9.04.2013

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT :: Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Barrel dEM
Leonard Cohen

At age 78, Canadian musician, novelist and poet - Leonard Cohen is going strong. Even after 40+ years and still touring, Cohen's audiences are multi-generational. He was gifted with such a distinctive voice which resonates in his lyrics covering religion, isolation, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships. This guy is definitely in my top 5 of people I'd like to sit down and have a great conversation with.

I'm sharing two of my favorite Cohen tracks here. First Hallelujah, which is such a popular and enduring song it even has a book written about it. From Wikipedia:

"Hallelujah" was first released on Cohen's studio album Various Positions in 1984. While the song initially had limited success it found greater popular acclaim through a cover by John Cale in 1991, which later formed the basis for a cover by Jeff Buckley. In recent years "Hallelujah" has been performed by almost 200 artists in various languages.[83] Statistics from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); the Canadian Recording Industry Association; the Australian Recording Industry Association; and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry show that, prior to late 2008, more than five million copies of the song sold in compact-disc format. It has been the subject of a BBC Radio documentary and been featured in the soundtracks of numerous films and television programs.[84] The song is the subject of the full-length book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of 'Hallelujah' (2012) by Alan Light. In a New York Times review of the book, Janet Maslin praises the book and the song, noting that "Cohen spent years struggling with his song 'Hallelujah.' . . . He wrote perhaps as many as 80 verses before paring the song down and recording it on the 1984 album Various Positions. Then his label, CBS Records, refused to release Various Positions, not realizing that 'Hallelujah' would become one of the most haunting, mutable and oft-performed songs in American musical history.



Finally, a great track - Everybody Knows which has been covered by at least 20 artists, including Concrete Blonde and Don Henley.



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