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Songs Of

Leonard Cohen Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 17.90
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Songs Of + Songs of Love and Hate + Songs from a Room
Price For All Three: CDN$ 31.77

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Product Details


1. Suzanne
2. Master Song
3. Winter Lady
4. The Stranger Song
5. Sisters Of Mercy
6. So Long, Marianne
7. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
8. Stories Of The Street
9. Teachers
10. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Already established as a poet and novelist by the time of his 1968 debut, Leonard Cohen also proved himself to be a remarkable songwriter, if an acquired taste as a singer. The slow, dirge-like pace of many of the pieces only serves to highlight the lyrics, and the literate words of "Suzanne," "Sisters of Mercy," "Master Song," and others have withstood critical scrutiny for three decades. Relationships, and their aftermath, are the preoccupations of a record that has justifiably achieved classic status and influenced any number of performers, from Nick Cave to Tom Waits. John Simon's orchestrations help frame the pieces with loving, mournful strings. In its era, when music was electric and vibrant, it sounded completely out of step. But the passage of years has proved that, more than anything, Songs of Leonard Cohen is timeless. --Chris Nickson

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Original masterpiece enhanced May 15 2007
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Cohen's timeless debut has been enhanced by the addition of 2 extra tracks. The lilting poetry of Suzanne lures the listener into his world of romantic despair while introducing the essence of his sound: a deep monotone framed by sublime female backing vocals over simple but engaging melodies.

Master Song, Winter Lady and Stranger Song reinforce the desolate landscape although the melodies are less immediate. Cohen's genius shines brightly on the immortal Sisters Of Mercy, a strange mixture of the spiritual and the sensual that must be one of the most beautiful musical poems in the English language.

This delicate gem is followed by the powerful and evocative So Long Marianne and the understated Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye, both masterpieces of words, melody and arrangement - the female vocals on Goodbye is especially impressive.

Stories of the Street appears as a poem in one of Cohen's 1960s poetry books: Selected Poems 1956-1968 and deals with a visit to Havana during of just after the revolution. Interesting fact: The line "some girls wander by mistake" from Teachers was later used as an album title by the goth band Sisters Of Mercy.

One Us Cannot Be Wrong addresses the beloved in a series of strange images before moving on to melodic whistling and ending with bitter shouted la la lahs. For those interested in other artists' take on Cohen: Suzanne has been beautifully covered by inter alia Judy Collins and Geoffrey Oryema, while Sting and the Chieftains' celtic version of Sisters Of Mercy is available on the Tower of Song: The Songs of Leonard Cohen tribute album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Oct. 22 2006
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
The lilting poetry of Suzanne lures the listener into Leonard Cohen's world of romantic despair while introducing the essence of his sound: a deep monotone voice framed by sublime female backing vocals over simple but engaging melodies.

Master Song, Winter Lady and Stranger Song reinforce the desolate landscape although the melodies are less immediate. Cohen's genius shines brightly on the immortal Sisters Of Mercy, a strange mixture of the spiritual and the sensual that must be one of the most beautiful song-poems in the English language.

This delicate gem is followed by the poignant and evocative So Long Marianne and the understated Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye, both masterpieces of words, melody and arrangement - the female vocals on Goodbye is especially impressive. The music sounds as if it is divinely inspired.

I also recommend Democracy: Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen, to enjoy her beautiful interpretations of Suzanne, Sisters Of Mercy and Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye. She was the first to cover his songs. Famous Blue Raincoat by Jennifer Warnes is another sublime tribute album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wine and Bread July 3 2003
Format:Audio CD
The first album of Leonard Cohen is his best. Moody, mysterious, dark, romantic, and spooky. Yes, spooky. Songs of Leonard Cohen are all of these and more. His deep nasal voice mixed with John Simon's light soundscapes is timeless. This is truly a classic recording that should be owned by any fan of music. This is not simply folk music. It is excellent poetry, beautifully arranged instrumentation, and simply haunting music.
What really draws me into Cohen's music is the way he uses biblical imagery to tell interesting stories. "Just some Joseph looking for a manger...", "And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water..." As a Christian, I found this very intriguing, especially how his songs may or may not have anything to do with these references at all.
I have listened to other Cohen recordings, but this is Leonard in his purest form. This is not music to work out to, but if you are in the mood to relax or listen to something light that makes you think, this would be one of the top ten albums in that category.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece June 11 2003
Format:Audio CD
And I don't use that work very often when describing albums. In fact, I feel as though the word "masterpiece" is thrown around too often and too loosely by many reviewers, but the word unquestionably applies to Cohen's debut album.
"Suzanne," "So Long Marianne" and "Hey Thats No Way to Say Goodbye" are songs you may or may not know with singalong choruses and beautiful imagery.
"The Master Song," "The Stranger Song," "Stories of the Street" and "One of Us Cannot be Wrong" are intense lyrical works. "Master" and "Stranger" might be the highlights of the album for me. Cohen effortlessly speaks of weird, scary, romantic visions of the isolation and pain of being alone or aloof, with some moments of ecstatic joy thrown in every now and then.
"Teachers" blends a vicious Spanish-based lead guitar with a speedy rhythm riff and a vocal by Cohen that sounds scary and deeply unsettling at times.
For those who haven't heard this, you're missing out on a staggering work of lyrical and musical excellence. Cohen himself could never match this effort, even 30 years later.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars so I was disappointed.
I was expecting a vinyl record, not a cd, so I was disappointed.
Published 23 days ago by Heather Hutchinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product
Exactly what you'd expect, just like an original pressing, only new. The album to listen to if you want to know Leonard Cohen, the first one sets the tone.
Published on Sept. 20 2012 by RykyCyr
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen at his finest
This is Leonard Cohen's first solo release, and is arguably his finest. Although some of his later releases contained more developed music, it is the simplicity of this album that... Read more
Published on June 6 2012 by Dustin C. Wheatley
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful debut album
This is the legendary debut. The lilting poetry of Suzanne lures the listener into Cohen's world of spiritual and romantic yearning while introducing the essence of his sound: a... Read more
Published on April 13 2010 by Pieter Uys
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs to send shivers
2 reviews!?! I'd like to think the lack of reviews for this album merely indicates the difficulty of expressing in words the profound impact of these songs, a task perhaps only... Read more
Published on March 17 2010 by J. Bonder
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Debut Album
Flawless. Perfect. Awesome. Not a bad song. Lyrically brilliant. Cold, despairing, warm, optimistic and deep.
Published on July 2 2008 by Lambchops
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This 1968 album was Cohen's debut and remains one of his finest. The lilting poetry of Suzanne lures the listener into a world of romantic despair while introducing the essence of... Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2006 by Pieter Uys
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect recording.
This is a perfect recording, Cohen's best. It's one of the 10 best recordings of the 1960s. This record changed the face of popular music for decades to come. Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by Larry Ayers
5.0 out of 5 stars A gold standard then, a platinum standard now
I listened to Leonard Cohen when I was in my teens and early twenties. I loved Suzanne, Bird on the Wire and other Cohen songs with some level of appreciation. Read more
Published on March 19 2004 by Judy Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Ageless
Right now, this is probably my favorite disc. I think everything I really have to say about Cohen has been iterated enough on this page; but I can't recommend it enough. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2004 by Tara Jayant
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