard Cohen's Music because I don't want to be happy all the time!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 07:13 PM

And he's just had his 70th birthday: Hallelujah! (One of his better songs, even if I prefer Jeff Buckley's rendition of it!)


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Peace
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 08:25 PM

"That's No Way to Say Goodbye" has gotta be one of the best-written songs ever. I agree with LH's remark about focussing on one or two aspects of performers/writers/singers/etc. Cohen is remarkable. Is everything he ever did remarkable? No. Lots? Yes.

I always found the quest for image to be fundamental to the artistic pursuit--at least it has seemed that way with good artists (in any genre) that I have met. Artists tend to use what affects them. We saw the same sorta thing with Asher Lev in the remarkable novel by Potok.

Christians step away from the trappings of their religion and embrace symbols that are outside the Christian culture. I would opine that the nuclear disarmament symbol (which has come to be called the 'peace' symbol) carries a symbolic weight out of proportion to its size, much like other symbols we incorporate into our lives. Mogen David, cross, $, etc. Man finds meaning where s/he finds it. It will ever be thus. A swastika is just some lines put together. I see one and I know my BP rises very quickly: I want to get down and dirty in a very short trice. Don't know why. Just know it's so.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 10:35 PM

Listen to John Cale's recording of "Hallelujah",
Peter Gabriel's of "Suzanne"
Suzanne Vega's "Story of Isaac"

I actually don't find his albums to be depressing-
thoughful- yes!
Moody- yes!
But never depressing!

"as the mist leaves no scar upon the grey hill
so my body leaves no scar on you, nor ever will
true love leaves no traces..."


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Grab
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 06:04 AM

LC's older stuff is certainly good, and the quality of writing is such that they make good covers too. But since the "First we take Manhattan" album (was it called "I'm your man"?), the cheesy Casio organs and crappy drum machines started creeping in, and his most recent album is a travesty. It sounds like some bloke down the pub with a keyboard doing a bad LC imitation.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 08:36 AM

Hmmm. I consider "I'm Your Man" and "The Future" to be even better than his early albums, although I consider his early albums to be very good. I haven't heard the most recent one.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 08:44 AM

Anyone care for my favourites, 'Various positions' and 'recent songs'?


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 08:54 AM

Yeah, those are great too. "Dance Me To The End of Love" is a classic.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: black walnut
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 09:08 AM

What with Leonard's birthday and him being Canadian and all, I've heard a lot of Cohen songs over the past few months. 'Hallelujah' is my favourite of the bunch, and every time I hear someone sing it, I think it's the best version I've ever heard of it in my life. The latest (and of course, best) version I've ever heard of 'Hallelujah' was when Lisa Moscatiello sang it last Saturday in a workshop at Octoberfolk (Brantford Ontario Canada) . As always, the whole room joined in on the chorus. It was wondrous. Her voice and that song are still echoing around in my head.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 04:19 PM

What what?!?! Leonard Cohen depressing? No way man...:) What's wrong with the odd wrist slitter now and again? When it's three in the morning, i've got no money, the only other living creature in my bed is a cat, and i'm getting hassle from every direction- i WANT to listen to something depressing!
Apart from anything else, someone who can sing 'giving me head' without making it sound sleazy is cool in my book.
I like Cohen very much. He writes songs that communicate to me on a level that few other artists can reach, one of them being Bob Dylan who has written some amazing melodies- listen to Desire. While niether Cohen nor Dylan have conventionally beautiful voices, in my opinion this doesn't detract from the music. It may make them less accessable initially, but i think once you get past that the voice then becomes an integral part of the song, in fitting with its character. If the material's good, and is sung with passion, i could quite happily listen to a donkey on speed singing it....
I think the thing about cover versions is that everyone has their own interperitation of a songs meaning so if you want to get close to what the writer intended it's best to hear the writer singing it, and when the lyrics are as deep and personal as Cohens this is especially true.
I think it is a love or hate thing, and unforunately my dad and i are polar opposites on this. It shows a complete lack of courtesy to compell someone to listen to music they don't like- but i think it's even more discourteous to just turn it off. Why not just leave the room? :)
Sorry for warbling on, i have a tendancy to become rather verbose sometimes...like when i'm bored and someone says something interesting. Great thread, a subject guaranteed to provoke some healthy debate!:)


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