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Leonard Cohen: Live in London

Roscoe Beck , Leonard Cohen , Edward Sanders    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.50
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Product Description

Product Description

Live In London

From the Back Cover

For over four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. His songs have set a virtually unmatched standard in their seriousness and range. Sex, spirituality, religion, power - he has relentlessly examined the largest issues in human lives, always with a full appreciation of how elusive answers can be to the vexing questions he raises. But those questions, and the journey he has traveled in seeking to address them, are the ever-shifting substance of his work, as well as the reasons why his songs never lose their overwhelming emotional force. Documentaries, awards, tribute albums and the ongoing march of artists eager to record his songs all acknowledge the peerless contribution Cohen has made to what one of his titles aptly calls "The Tower of Song." In 2008 Leonard Cohen embarked on his first tour in 15 years. Quickly recognized as musical folklore in the making, 29 of the original dates sold out almost immediately, leaving fans and critics alike hailing the show as a once in a lifetime experience. By popular demand, the Canadian/UK tour was extended and by the end of that year it had reached 84 markets worldwide, selling more than 700,000 tickets. The Live In London release fully captures and recreates the extraordinary show from that tour that earned Cohen more than 80 five-star reviews for his performances.

Track Listing:
1. Dance Me To The End Of Love
2. The Future
3. Ain't No Cure For Love
4. Bird On The Wire
5. Everybody Knows
6. In My Secret Life
7. Who By Fire
8. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
9. Anthem
10. Introduction
11. Tower Of Song
12. Suzanne
13. The Gypsy's Wife
14. Boogie Street
15. Hallelujah
16. Democracy
17. I'm Your Man
18. Recitation w/ N.L.
19. Take This Waltz
20. So Long, Marianne
21. First We Take Manhattan
22. Sisters Of Mercy
23. If It Be Your Will
24. Closing Time
25. I Tried To Leave You
26. Wither Thou Goest

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and Sublime March 26 2009
I was lucky enough to get this DVD a few days before the official release date. I just finished watching it and the audio/video material captures faithfully the brilliance and mastery of Leonard Cohen's live performances. I was in Toronto last year for two shows and watching this DVD reminded me of how wonderful it was to see Mr. Cohen in concert. The DVD offers the entire London performance and the running time is about 160 min. If you were unable to get the tickets for the second leg of Leonard Cohen's upcoming Canadian tour, this DVD is the best you can get as a substitute. If you were lucky enough to get the tickets, once you see the concert the DVD will be a superb reminder of the night you were priviledged to see Leonard Cohen live.

On a technical note, the sound on the DVD is impacable and is faithful to the actual live experience. The DVD offers two options: uncopressed stereo and 5.1 Dolby Digital. I watched the concert in 5.1 surround and it sounded great -- fully immersive, with instruments and vocals clearly separated and mixed to perfection. The same probably goes for the uncompressed stereo sound. The uncompressed stereo audio is of a CD quality and, since the DVD and CD track lists are identical, there is really no need to get audio-only version of the performance.

As for the video quality, it is very good, but not the reference quality (3.5 out of 5). There are some digital artifacts, probably due to the fact that a 160 min. footage needed to be compressed to a 8.5 GB DVD. The concert was shot with only four cameras (4:3 aspect ratio) so the range of shots is somewhat limited. The director, however, managed to squeeze the most out of them.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly remarkable April 6 2009
By AltPet
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What a remarkable concert. The band is very good, the sound is fantastic and Leonard is simply inspiring. This presentation should be a five star DVD but for only one misgiving - no widescreen. All concerts of this importance should be made with the most recent technology, especially in HD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lieder of Leonard June 20 2009
He jogs up the stairs to join the ensemble. Looking dapper & groomed in their suits, they are ready & eager to unleash Leonard's Lieder in this unusually vast 02 chamber. Even the lovely female vocalists are formally attired, setting a splendid visual standard for a night of a thousand harmonies. Everything about this extraordinary DVD impresses. There's the breathtaking cinematography, the expert & seamless editing that strikes a perfect balance between shots of Lenny, the musicians, the instruments as they are being played, the graceful backing singers and the appreciative audience.

The lighting too, meets the mood of the music as it bathes the stage in blue, green, red, royal purple or golden brown. Instruments like the banduria and archilaud add new dimensions to the sound whilst the instrumental & vocal arrangements refresh and rejuvenate old songs. The angelic voices of Sharon Robinson & the Webb Sisters caress the lyrics throughout but with particularly arresting effect on Aint No Cure For Love, In My Secret Life, Anthem, Closing Time & Hallelujah.

On the solemn Who By Fire the camera perfectly complements the sounds of the archilaud, keyboards, stand-up bass and - most impressively - the sitar as Hattie Webb plucks the strings. The same happens with the harmonica on Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye. What's more, the audience resonates with LC's every word between songs, whether it be witty or just wonderful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hallelujah! Sept. 14 2009
By Richard S. Warner TOP 500 REVIEWER
Up until last week, when a good friend sat me down and played this DVD for me, I was NOT a Leonard Cohen fan. I had nothing AGAINST him, just that little of what I'd been exposed to moved me very much. OTHER people doing his work always impressed me greatly - most notably seeing Jeff Buckley in a small club ( Albert's Hall ) do "Hallelujah". It made every hair on my body stand on end and I could barely breathe. Outside of experiences like that though I mostly just appreciated his talent as a poet, admired it quite a lot even, but I never thought much of him as a musician or a performer and NEVER wanted to buy any of his recordings - until now.

I think only experiencing him aurally doesn't quite give you the FULL spectrum of his magic. I was never a fan of the monotone bass of his voice and I think I lost a very wide range of what makes him so special by not ever having seen him do his thing.

This concert done in London, absolutely BLEW me away! 75 years old and not the slightest bit faded in his talents, I could not pull myself away from the screen. His band here are la creme de la creme. There is so much truly impressive talent on stage that it's staggering. Everything comes ALIVE in this concert, which is so immaculately shot and edited, and the full experience of a truly great master comes through in "Techni-color" so to speak. The songs, the musicians, the intense concentration and submission to the tenor of each song, the words, the thoughts and meanings, all of it is of such a high degree that I am now a total CONVERT.

One VERY impressive DVD, ..... INDEED !
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