Top Leonard Cohen Songs - From Early Classics to More Recent Hits
Legendary Canadian Poet, Writer, Songwriter, and Singer in the End of His Life Leonard Cohen was not like most octogenarians! Not only did he regularly give amazing concerts lasting three and a half hours, but he continued to make music as good as the classical works he released five decades ago, until his death ... Poetry, fiction and songwriting were for Cohen more or less equal forms of self-expression . Mastering the mystical power of melody, he went on to a long, prolific career marked by spiritual breaks, reimaginings, and an unexpected second act at the end of his life... Cohen was a late-blooming dark trader among the small, elite circle of singer-songwriters who came to define the sixties and early seventies. His booming voice, Spanish guitar parts and deeply poetic lyrics turned the sacred into the mundane and vice versa! And while early songs like "Suzanne" or "Sisters of Mercy", made it an integral part of their era, later masterpieces such as "Everybody Knows" and "I'm Your Man", proved his mastery by introducing him to the modern generation of listeners ... Below are the main hymns of the magnificent Leonard Cohen. Happy listening...
This is the first track on his debut album, launching one of the most incredible careers in the history of music… Was there a real Suzanne? Yes, there was. But contrary to what the song implies, she never had a close relationship with Cohen. However, a stunningly gorgeous dancer Suzanne Verdal was serving tea and oranges when he visited her and her boyfriend, a famous Canadian sculptor Armand Vaillancourt, in their house in Monreale. Cohen was forced, as the song says, "To touch her perfect body with your mind..."
"So Long, Marianne"
When Cohen first met Marianne Ilene on a Greek island Hydra in 1960 year, he was amazed ... He swore that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met, and the couple spent most of the decade together. It is appropriate that "So Long, Marianne" is one of his most magnificent songs, with its charming melody!
In this song Cohen sings from the perspective of a man in love with his partner, but also in love with his wanderlust. And so his doubt destroys what he already has as his gaze wanders and he becomes increasingly "curious" to explore other, newer pleasures. The song has a chorus that sums up the whole carousel:
“It’s time for us to start laughing, crying and laughing again at all this…”
By the time he realizes what he has, Marianne has already left.
"Bird on the Wire"
One of Leonard Cohen's most famous songs. Leonard Cohen experienced a bout of depression while living on the Greek island of Hydra. It was there, one fine day, that he noticed a bird sitting on a telephone wire alone. He started writing a poem comparing himself to a lonely bird, but it took a long time before he turned it into a song he liked...
During sessions 1968 of the year Songs From a Room in Nashville Cohen repeated the song over and over until he became so frustrated that he sent most of the musicians home and gave up. A few days before the last session, he just walked up to the microphone and ... spontaneously found a completely new approach to work! Eventually "Bird on the Wire" became one of his all-time favorite songs and a staple of his live performances for decades...
"Famous Blue Raincoat"
Sometime in the early 1970s, a thief stole Leonard Cohen's old raincoat from a New York apartment. Marianne Ilene. God only knows what happened to him, but the thief almost certainly did not know that he was stealing an item belonging to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if not Smithsonian Institution! It was this coat that inspired Cohen to write one of his most beloved and enigmatic songs...
"Famous Blue Raincoat" captivated listeners as soon as he was released, although Cohen himself admitted that he did not like the lyrics of this song:
“It was a song that I was never happy with… I’m ready to admit something mysterious, but secretly I always felt that there was something obscure in the song…”
"I'm Your Man"
One of the most famous hymns in the career Leonard Cohen!
“I sweat over it. I really sweated ... ”, Cohen recalled about this track. “On I'm Your Man, my voice calmed down and I didn't feel any ambiguity in it. I was finally able to perform the song with the necessary power and intensity…”
1984 the year has been pretty amazing for pop music with new releases on the air Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Van Halen. Among all this greatness, a record appeared Leonard Cohen entitled various positions, which hit the market with a roar by the end of the year! Interest in Cohen was so low that Columbia at first even refused to release the album, believing that it was not worth the effort to print copies and send them to stores. Virtually no one paid attention to a little song called Hallelujah, which opened the second part of the record ...
It became a modern day anthem played everywhere... Cohen knew there was something special about this track. He spent an unusually long time on the lyrics, looping over every word and scrolling through 80 various drafts!
"Tower of Song"
When in 2008 year Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, many were surprised, including the musician himself:
“I am reminded of John Landau's prophetic statement in the early 1970s,” he said. "He said, 'I've seen the future of rock 'n' roll and it's not Leonard Cohen..."
From this, at the induction ceremony Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Cohen could do nothing but recite lines from his classic 1988 Tower of Song. The crowd laughed at such phrases as "The place where I played hurts me", but gradually they realized that he was making a profound statement about his life's work, and fell silent...
Given his reputation as a master of misery, it's no surprise that Cohen is well versed in apocalyptic horror. Outstanding Cold Explosion of European Synthpop on "First We Take Manhattan" is one of the iciest of its history, with Cohen looking avidly at world domination like a Bond villain. He is just as gloomy "The Future", the title track of his album 1992 years - only this time there is no struggle for power, only moral decay and the rise of the worst of people ...
"Dance Me to the End of Love"
Song 1984 was written on a dainty Casio synthesizer that Cohen kept in his Times Square travel store. As the author writes Sylvie Simmons in the incredible biography of Cohen "I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen", the machine did not even have an output connector!
"Everybody Knows"must be the most pessimistic song in Cohen's extensive catalog...
Leonard Cohen wrote an incredible amount of great lines in his long career, but few can match "There's a crack in everything/ That's how the light comes in..." That's the catchphrase Anthem, one of the outstanding tracks from his CD 1992 of the year The Future. The song has been comforting people in difficult times for many years, including a well-known blogger and journalist Andrew Sullivan:
“This is a lyric that has always stayed with me,” he wrote in 2005. “It supported me in the darkest moment of my life…”
"Sisters of Mercy"
Cohen composed this sweet haunting waltz, complete with calliope and bells, during a snowstorm in Edmonton, Canada. Allowing two tourists Barbara and Lorraine sleep in his hotel bed, Cohen watched them sleep, looked out over the North Saskatchewan River, enjoying the sudden inspiration... The next morning he sang for them what would soon be called "Sisters of Mercy".
"Who by Fire"
Who is on fire, who is in the water,
Who is a clear day, who is at night,
Who during a serious disaster, who in a domestic incident,
Who on a beautiful May day,
Who is very slowly fading ... "