Monday, October 09, 2006

114. Leonard Cohen - The Songs Of Leonard Cohen (1968)

Track Listing

1. Suzanne
2. Master Song
3. Winter Lady
4. Stranger Song
5. Sisters Of Mercy
6. So Long Marianne
7. Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye
8. Stories Of The Street
9. Teachers
10. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong


If there is one lyricist better than Dylan, that is Leonard Cohen. Cohen's poetry is much more sexualised and depressing than Dylan's and it is really hard to compare them more than this as they are doing very different things with lyrics. Cohen's music is much more intimate and personal, this doesn't make him better or worse than Dylan. Just different. And there, this was pointless, like comparing two snowflakes.

Cohen has always had the capaciy to do two things to me. Firstly to depress me into oblivion, and secondly to make me fell creative, makes me want to write for example, makes me want to be a decadent bohemian as well. Cohen, and this album in particular, also have another personal importance to me, when I was very, very young, about 10 years ago I was frankly in love with Suzanne, still am a bit... but I got more cynical.

So, if there is a word to describe Cohen it is an oxymoron, bitter-sweet. Because if anything he makes you feel this sweet sadness. Where you are depressed and wanting to cry while at the same time you are enjoying that same depression with some kind of calm sweetness which comes from his reassuring voice and sparse arrangements.

Stream it from Napster or buy it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Suzanne
2. The Stranger Song
3. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
4. Sisters Of Mercy

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Peter Gabriel recorded a syncopated version of "Suzanne" for the Leonard Cohen tribute album Tower of Song, and Geoffrey Oryema performed it on the earlier tribute I'm Your Fan.

The song "Sisters of Mercy" was the inspiration for the name of the Gothic rock band The Sisters of Mercy, who also took a line from the song "Teachers" as the title of their 1992 compilation album Some Girls Wander By Mistake. Sting and The Chieftans performed a Celtic music-influenced version of the song on Tower of Song.

Brian Hyland released "So Long, Marianne" on single in 1971, while the britpop group James recorded it on I'm Your Fan.

"Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" was performed by Ian McCulloch on I'm Your Fan.

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