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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
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Bernard 08 Dec 02 - 04:53 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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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 06:16 PM

Judy Collins is one of the great interpreters of songs. Her new album Judy Collins sings Leonard Cohen: Democracy is a collection of Cohen songs, three newly recorded and ten re-mastered. I met the man from my record shop as he was walking to work and ordered it there and then!

She has also recorded a number of songs by Dylan over the years. In 1993 she released Judy Collins Sings Dylan: Just Like A Woman, an album of newly recorded Dylan songs. You'd have to go a long way to find something more beguiling than Dark Eyes.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 12:12 AM

"Dark Eyes" is a wonderful song. I've personally sung it a few hundred times. "Shooting Star" is another little beauty of a song, not to mention "Born In Time". (those are all somewhat lesser known Dylan songs)

Then there's "Love Minus Zero" and "Farewell Angelina" which are both so beautiful and ethereal that they really defy classification in any genre. (more Dylan songs)


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Subject: Leonard Cohen's music
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 06:39 AM

Leonard Cohen's music is not depressing - it is melancholic. Melancholy can actually be quite uplifting. I also find that I like people who like Leonard Cohen. My fave is 'Songs of Love and Hate' , and look forward to the release of 'Dear Heather' on Oct 25th.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 08:42 AM

What I would say to those who don't like him is. Try not be repulsed by the initial delivery. Its a bit like those people who say they don't like all modern art. There is substance there and it repays the attention you give it.

If you decide to skip the delights of LC, fair enough. But they are there.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 09:09 AM

Yeah. Initial delivery can be off-putting all right. I have never gotten past Tom Waites' initial delivery, for example, and I understand he is a great songwriter, according to many people who certainly ought to know.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Helen
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 06:02 PM

Little Hawk,

Just a couple of comments about what you said.

You said: "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."

I think you have made an assumption that people like me have dismissed the whole of LC's ability based on my musical discretion, i.e. the power of making choices or judgements based on my own musical preferences.

As I said in '02 "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 appreciate his lyrics, his poetic ability, his humour, etc but my major focus of choice/discretion in choosing what I want to listen to is the music, above the lyrics. I can listen to the crappiest, most sexist, most non-PC garbage if I like the music. Sorry! That is true. Most of the time I don't hear the lyrics at all. I don't focus on the words I focus on the music.

Put yourself in my shoes. If you only heard LC's voice & melody and did not associate them with the words would you like listening to him?

I have started listening to the ABC Classic-FM station in Oz in the last year or so because I am so starved for music. The stuff that I used to hear on the alternative youth radio station has become unlistenable in the main, because of the *music*. I listen to the alternative station because it doesn't have the msuical equivalent of Hollywood crap-pap and they are not afraid to have open discussion - musically and in interviews and news coverage - on all sorts of controversial issues, and this is the national, government run station. (Thank God for Oz freedom of speech!)   But lately I don't even define some of the stuff they have been playing as music because it could have been generated by a musical vending machine which gives you 10 seconds of music and then plays the same thing repeatedly for 3 minutes.

Don't get me wrong. I listen to every sort of music - folk, rock, heavy metal, swing, jazz, blues, CW, world music, classical, you name it, and my favourite favourite favourite album (apart from the Complete Sacred Choral Works of Vivaldi, 6 CD set) is a techno-percussion electronic CD called Leftism by a couple of geniuses calling themselves Leftfield.

So, I evaluate my musical choices based on music and not words. As I also said in '02, I have a theory "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."

So, as I also said before, in my opinion it is live and let live. You like LC, I don't. I am learning more about why some people love his stuff, but I don't love it.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 06:37 PM

Ah. I see. I focus tremendously on lyrics (simply can't ignore them or not notice them). There's a lot of great music out there that I do not listen to by choice, because it's accompanied by lyrics I cannot relate to...or that I don't like in the least. So naturally I am drawn to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. I do like their music too, but it's the lyrics that really hook me, backed BY the music which adds a lot to them.

I agree with you that a great deal of the modern music barely deserves the name...and I'd have to say that about most of the lyrics I hear on the radio too.

What I was saying, actually, is this: the initial "sound" of a performer can turn a person off to the point that they never bother listening long enough to find out if there's anything else there that they might like. That was how Bob Dylan affected me until I was about 20, but I loved hearing Joan Baez sing his songs from a much earlier age. I thought they were the best songs she did by far. Eventually I got to like the way Dylan sounded, and it happened quite suddenly...in one day, in fact. That was actually the first time I deliberately sat down and listened to him with real attention.

The same thing might happen sometime with Tom Waites if I were to give him a proper chance...or it might not...who knows? My present reaction to Tom Waites is based on my response to only one thing: the sound of his voice. It sounds awful to me. I know that his songs are very highly regarded by a great many fine performers, so there must be something there that I'm missing.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Helen
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 07:11 PM

LH,

I bought a CD called Red, Hot & Blue many years ago - a compilation of a range of modern singers & musicians performing Cole Porter songs. I worked in a public library at the time and used to play it in the library because I chose music which wasn't too loud for the public. I loved every track on the CD except the Tom Waits, which I used to suffer through. Finally one day it clicked with me and I loved his version of the song. Now it is one of my favourite tracks on the album. I bought a recent album of his - ostensibly as a present for hubby - but actually because I wanted it for me too. The one with the song called Alice on it.

We took the tape away with us in Tasmania last year and listened as we drove around. I like it a lot. He is one of the very few singer/songwriters whose lyrics I actually "hear" and whose music and words go together well for me, in my head.

I've seen him acting in a couple of - very far out - movies, too. An interesting bloke.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 08:24 PM

Hmmm, yeah, there is obviously a great deal more to Tom Waits than I have yet been willing to perceive. Maybe he will "click" with me at some point too.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Charlie Lewis
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 02:19 PM

Grab wrote: "the cheesy Casio organs and crappy drum machines started creeping in"

Hmmm, i always thought it was a Yamaha PS-6100 he made "I'm Your Man" on.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 08:40 PM

I focus on the lyrics and the music as one. I find when i'm writing, that if i do the lyrics first, then the tune just comes with them, and vice versa. I think they have to go together, if you see what i mean, i think they have to match. And to my mind Cohens (and DYlans) tunes match their words, and i think their voices do too. Same goes for Waits.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: DonMeixner
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 09:50 PM

The only differences I can see between Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen is Cohen is a much better musician and he writes extremely well.

Don "Not a Dylan fan" Meixner


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Terry K
Date: 24 Oct 04 - 04:47 AM

I don't see how you can even compare Dylan and Cohen. After all, Cohen is only a fairly ordinary genius.

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 12:08 AM

I don't know how anyone can compare musicians at all. Especially those who review music professionally, I mean how lazy is that? Any fool who comes along strumming a guitar is automatically the next Dylan... which is unfair to both the artist in question and the reader. Why not just judge people on their own merits?


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: voyager
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 02:25 PM

What I like about Lenny (From the I'm Your Man/Tower of Song) lyric -

I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
Tower of Song

is his understated modesty and his basso profundo attempts on songs
like this.

voyager


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: frogprince
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 02:46 PM

Did anyone else like his theme in "McCabe and Mrs.Miller" as well as I did? Something about, "like he was giving up the holy game of poker"...


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 06:10 PM

I think you've ALL got it wrong - Cohen was writing COMIC songs all the time !!!
I Lit a Thin Green Candle to make you jealous of me
But the room just fillied up with Mosquitos , they'd heard my body was free

One of the best Comedy songs ever written !!!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 07:28 PM

He sounds too much like Marthe Srewart for my taste!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,username
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 12:51 AM

I just bought his brand new album "dear heather" and i really love it. Thankfully, except for the first song, the production is a lot better than "10 new songs". And there are some live intruments again. Listen to "the faith", he recorded this song with the same band he recorded his album 'recent songs" with. There is no doubt that it is one of his most beautiful songs ever.

This album is more poetry than most of hsi albums of late. Are these poems or songs? That's one of the great things cohen has acheived in his career, being able to bring poetry to the masses, making it seem less formal.

Because Of

Because of a few songs
Wherein I spoke of their mystery,
Women have been
Exceptionally kind
to my old age.
They make a secret place
In their busy lives
And they take me there.
They become naked
In their different ways
and they say,
"Look at me, Leonard
Look at me one last time."
Then they bend over the bed
And cover me up
Like a baby that is shivering.


Undertow

I set out one night
When the tide was low
There were signs in the sky
But I did not know
I'd be caught in the grip
Of the undertow
Ditched on a beach
Where the sea hates to go
With a child in my arms
And a chill in my soul
And my heart the shape
Of a begging bowl


Dear Heather

Dear Heather
Please walk by me again
With a drink in your hand
And your legs all white
From the winter



To A Teacher
Hurt once and for all into silence.
A long pain ending without a song to prove it.
Who could stand beside you so close to Eden,
When you glinted in every eye the held-high
razor, shivering every ram and son?
And now the silent loony bin, where
The shadows live in the rafters like
Day-weary bats,
Until the turning mind, a radar signal,
lures them to exaggerate
Mountain-size on the white stone wall
Your tiny limp.
How can I leave you in such a house?
Are there no more saints and wizards
to praise their ways with pupils,
No more evil to stun with the slap
of a wet red tongue?
Did you confuse the Messiah in a mirror
and rest because he had finally come?
Let me cry Help beside you, Teacher.
I have entered under this dark roof
As fearlessly as an honoured son
Enters his father's house.


these are poems set to music for sure. The last one is actually a poem from his 1961 book of poetry called 'the spice-box of earth"


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,lpaf
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 10:58 AM

Any thoughts on the song "Dear Heather"?

lpaf


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 11:56 AM

The song is weird, thank God for the remote control so I can zap past it.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 12:21 PM

Dylan and Cohen both have a grand sense of humour, I think.

They write songs very differently, though. Cohen can take years to write a specific lyric, till he gets it just the way he wants it. Dylan writes fast, by intuition. I tend to prefer the Dylan approach. The stuff that comes fast (for me) is by far the best. The stuff that doesn't never comes up to the same standard, because it's too mentally contrived.

Cohen's way obviously works fine for him, and Dylan's way works fine for Dylan.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 06:15 PM

...Leonard Cohen's music!


Isn't that phrase an oxymoron?


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,SueB
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 03:34 AM

I'm not sure about this, but my sister says back when she was in college, listening to Leonard Cohen was as good as a litmus test - if you could listen without wanting to slit your wrists, you were probably ok mental-health-wise, but if you couldn't get through a whole record without wanting to sob uncontrollably, you were possibly dangerously depressed and needed to see the counselor.

I'm listening to Leonard Cohen right now - Ten New Songs, which came out in 2001 - and I'm feeling okay, so I must not be too depressed. There have been a few times, though, when I put it on and had to take it off because I started to feel unbearably sad. Strange.

But I think his voice is incredibly sexy, in a seedy, smoky, strangely seductive kind of way. Makes my skin shiver.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 05:03 AM

I like Leonard Cohen's music a lot (and Jeff Buckley's, and Tim Buckley's). I particularly like the way he puts a Jewish spin on the Christian stories that are so central to 20th-century western society. And I love his bizarre sense of humour:

A bunch of lonesome and very quarrelsome heroes
Were smoking out along the open road

in the 1960s when heroism was so popular, and his hommage to Cavafy in Alexandra Leaving, on Ten New Songs:

Exquisite music, Alexandra laughing
Go softly to the window, drink it in

But Helen, you're going to leave that man if he doesn't learn to treat you with respect. You have to train him. Anyone who walks in and takes off a CD that someone else has put on, but expects that person to listen to the CDs of his taste is not living in balance.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 06:27 AM

I love ending a gig night by singing...

"Yeah we're drinking and we're dancing
but there's nothing really happening
and the place is dead as Heaven on a Saturday night
And my very close companion
gets me stoned and gets me laughing
she's a hundred but she's wearing something tight"

A-hahahahahaha!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Grab
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 08:59 AM

How well-timed. I've had the mother of all colds the last week. Straight for the throat, phlegm, coughing, the lot. My vocal range dropped nearly a full octave down the scale, and finally I could sing Leonard Cohen songs in the original key, with the full-on LC croak sound! Excellent! :-)

But I'm getting better now, so by next week I'll have to dig out the capo again...

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Helen
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 04:21 PM

Thanks, JTT. I am gradually re-training him, I think - after some full-on battles. In almost every other aspect he does respect me and my preferences but he has this blind spot about music. I do admit that I like some pretty far out stuff, like Tim Buckley & Jeff Buckley, and the whole gamut of musical taste from classical to electronica, but there are few of my CD's that he will sit through unless he liked the music before he met me.

I just bought a Gryphon double album and I put it on because a couple of the tracks reminded me of Frank Zappa but hubby went out into his shed away from the music before we got to those tracks. I'll have to put the specific tracks on and say "does this remind you of Zappa?" and he'll probably listen.

I did turn him around about my favourite electronica album called Leftism, by Leftfield - I mean it is my absolute favourite album and it is electronica. It's percussion rhythms with an amazing polyphonic complexity but very listenable on the surface, i.e. not dry, theoretical music (as the Aussies say, not disappearing up their own a-holes :-)    ) but very passionate and, well, listenable. I bought the album because of the song by Johnny Rotten/John Lydon called Open Up, but then very quickly got drawn into the African-inspired rhythms being produced electronically. The first 20 or so times that I played it he walked out of the room, and then afterwards, when I explained about the percussion stuff he started to stay in the room, and I have actually heard him talk about it - a little bit - to other people.

Strange anomaly.

Anyway, I have tried to listen to Cohen, and I still stick to my previous statement that with Dylan & Cohen, I don't mind them if sung by someone else, but I find both of them grating and annoying - from a musical standpoint.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: number 6
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 06:17 PM

I questioned his sincerety, truthfulness in his earlier works. But as time went on he has matured, he has connected with his craft with pure honesty and delivers his artistry without inhibition or concealment. He is a great Canadian deserving of his accolades.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Bluesmike
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 02:18 AM

Sorry Helen and Jazzy Jack but I must have missed your last 20 albums- silly oversight


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 02:20 AM

I don't mind his voice (I'm a big Dylan fan and I can take his), I think he's a great songwriter also. It's just that sometimes he's just... so... damn... depressing...


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Helen
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 06:35 AM

I'm sorry too, Bluesmike.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 06:09 AM

Anyone see the 1/2 hour TV documentary last week on artists who have covered Leonard Cohen's work? I enjoyed it - any footage of the man himself is a rare treat.

I remember seeing and enjoying a film called 'Bird on a Wire' in 1976/7, which covered some LC live concerts. I've struggled in vain to get a copy of it - anyone know a source of this (or any other) LC material on video/DVD?


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 07:19 AM

I was going to do a post called... Why I don't particularly like Leonard Cohen's music...

but I couldn't be bothered...

Anyway - the reason I don't like him is... for quite a few years ,as I grew up, I had to listen to people trying to sing the Suzanne song at me - (my name is Suzanne). In the crappiness of the jokes, and the link! But it nearly drove me bananas.... sooooo droney! Such a rubbishio song

there... that's that off my chest... soapbox removed, personal rant over...

Ella who is sooze


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:18 AM

Sometimes he's the perfect thing for a mix tape!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:34 AM

You're right, Ella--"Suzanne" can indeed take you way, way down--but it's sure a good target for parodies.

Some of his other songs are better. As for his voice--uh, well, no comment.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: robomatic
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:50 AM

How about songs 'about' Leonard Cohen:

Check out: Leonard Cohen's Day Job
by Austin Lounge Lizards


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:55 AM

Thanks, Robo--sounds very promising. Austin Lounge Lizards are great, especially live.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 11:20 AM

What's Leonard up to these days?


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,PeteG
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 11:53 AM

Guest
Try here for info on the great man
Pete

http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,ifor
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 04:13 PM

I agree with Littlehawk .Leonard's album The Future is quite amazing!! As good as anything he has done in the past..
This was also he man who gave the english speaking world that great anti nazi song The Partisan.Now I know he did not write it but the choice of that song for inclusion on his first album was brilliant!
And he does have a great sense of irony and dark humour!
Come to Wales, Leonard, and you will hve a great welcome in the hillsides!
Ifor


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 04:45 PM

"The Partisan" was on Leonard's (Songs From A Room) second album, not his first.

There were a number of other versions that preceded his by about 25 years.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,ifor
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 05:23 PM

Yes,but it was still leonard's version of the Partisan that intorduced the song to a mass,young audience.
ifor


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Bee
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 06:29 PM

I still love ya, Leonard!

But I really want to learn Leonard Cohen Ain't Never Gonna Bring My Groceries In by Nancy White, if I ever find the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: bobad
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 06:36 PM

Leonard is a poet, be not too hard on him.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 10:08 PM

Reading through this thread and coming up against so many wonderful song titles, I truly - as a fan of some 40 years -- can't understand why anyone wouldn't like him. I suppose I can get that his voice can be difficult to appreciate (but I like it) but his lyrics.......

Great line in The Tower of Song - 'I ache in the places where I used to play.......' - such a good line. Whoever referenced the background music in McCabe and Mrs. Miller, if memory serves me right many of the songs on his first album were in that movie -- they made it special.....

He's my hero. One of my Christmas gifts from my husband was a dvd of a tribute concert to Leonard Cohen performed by various Canadian artists -- highly recommended. And surely k. d. lang deserves a mention for her marvellous version of Hallelujah on her Hymns of the North cd?


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,William Pint
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 12:33 AM

Leonard Cohen can say more in fewer words than anyone I've ever heard.

I saw him 'live' many years ago and it still stands as one of the very best concerts I've ever had the good fortune to attend. He played a set with his band, a solo set and then came back for another set with his band.

His humor was marvelous and most often at his own expense - poking fun at his reputation as "the grocer of despair" and as a poet "these hands ... rising up like lotuses from the mud of my sleeves." All with perfect deadpan delivery and the most marvelous twinkle in his eye. After two or three standing ovations he quietly remarked that "if you have someone waiting for you, go ahead and leave, but, we'll stay here and play for you as long as we can." He did -- and played many more songs until the auditorium staff put up the house lights to end the evening. Later, I heard that he went to a restaurant afterwards and played and sang late into the night with the fans who spotted him there.

As depressing as some might find him - I always found his songs comforting whenever I was feeling down. Here was a person who understood my condition and could look deep to find beauty in those dark places.

As for his vocal style -- give me one Leonard Cohen with a gravel voice who sings from the heart and means what he sings and keep your thousands of pretty voices who sing with nothing at all.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Metchosin
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 03:42 AM

Amen William Pint, you said it all.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 05:03 AM

I see there are a couple of LC DVDs due for release on March 19 - "I'm your man" and "Under review" - I look forward to that

http://www.play.com/Search.aspx?searchtype=r2alldvd&searchstring=leonard+cohen&page=search&pa=search


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,PeteG
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 05:04 AM

whoops - didn't intend to remain anon


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: billygoat
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 04:42 AM

Hi Billygoat here from dublin ireland just to let you know im a new member iwas lookong for a song my father sang when he was drunk i loved sitting beside him while he was alive happy and singing brother can you spare a dime and while i was looking the words of this song i came across this site, so hello everybody if you have stories about your mum or dad or family pass them on to a good listener


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,ib48
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 07:42 AM

he makes morrissey sound like steps


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Arkie
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 12:55 PM

If everyone had the same tastes only a handful of singers would have an audience or every singer would try to sound the same.   What I don't understand is the rabid hatred of folk like Cohen who do have a distinctive voice. I have no great interest in Cohen but have lps and CDs and MP3s and introduced his music to my daughter and son and have sought his recordings since I first heard Suzanne. As was said before his music may sound dark to a casual or accidental listener but he displays no arrogance and is quie humorous at times. Consider the lines from Chelsea Hotel:

"I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, "Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music."


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 12:22 AM

Watching/listening to the 'I'm your man' dvd as we speak.......the best.! This man is wonderful........and so self deprecating........he has a fine sense of self.....


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: KeithofChester
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 10:31 AM

There is a 30 minute programme on Leonard Cohen's songwriting on BBC Radio 2 this evening at 7pm.

Programme Link


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 10:46 AM

I like the way L.C. always seems to see the world through morose colored glasses! ;-)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 11:21 AM

Good one, Art!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,JohnnyD
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 11:24 AM

Has anyone listened to / seen the recently released DVD "I'm your man"? What comments?

JD


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: JeremyC
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 02:09 PM

What a coincidence, I just watched it the other day, and now I run across this thread.

I watched it at the recommendation of a friend of mine. In a nutshell: I loved the interviews with The Man himself, and I hated nearly all of the performances, with the stand-outs being Nick Cave faking his way through "Suzanne" (it sounded like he didn't know the words, and he was so far off sometimes, I'm honestly surprised it was included) and Rufus Wainwright's godawful version of "Hallelujah." This one was so bad, I turned on the commentary to see if the director had an excuse for leaving it in, and to my surprise, she said it was better than Jeff Buckley's version.

The songs are great, but while there were one or two good performances, it was largely not worth watching. Hell, I was surprised that Cohen liked Wainwright's singing, because to be honest, Rufus Wainwright didn't have a single good moment on the entire DVD. I really enjoyed the performance of "Tower of Song" with Cohen and U2, though. Without a doubt, it was the best part.

In conclusion, I think the people involved were all on crack. If they'd included some decent singers (Bono was hands down the best singer, which says something), I would have enjoyed it much more. As it stands, I recommend watching it and fast-forwarding though the stuff that doesn't include Cohen himself.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Roughyed
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 05:22 PM

The Radio programme is available on listen again on the BBC site. www.bbc.co.uk follow the Radio 2 link. The interviewer is pathetic but the music's good even if it is the usual suspects. Sorry a blue clicky is beyond me.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 10:15 PM

I agree Cohen with U2 was a highlight -not just the music but the looks on their faces -- you could see them almost saying -- we are singing with Leonard Cohen.......can you believe it??
I particularly liked the outtake version of Tonight will be fine by ? Thompson. I wondered if he is related to Richard Thompson.......

(sorry but I didn't mind Rufus Wainwright's version of Hallelujah -- although k d. lang is the best cover of that that i have ever heard........)


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 10:20 PM

" I was surprised that Cohen liked Wainwright's singing" -

Just curious - I didn't see the show - what makes you say that Cohen liked it?


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 10:34 PM

I haven'twatched the DVD for a while but I think Cohen made a statement that he liked it......but again, the scene with him singing with U2 was wonderful - they were proud and he was proud........


I think the dvd is well worth buying............


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: C. Ham
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 11:51 PM

I particularly liked the outtake version of Tonight will be fine by ? Thompson. I wondered if he is related to Richard Thompson.......

Teddy Thompson is the son of Richard & Linda Thompson.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: JeremyC
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 01:29 AM

Yeah, don't get me wrong, it's worth watching. It's just that most of the performances weren't very good. And yes, Cohen actually said in one of the interview segments that he liked Rufus Wainwright's versions of some (I don't remember which specifically) of his songs. Scary, considering the actual performances I saw.

But yes, the segment with U2 was excellent, although I've never been a fan of Bono and wasn't too impressed with his interviews. They were so happy to be playing with him, though, and they are in fact a good band, so it worked really well. I had problems with most, but not all, the other performances, though. Worth watching, but I wouldn't say worth BUYING. Maybe if you're a die-hard. But then, to me, Rufus was a dealbreaker. Maybe you'll feel differently. I recommend renting it first.


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 08:46 AM

Re: Leonard re: Rufus. I was just wondering if LC was in one of those "what-else-are-you-going-to-say?" situations. He's a very gracious, polite person - at least in public; I don't know anything about him in private - and furthermore, he probably is acquainted if not quite friendly with Rufus's parents, so if Rufus is performing at a tribute to LC, and LC is asked what he thinks of Rufus - well, what else is going to say, other than that he likes/approves of/appreciates/is moved by Rufus's singing/performance/interpretation of his song(s)? Only a complete boor would say anything less ...


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 03:47 PM

And Cohen seems far from a boor......

C. Ham -- thanks so much for the answer on Teddy Thompson -- talent evidently runs in the family.........

I guess I am a die hard fan - the dvd was one of my favorite Christmas presents.........ever!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 09:49 PM

Watching the video for the 900th time......!


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 09:58 PM

.back in the 70's.
whjen i was into speedy punk..


i just judged Len was music for morbid junkie depresed hippies..


about 15 years ago.

i was bright enough to get the joke..


Len has such a dark daft sardonic humour..



them old records are really funny..

..and what an amazing voice and command of words...


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 09:59 PM

oh..


..and the melodies & the arrangements


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 12:27 AM

Absolutely......


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 11:50 AM

i'm looking for a david porter, formerly of glasgow circaa early 70s who adored LC. Helen, is this your husband?


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 02:10 PM

My attitude to LC was initially coloured by the first two LPs- 'music to cut your wrists by' as somebody here has already remarked. Then,2010, he gave an open-air concert here and just for the hell of it I bought a ticket. It was a GREAT concert (2hours +), his voice has matured since the sixties/seventies and ,considering his age, it's way,way better than Dylan's currently is. It was also interesting to note how old songs such as 'Bird on a Wire' have acquired new lyrics (in part).


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Subject: RE: Why I love Leonard Cohen's music!
From: Elmore
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 09:34 AM

I had heard just a couple of songs sung by LC, and was unimpressed. A couple of years ago I saw him on PBS and realized either he or my musical taste had altered. After being together for over 20 years my wife and I finally found some music we both enjoyed. We bought and listened to his last 2 cds (and dvds) almost daily. We're waiting for his latest album to show up in the mail this week. We also enjoy his earlier album,"Ten New Songs" I understand that many people don't like his work, but I don't care.


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