Leonard Cohen: Songs of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: Songs of Leonard Cohen

Album #45

Episode date - September 16, 2015

The Alternative Top 40
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    In 1967, Leonard Cohen happened to be the right person in the right place at the right time.

    That is not to say that luck was a major factor in his success – Cohen was immensely talented, having already published numerous collections of poetry, fiction and a pair of novels. Nevertheless, the timing of his arrival in New York was impeccable, having descended on the city just as Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory’ troupe was in full swing. Cohen stayed on the fringes of that scene, but drew plenty of inspiration from its panoply of characters. Also, keep in mind that Bob Dylan had abandoned public life in 1966, leaving an entire fan base to wallow in the aftermath, a genre looking for a cause. Cohen was the perfect Renaissance man to fill the gap, an extraordinarily literate folk artist whose songs were both original and compelling.

    There is nothing hurried about Leonard Cohen. His song-poems unfold slowly, with languid melodies that suspend his baritone voice as if in a warm bath. ‘Songs of Leonard Cohen’ exists in a place that is timeless, where outside activity hangs suspended long enough for Cohen’s internal dialogue to fill the silence with his observations and impressions. These are essentially spiritual songs, even if the spirit is sometimes troubled.

    December 1967 - Billboard Charted #83

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