Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post Reply
User avatar
BleuPanda
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 3290
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:20 am

Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by BleuPanda » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:07 pm

For Leonard Cohen, I will do a top x song list (number dependent on how many songs pass a certain threshold of points), along with however many albums get at least a single vote. Everyone should vote in this topic up to their top 25 songs and top 10 albums (note that you can choose to vote for less songs down to a minimum of 10 and less albums down to a minimum of 5). These numbers will change depending on the artist.

The Deadline will be December 31st, 2016. The results will be shared at the beginning of January. Whether or not the results have been revealed, the next artist poll will be posted on January 1st; next time will be The Rolling Stones, unless someone argues otherwise (we will be following the order of the most recent artist poll: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3966&start=550#p58413). Note that The Rolling Stones poll will likely be open for more than one month to avoid conflict with other regular surveys.

If you change your list, please post it in a new post (otherwise I might miss it).

General rules:
1. Only include songs with the artist/group featured in the primary credit (i.e. Under Pressure is alright for Bowie, but not Reflektor)
2. Studio and live albums are eligible, greatest hits are not; compilations of earlier work that went unreleased such as The Velvet Underground's V.U. are eligible

Point distribution:
Albums:
1. 50 points
2. 37
3. 28
4. 22
5. 18
6. 14
7. 10
8. 8
9. 6
10. 4

Songs:
1. 50 points
2. 45
3. 40
4. 36
5. 33
6. 30
7. 28
8. 26
9. 24
10. 22
11. 20
12. 18
13. 16
14. 14
15. 12
16. 10
17. 9
18. 8
19. 7
20. 6
21. 5
22. 4
23. 3
24. 2
25. 1

User avatar
BleuPanda
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 3290
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:20 am

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by BleuPanda » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:38 pm

Edited to move up Who By Fire.

Albums:
1. Songs of Leonard Cohen
2. Songs of Love and Hate
3. You Want It Darker
4. I'm Your Man
5. Popular Problems
6. Songs from a Room
7. Live in London
8. The Future
9. Old Ideas
10. New Skin for Old Ceremony

Songs:
1. Suzanne
2. Famous Blue Raincoat
3. Diamonds in the Mine
4. So Long Marianne
5. Hallelujah
6. Tower of Song
7. You Want It Darker
8. Who By Fire
9. The Stranger Song
10. First We Take Manhattan
11. Dress Rehearsal Rag
12. Sisters of Mercy
13. Democracy
14. Winter Lady
15. Chelsea Hotel #2
16. Everybody Knows
17. The Future
18. Almost Like the Blues
19. Darkness
20. Love Calls You By Your Name
21. Take This Waltz
22. Master Song
23. Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
24. Dance Me to the End of Love
25. Last Year's Man
Last edited by BleuPanda on Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.


User avatar
Matski
Unquestionable Presence
Posts: 515
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:13 pm

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Matski » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:23 pm

It's been fun getting reacquanited with Leonard Cohen's oeuvre. It was surprising it only took a week to go back over them all. Despite being close from #6 onwards, the order of the albums is unlikely to change. On the other hand, the song list would likely change quite a bit if I were to listen to them all again tomorrow.


Albums
01| Songs of Love and Hate
02| Songs of Leonard Cohen
03| New Skin for the Old Ceremony
04| Songs from a Room
05| I'm Your Man
06| Various Positions
07| Popular Problems
08| Ten New Songs
09| Recent Songs
10| You Want It Darker

11| Death of a Ladies' Man
12| The Future
13| Old Ideas
14| Dear Heather


Songs
01 | Avalanche
02 | Suzanne
03 | In My Secret Life
04 | So Long, Marianne
05 | Hallelujah
06 | Is This What You Wanted
07 | Paper Thin Hotel
08 | Bird on a Wire
09 | Dress Rehearsal Rag
10 | Love Calls You by Your Name
11 | Field Commander Cohen
12 | First We Take Manhattan
13 | The Guests
14 | Who by Fire
15 | Everybody Knows
16 | Diamonds in the Mine
17 | Sisters of Mercy
18 | Famous Blue Raincoat
19 | Last Year's Man
20 | Lover, Lover, Lover
21 | A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes
22 | There Is a War
23 | Ain't No Cure for Love
24 | Did I Ever Love You
25 | Teachers

26 | Always
27 | Chelsea Hotel No. 2
28 | Darkness
29 | I'm Your Man
30 | A Thousand Kisses Deep
31 | Be for Real
32 | A Singer Must Die
33 | Leaving Greensleeves
34 | Almost like the Blues
35 | Joan of Arc
36 | The Stranger Song
37 | The Smokey Life
38 | Tower of Song
39 | The Future
40 | The Law
41 | Lady Midnight
42 | Story of Isaac
43 | Master Song
44 | Democracy
45 | You Want It Darker
46 | Slow
47 | Winter Lady
48 | Tonight Will Be Fine
49 | Waiting for a Miracle
50 | Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
Last edited by Matski on Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:30 pm, edited 11 times in total.

User avatar
Miguel
Different Class
Posts: 408
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:13 am

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Miguel » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:09 pm

Albums

1. Songs of Leonard Cohen
2. Songs of Love and Hate
3. Songs from a Room
4. New Skin for the Old Ceremony
5. Various Positions
6. I´m Your Man
7. Popular Problems
8. Recent Songs
9. The Future
10. Death of a Ladies' Man


Songs

1. Famous Blue Raincoat
2. The Partisan
3. Suzanne
4. Avalanche
5. Joan of Arc
6. Seems So Long Ago, Nancy
7. Chelsea Hotel #2
8. First We Take Manhattan
9. The Lost Canadian (Un canadien errant)
10. Winter Lady
11. Sisters of Mercy
12. Night Comes On
13. Master Song
14. Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
15. So Long, Marianne
16. Story of Isaac
17. Everybody Knows
18. If it Be Your Will
19. Is This What You Wanted
20. Coming Back to You
21. Take This Waltz
22. The Future
23. I’m Your Man
24. Did I Ever Love You
25. Who by Fire

DaveC
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2190
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:04 am

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by DaveC » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:55 pm

Songs:

1 | Suzanne
2 | Famous Blue Raincoat
3 | Almost Like the Blues
4 | So Long Marianne
5 | One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong
6 | Dance Me to the End of Love
7 | Dress Rehearsal Rag
8 | Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
9 | Everybody Knows
10 | Hallelujah
11 | The Partisan
12 | Avalanche
13 | Stories of the Street
14 | Last Year's Man
15 | Waiting For The Miracle
16 | A Thousand Kisses Deep
17 | Joan of Arc
18 | Winter Lady
19 | You Want It Darker
20 | Sisters of Mercy
21 | The Stranger Song
22 | I'm Your Man
23 | First We Take Manhattan
24 | Travelling Light
25 | Seems So Long Ago, Nancy

Ranking the albums (after the obvious 1/2) is not so easy. Not sure if I will find time with Xmas & grandkids running around.

User avatar
bonnielaurel
Full of Fire
Posts: 1151
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by bonnielaurel » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:51 pm

Albums:
1. Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
2. I'm Your Man (1988)
3. Songs from a Room (1969)
4. Various Positions (1984)
5. Songs of Love and Hate (1971)
6. New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974)
7. Recent Songs (1979)
8. Live in London (2009)
9. The Future (1992)
10. Ten New Songs (2001)

Songs:
1. Suzanne (1967)
2. Hallelujah (1984)
3. Everybody Knows (1988)
4. So Long, Marianne (1967)
5. First We Take Manhattan (1988)
6. Dance Me to the End of Love (1984)
7. Sisters of Mercy (1967)
8. You Know Who I Am (1969)
9. Famous Blue Raincoat (1971)
10. There Is a War (1974)
11. Bird on the Wire (1969)
12. Winter Lady (1967)
13. Came So Far for Beauty (1979)
14. I'm Your Man (1988)
15. Paper Thin Hotel (1977)
16. Iodine (1977)
17. The Old Revolution (1969)
18. Democracy (1992)
19. Jazz Police (1988)
20. The Future (1992)
21. In My Secret Life (2001)
22. You Want It Darker (2016)
23. The Gypsy's Wife (1979)
24. Avalanche (1971)
25. Show Me the Place (2012)

User avatar
Honorio
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2640
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:38 am
Location: L'Eliana, Valencia, Spain

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Honorio » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:11 pm

Again I haven't included live albums but I would like to point to two very good Cohen live albums released on the same year (2009): "Live in London" (I was lucky enough to see Cohen live at the Festival of Benicàssim in 2008, one of the best live shows I've ever seen) and "Live at the Isle of Wight 1970" (it's amazing to see the way "he Charmed the Beast" in Kris Kristofferson words, see the Wikipedia entry for more details).

Image

Albums:

1. Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967, my #30 album of all time)
Canadian poet Leonard Cohen was probably the first worldwide bedroom star. I can imagine various generations of sensitive boys and girls listening to him religiously in his/her bedrooms at night. The minimalist but perfect arrangements (that snare drum on "So Long Marianne"!), the European flavours and the poetic texts were outstanding features of his (unrivaled) debut.

2. I'm Your Man (1988)
An unexpected update of Cohen somber ruminations, now using synths and drum machines as the basis of his sound and not only not floundering miserably like many of his peers before him during the 1980s but even enhancing his universe of apocalyptic and sinister visions and gaining a whole new audience even amidst the daydream nation. Yes, yes, he's our man.

3. Songs of Love and Hate (1971)
The most desolate album of his career, with "high lyrical density, downhearted singing and austere aesthetics" (Rockdelux).

4. New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974)
A brilliantly produced and textured sound and lyrics that "uses the metaphor of love and relationships as battlegrounds" (AMG).

5. You Want It Darker (2016)
Cohen's serene acceptance of his own mortality. I'm going to get really upset if this album doesn't end on the Top 10 of 2016.

6. Songs From a Room (1969)
7. The Future (1992)
8. Recent Songs (1979)
9. Popular Problems (2014)
10. Various Positions (1984)

11. Ten New Songs (2001)
12. Old Ideas (2012)
13. Death of a Ladies' Man (1977)
14. Dear Heather (2004)



Image

Songs:

1. Suzanne (1967, my #38 song of all time)
Poetry. The revolution of Folk and Rock music that Dylan ignited allowed Leonard Cohen, already an acclaimed Canadian writer on his thirties (with 4 poetry books and 2 novels published), to try his luck as a singer/songwriter in the late 1960s. And he opened his first album with this intimate but powerful gem (only backed by Spanish guitar and spectral female vocals and strings), filled with religious references (Jesus "sank beneath your wisdom like a stone"), strange-love references ("you know that she's half crazy, but that's why you want to be there"), and of course, poetry. Among the garbage and the flowers.

2. Famous Blue Raincoat (1971)
A hauntingly beautiful melody for maybe the most intriguing lyrics penned by Cohen. On a first listen it's a letter to the third person on a love triangle, displaying ambivalent attitudes toward the infidelity (the third person is called both brother and killer). But the real threat came when Cohen explained years later that the famous blue raincoat belonged to him, a Burberry he bought in London in 1959. So is this third person Cohen himself? Is the Cohen of the present the sender and a Cohen from the past the receiver of the letter? Is Cohen missing the Cohen he was? Or (maybe) the Cohen that could have been?

3. First We Take Manhattan (1988)
The synth-bass line that opens the song signals the most amazing (and credible) transformation of a singer-songwriter ever.

4. Hallelujah (1984)
Cohen at his tower of song, Cohen's summa theologica than only got his deserved status in other voices and ten years after.

5. So Long Marianne (1967)
Cohen vetoed the use of drums on his first album but fortunately he allowed the fantastic snare drum that can be heard here.

6. Chelsea Hotel No. 2 (1974)
7. The Partisan (1969)
8. Bird on the Wire (1969)
9. Who by Fire (1974)
10. Everybody Knows (1988)
11. You Want It Darker (2016)
12. The Future (1992)
13. Take This Waltz (1986)
14. Dance Me to the End of Love (1984)
15. Dress Rehearsal Rag (1971)
16. Seems So Long Ago, Nancy (1969)
17. Hey, That's No Way of Say Goodbye (1967)
18. The Gypsy's Wife (1979)
19. Sisters of Mercy (1967)
20. Leaving the Table (2016)
21. Closing Time (1992)
22. Nevermind (2014)
23. One of Us Cannot Be Wrong (1967)
24. In My Secret Life (2001)
25. Tower of Song (1988)

26. Democracy (1992)
27. There Is a War (1974)
28. Joan of Arc (1971)
29. Traveling Light (2016)
30. I'm Your Man (1988)
31. Avalanche (1971)
32. The Stranger Song (1967)
33. Memories (1977)
34. Darkness (2012)
35. Story of Isaac (1969)
36. Alexandra Leaving (2001)
37. Night Comes On (1984)
38. The Lost Canadian (Un Canadien Errant) (1979)
39. The Letters (2004)
40. A Thousand Kisses Deep (2001)
41. Master Song (1967)
42. Take This Longing (1974)
43. The Guests (1979)
44. Last Year's Man (1971)
45. Treaty (2016)
46. If It Be Your Will (1984)
47. True Love Leaves No Traces (1977)
48. Lover Lover Lover (1974)
49. Waiting for the Miracle (1992)
50. Amen (2012)
51. Anthem (1992)
52. The Window (1979)
53. Boogie Street (2001)
54. Is This What You Wanted (1974)
55. Samson in New Orleans (2014)
56. Slow (2014)
57. Going Home (2012)
58. It Seemed the Better Way (2016)
59. Almost Like the Blues (2014)
60. Lady Midnight (1969)
61. Ain't No Cure for Love (1988)
62. Paper Thin Hotel (1977)
63. The Traitor (1979)
64. Teachers (1967)
65. Love Calls You by Your Name (1971)
66. Never Any Good (1997)
67. Come Healing (2012)
68. The Faith (2004)
69. Stages (2015)
70. On That Day (2004)
71. Field Commander Cohen (1974)
72. You Know Who I Am (1969)
73. Crazy to Love You (2012)
74. Born in Chains (2014)
75. Give Nobody Trouble (2015)
76. Coming Back to You (1984)
77. Diamonds in the Mine (1971)
78. Winter Lady (1967)
79. The Smokey Life (1979)
80. Jazz Police (1988)
81. Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On (1977)
82. That Don't Make It Junk (2001)
83. Banjo (2012)
84. The Captain (1984)
85. Ballad of the Absent Mare (1979)
86. The Old Revolution (1969)
87. Because Of (2004)
88. Light as the Breeze (1992)
89. The Land of Plenty (2001)
90. Came So Far for Beauty (1979)
91. A Singer Must Die (1974)
92. Tonight Will Be Fine (1969)
93. Please Don't Pass Me By (A Disgrace) (1973)
94. String Reprise / Treaty (2016)
95. Death of a Ladies' Man (1977)
96. Always (1992)
97. La Manic (2015)
98. You Have Loved Enough (2001)
99. If I Didn't Have Your Love (2016)
100. The Great Event (1997)



User avatar
BleuPanda
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 3290
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:20 am

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by BleuPanda » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:09 pm

6 lists so far. I'm hoping more people are planning to submit. If holidays interfere, should I extend the deadline? Maybe I should just make these 2 months instead of 1.

User avatar
Matski
Unquestionable Presence
Posts: 515
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:13 pm

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Matski » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:35 pm

I don't mind if you want to extend it though I wouldn't bother if you don't receive a request to do so by anyone who hasn't submitted a list by the 31st.

User avatar
Rob
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2834
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:53 pm
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Rob » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:06 am

I wouldn't mind if it is extended, but if not I'll still manage. I'm still planning on sending in a list this or next week. I think I'm not the only one who actually will make their list around the deadline, simply because there is a lot of listening to do. I can't do a complete discography in the first few days of a poll.

User avatar
PlasticRam
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999!
Posts: 1999
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by PlasticRam » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:34 pm

I'm sorry I don't have time to make a list. I suspect that some other people are like that too, so for sure this won't get as many participants as Springsteen for example.
I feel like that

EmilienDelRey
Unquestionable Presence
Posts: 646
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:28 pm

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by EmilienDelRey » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:50 pm

Albums
1 | New Skin for the Old Ceremony
2 | Songs from a Room
3 | Songs of Leonard Cohen
4 | I'm Your Man
5 | Songs of Love and Hate

Songs
01 | Chelsea Hotel #2
02 | The Partisan
03 | So Long, Marianne
04 | Who by Fire
05 | Sisters of Mercy
06 | A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes
07 | There Is a War
08 | Lover Lover Lover
09 | Master Song
10 | A Singer Must Die
11 | Joan of Arc
12 | Suzanne
13 | Bird on the Wire
14 | Famous Blue Raincoat
15 | Is This What You Wanted
16 | Everybody Knows
17 | Story of Isaac
18 | Teachers
19 | Tower of Song
20 | I Tried to Leave You
21 | Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
22 | The Old Revolution
23 | Last Year's Man
24 | First We Take Manhattan
25 | Field Commander Cohen

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 5288
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Henrik » Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:16 pm

Songs

1. Famous Blue Raincoat
2. Suzanne
3. Avalanche
4. Master Song
5. Teachers
6. Sisters of Mercy
7. You Want It Darker
8. Stories of the Street
9. I'm Your Man
10. First We Take Manhattan
11. Who By Fire
12. So Long, Marianne
13. The Stranger Song
14. The Partisan
15. Waiting for the Miracle
16. Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
17. Dress Rehearsal Rag
18. Dance Me to the End of Love
19. Steer Your Way
20. Chelsea Hotel #2
21. Lover Lover Lover
22. Take This Waltz
23. Hallelujah
24. One of Us Cannot Be Wrong
25. By the Rivers Dark
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

User avatar
acroamor
Rust Never Sleeps
Posts: 806
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by acroamor » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:52 pm

Albums:
1. Songs of Leonard Cohen
2. Songs of Love and Hate
3. Old Ideas
4. Songs from a Room
5. You Want It Darker
6. New Skin for the Old Ceremony
7. Popular Problems
8. Ten New Songs
9. I’m Your Man
10. The Future

Songs:
1. Chelsea Hotel #2
2. Suzanne
3. Famous Blue Raincoat
4. Come Healing
5. Joan of Arc
6. String Reprise / Treaty
7. One of Us Cannot Be Wrong
8. Winter Lady
9. Last Year’s Man
10. Bird on the Wire
11. Hallelujah
12. Stranger Song
13. So Long, Marianne
14. Avalanche
15. Seems So Long Ago, Nancy
16. Leaving the Table
17. The Partisan
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep
19. Love Calls You by Your Name
20. Teachers
21. Stories of the Street
22. Everybody Knows
23. Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
24. Sisters of Mercy
25. Diamonds in the Mine

User avatar
andyd1010
Rust Never Sleeps
Posts: 933
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:08 am

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by andyd1010 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:53 am

Albums
1 | Songs of Leonard Cohen
2 | Various Positions
3 | Recent Songs
4 | I'm Your Man
5 | New Skin for the Old Ceremony
6 | Songs from a Room
7 | Death of a Ladies' Man
8 | You Want It Darker
9 | The Future
10 | Songs of Love and Hate

Songs
1 | So Long, Marianne
2 | Suzanne
3 | Hallelujah
4 | Take This Waltz
5 | Lover Lover Lover
6 | Memories
7 | Tower of Song
8 | Ballad of the Absent Mare
9 | On the Level
10 | Ain't No Cure for Love
11 | Chelsea Hotel #2
12 | The Captain
13 | The Guests
14 | The Smokey Life
15 | Night Comes On
16 | The Gypsy's Wife
17 | Coming Back to You
18 | Hunter's Lullaby
19 | Leaving the Table
20 | Iodine
21 | Anthem
22 | Democracy
23 | True Love Leaves No Traces
24 | Bird on the Wire
25 | A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes

Nassim
Full of Fire
Posts: 1881
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:35 pm
Location: Paris

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Nassim » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:25 am

Albums :
1) Songs of Love and Hate (1971)
2) Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
3) Songs from a Room (1969)
4) Popular Problems (2014)
5) Death of a Ladies' Man (1977)
6) You Want It Darker (2016)
7) Various Positions (1984)
8) I'm Your Man (1988)
9) Old Ideas (2012)
10) New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974)
11) Recent Songs (1979)
12) Dear Heather (2004)
13) The Future (1992)
14) Ten New Songs (2001)

Songs :
1) Avalanche
2) Dress Rehearsal Rag
3) The Partisan
4) So Long, Marianne
5) Everybody Knows
6)Is This What You Wanted
7) Suzanne
8) Last Year's Man
9) Joan of Arc
10) Night Comes On
11) Death of a Ladies Man
12) Teachers
13) Famous Blue Raincoat
14) Slow
15) Master Song
16) There For You
17) Steer Your Way
18) Diamonds in the Mine
19) Memories
20) Hallelujah
21) Going Home
22) Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
23) Traveling Light
24) Born in Chains
25) Dance me to the End of Love

I picked songs as I was going through the discography to rank them once I was done. I ended up with 27 songs, too bad for The Guests and A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes who almost made the list (the latter sounding a bit too much like So Long Marianne)

User avatar
Rob
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2834
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:53 pm
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Rob » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:14 pm

It’s been a long time since I delved into an artist’s work quite as intensely like I did with Leonard Cohen after his death. Sure, there have been artist’s I gave a lot of attention for a while and whose work I know extensively. But with Cohen it was different, he somehow hit a nerve with me. I mean, he always did. Outside of his last and the live ones I had heard every album of him already at least once and many of them I had heard many times. It’s not that I discovered Leonard Cohen these last two months or learned to appreciate him. Instead, he turned out to be the artist who I needed at this point in time, who spoke to my thoughts and emotions more than anyone else.

When a famous artist dies it is normal for me to listen to his or her music a little bit more than usual. I gave due attention to David Bowie this year and was again amazed by the quality of his music. To Prince’s music I had barely any personal connection and although I would lie if I said he has become one of my favourite artists after his death, close listening brought me a new respect for him, that frankly was barely there before.

Cohen was different. I dutifully put on Songs from Leonard Cohen and as the lyrics of Cohen’s debut songs went through my ears and into my mind I suddenly was overcome with a mixed set of emotions, images and ideas. I knew many of those songs by heart, but it was like hearing them for the first time. I quickly turned to his other albums and noticed the same effect with many of them. Somehow the rich lyrics, combined with the elegant music and Cohen’s limited, but very warm and gentle voice meant something new to me, in a way that I couldn’t hope to explain.

They were always there: those lines that tell stories that are not easy to understand, but pregnant with unspoken feelings and with a choice of words that boggle the mind. I’m a rather literary person by nature and have a big soft spot for artists who can write beautifully, so Cohen has always appealed to me. I also always appreciated the searching nature of Cohen’s songs, his love for beauty that contrasts with his unfailing believe in disaster and despair.

Again, everything has always been there, but this time everything fit into place for me. Cohen’s views about life, love, religion, politics, despair, hope, the real, the unreal and whatever word you want to add to this list. His wit seemed wittier, his humour more funny, his melancholy sadder, his anger more bitter and his bite more piercing. 2016 has been a crazy year for me, obviously on a worldwide scale, but also in a personal way. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a weird mix of highs and lows toppling over each other without room for breath. I won’t go into details, as those are neither here nor there, and I’m not comfortable with posting such things on the internet. It’s just that when the dust on 2016 seemed to settle (it didn’t, as it turned out) I turned on Leonard Cohen and he was there singing in a sometimes direct and sometimes indirect way about what I thought and felt. And that’s the biggest effect any artist can have on you.

So yeah, Cohen’s death was the one that turned out to effect me the most, even though it wasn’t as tragic or unexpected as David Bowie, Prince or George Michael. These lists are my final tribute to one of the best poets of music that ever was.

Albums:
1. Songs of Leonard Cohen
This is such a complete work. Of course, Cohen was older than your regular debutant, which is probably why it is so mature. It is the high point of his career in every way. The lyrics here are the most mysterious, spiritual and rich he ever wrote and the same can be said for the music, which seems unassuming at first, but has an elegance that is easy to take for granted. His voice too, gives of more warmth than ever, making these mostly dark and bitter tales more welcoming than you would expect them to be.

2. You Want It Darker
I wasn’t expecting miracles from Cohen’s latest, but it is a small miracle, nonetheless. This might be a controversial statement, but to me You Want It Darker feels like the fullest and best executed album Cohen made since the debut, as if he wanted to go full circle. The stories are more vague now, the lyrics more elliptical. What is gained though, is an even better execution of music, letting the sounds fill in the gaps of the words. I thought most of Cohen’s later albums were musically too unadventurous and sometimes even weak on that front, so it was great to hear Cohen embracing the instruments as never before. The album also feels more as a whole than ever before, like a long dark mass in church. When that String Reprise sets in at the end, I have a lump in my throat. This is a work of deep emotion and I hope it will be set among Cohens masterpieces until long into the future.

3. The Future
Speaking of the future, here it is. This has always been one of my favourite Cohen albums (and the most unappreciated for sure), simply because of its bite. It’s a bit of an outsider in Cohen’s work, because it is more focussed on politics, whereas that is usually only a theme on one or two songs. What he does here, though is piling on sarcasm after sarcasm, while adding almost carnivalesque sounds that make it plain fun. But he still also has the ability to move, like on Anthem. Together with You Want It Darker it is the only concept album he ever did and I like it all the more for it.

4. New Skin for the Old Ceremony
This one is in line with the three albums that preceded it, but has gotten far less love. Why? Any album containing such songs like Chelsea Hotel No. 2, Lover Lover Lover and A Singer Must Die, among many others, should be a classic by any means. Alright, the last two tracks or so are not special, but before that I feel this is more consistent and surprising than Songs of Love and Hate and especially Songs from a Room.

5. Songs of Love and Hate
That’s not to say I dislike Songs of Love and Hate, perhaps his most openly emotional album. From a purely poetic perspective this perhaps his best work since Songs of Leonard Cohen, but somehow it misses the unique beauty of that work for me. Still, everything here works and it is another great album by the Canadian.

6. I’m Your Man
I always call this the hit album, because it has perhaps more famous songs than any other of his albums and because it sounds more like pop than anything else. As such, it would be easy to dislike, but it is good fun, an album with catchy tracks from an artist who doesn’t actually do catchy tracks. It is also a great introduction for many Cohen newcomers, who aren’t into poetry (yet).

7. Live in London
I was always sceptical about Cohen live albums, but decided to give this one a try anyway. Glad I did, because it turns out that the songs do get something from a live setting. Cohen gives them new life and he sounds more free than he ever did on record. Most of the classics are here, sounding fresh, while some previously minor tracks reveal their hidden worth. Lots of fun too.

8. Live Songs
Did anyone else listen to this live album from the seventies? It seems to be a forgotten album, but it is worth every minute of your time. Where the later live albums are gentle and something of a celebration (in as far Cohen’s songs can be experienced as such), this is very different. It is stark and Cohen sounds bitter; angry even. Something must have bugged him, giving the songs a raw power you’ll never ever find on any of his studio albums. The twelve minute rant named Please Don’t Pass Me By (A Disgrace) is something of a forgotten masterpiece that should rank high on his song list, but probably never will. It needs to be heard to be believed.

9. Death of a Ladies’ Man
Surely the weirdest album of Cohen’s career. Much-derided, but I liked it from the get-go. I don’t have a clue why anyone thought the mix of Cohen and Phil Spector would be a good idea, but the end result is so out-there, so wacky, that I can’t help but love it. And the strangest thing is that it somehow works. Cohen would later completely dismiss the album and refuse to play the songs again, claiming they had gotten away from him. Too bad, because he sounds so spirited and so humorous singing them here. It really is another side of him.

10. Popular Problems
An album I have rediscovered this month somewhat. I dismissed it initially as just another Cohen album, but is has far more depth and emotion than Old Ideas. All right, it doesn’t add anything new to the table, but at least the table is well-served.

11. Live in Dublin
I left this outside of the top 10, because it mostly felt like Live in London Part 2. Many of the same songs are performed, making this a bit redundant at first. At the same time, the difference between the performances is notable. In London Cohen’s delivery was better, but here the band gets more time to shine. Inessential perhaps, but a welcome gift for fans nonetheless.

12. Songs from a Room
If I’m baffled that New Skin for the Old Ceremony is ignored so much, I’m honestly also baffled that this one is ranked as highly. All right, this has three of Cohen’s best tracks: Bird on the Wire, The Butcher and The Story of Isaac. It also has little else, mostly good yet unremarkable songs.

13. Old Ideas
I feel somewhat like that too about Old Ideas. It’s Cohen in a good mood and the songs are fine, but only Darkness is truly strong if you ask me. What’s more, there is less poetic depth in the lyrics here, missing the unexpected turns of phrase or curious insights that characterize his best work. This was apparent on the two albums preceding this too and would finally be regained by Popular Problems. Don’t get me wrong, these lyrics are fine, better than many singer-songwriter. But Cohen is a primary poet who has a higher standard than he shows here.

14. Various Positions
If you ask me, Cohen had two lesser moments: the late seventies to early eighties and the zeroes of the current millennium. This is a product of that first moment. It contains one of my favourite tracks in Hallelujah and it is better than I remembered, but still it feels like minor, with many songs and lyrics being Cohen doing Cohen, without succeeding in elevating them into anything more.

15. Recent Songs
The one I always forget, perhaps because it doesn’t have that one special song. It’s all fine, never spectacular. So I will probably always think of this as Various Positions without Hallelujah.

16. Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour
Another live album, released after Live in London and Live in Dublin. Inessential, but interesting because it mostly contains live versions of more obscure songs, whereas the other two focussed more on his famous songs. It’s what it claims it is: a souvenir. I can’t recommend it, but it is nice to have.

17. Ten New Songs
Cohen in the zeroes of the 21st century is a bit of pain. He hadn’t made music for a while and returned with a new sound, that at best is lounge music and at worst elevator muzak. The lyrics are really beneath him and I’m not quite sure why he relied so much on Sharon Robinson as a collaborator, because even though she has a nice voice, she isn’t exactly an exciting lyricist or composer. Still, this one has the great A Thousand Kisses Deep and Alexandra Leaving (this one not written by either Cohen or Robinson), two songs I admire a lot. The rest is worthless in my opinion.

18. Dear Heather
The only truly terrible album here if you ask me. If Live in London didn’t prove otherwise I’d have guessed that Cohen had given up on music and poetry altogether, because damn, is this devoid of spirit. The lyrics are actually below those of a substandard singer-songwriter, the Robinson arrangements are duller than dishwater and Cohen himself sings as little as possible, leaving much of the task to background singers. And this time there are no songs that are worth listening to. If Cohen didn’t have money troubles I guess he would never have considered this. I’m glad he found his mojo again in the last stretch of his career, because more albums like Dear Heather would have made for one of the most disappointing and frankly boring final acts in music.

Songs:
1. Suzanne
2. Everybody Knows
3. Hallelujah
4. Sisters of Mercy
5. Famous Blue Raincoat
6. The Future
7. String Reprise/ Treaty
8. Please Don’t Pass Me By (A Disgrace)
9. Steer Your Way
10. The Butcher
11. Chelsea Hotel #2
12. Master Song
13. Lover Lover Lover
14. Tower of Song
15. Bird on the Wire
16. A Singer Must Die
17. Take This Waltz
18. Darkness
19. Paper-Thin Hotel
20. Anthem
21. Story of Isaac
22. First We Take Manhattan
23. A Thousand Kisses Deep
24. You Want It Darker
25. Almost Like the Blues


User avatar
Honorio
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2640
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:38 am
Location: L'Eliana, Valencia, Spain

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Honorio » Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:07 pm

Wonderful writing, Rob. Many thanks!

DocBrown
Full of Fire
Posts: 1247
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:15 am
Location: Edmonton, Canada

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by DocBrown » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:42 pm

Honorio wrote:Wonderful writing, Rob. Many thanks!
I agree :text-goodpost: I'm going to revisit me some albums!

User avatar
BleuPanda
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 3290
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:20 am

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by BleuPanda » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:29 pm

Since I don't plan to spend New Year's compiling this info, I'm going to set the deadline to the end of January 1st instead of December 31st.

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 5288
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Henrik » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:44 pm

BleuPanda wrote:Since I don't plan to spend New Year's compiling this info, I'm going to set the deadline to the end of January 1st instead of December 31st.
:angry-tappingfoot:



Just kidding of course.
Happy New Year, BleuPanda (and everyone)!
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

jamieW
Full of Fire
Posts: 1560
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:19 pm

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by jamieW » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:38 am

Albums:
1. I’m Your Man
2. Songs of Leonard Cohen
3. Songs of Love and Hate
4. New Skin for the Old Ceremony
5. You Want It Darker
6. Popular Problems
7. The Future
8. Ten New Songs
9. Various Positions
10. Songs from a Room

Songs:
1. Everybody Knows
2. Avalanche
3. Famous Blue Raincoat
4. Waiting for the Miracle
5. Stories of the Street
6. The Future
7. I’m Your Man
8. Who By Fire
9. Teachers
10. Suzanne
11. You Want It Darker
12. Dance Me To the End of Love
13. Almost Like the Blues
14. By the Rivers Dark
15. First We Take Manhattan
16. There is a War
17. Traveling Light
18. Take This Waltz (Paris Version)
19. A Street
20. My Oh My
21. Hallelujah
22. Steer Your Way
23. Nevermind
24. Master Song
25. The Law

User avatar
Rob
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2834
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:53 pm
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Rob » Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:44 pm

Honorio wrote:Wonderful writing, Rob. Many thanks!
DocBrown wrote:
I agree :text-goodpost: I'm going to revisit me some albums!
Thanks for the kind replies! Very curious to see the results here.

User avatar
Rob
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2834
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:53 pm
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Rob » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:48 pm

How are things going with this?

User avatar
BleuPanda
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 3290
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:20 am

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by BleuPanda » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:52 am

I think I'm going to get to this and the 1992 project next weekend. This weather hasn't been good for me.

User avatar
Rob
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2834
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:53 pm
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Rob » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:06 pm

All right, take your time.

User avatar
Dexter
Rust Never Sleeps
Posts: 751
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:04 am

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Dexter » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:06 pm

Songs:
1. Suzanne
2. So Long, Marianne
3. Famous Blue Raincoat
4. Hallelujah
5. Bird on the Wire
6. Sisters of Mercy
7. Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
8. I'm Your Man
9. Dance Me to the End of Love
10. The Partisan
11. Who by Fire
12. Everybody Knows
13. The Future
14. The Stranger Song
15. Take This Waltz
16. First We Take Manhattan
17. Chelsea Hotel #2
18. In My Secret Life
19. Last Year's Man
20. Tower of Song
21. Take This Longing
22. Winter Lady
23. Avalanche
24. Master Song
25. Lady Midnight

Albums:
1. Songs of Leonard Cohen
2. Songs of Love and Hate
3. Songs from a Room
4. I'm Your Man
5. New Skin for the Old Ceremony
6. The Future
7. Ten New Songs
8. Various Positions
9. Live in London
10. You Want It Darker

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 5288
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Individual Artist Poll: Leonard Cohen

Post by Henrik » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:03 pm

I hope all is well, BleuPanda!
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

Post Reply