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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A middling tribute album
After spending the last few years wandering other musical landscapes, I rediscovered Leonard Cohen this year (years after being a mega LC geek in school) and especially wanted to seek this album out again.
Compared to Famous Blue Raincoat (much shorter but much, much more luminous), I'm Your Fan is middling. What's up with the two covers of Tower of Song? Why is the...
Published on July 11 2004 by cynarae

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beg to differ...
This album is a perfect example of why tribute albums should be illegal. I can't imagine what the other reviewers saw in this. Bluntly, its 99% garbage. Either rote recitation or half hearted attempts. As the one bright spot, the Pixies (I Can't Forget)seem to be the only ones even excited about the idea of covering Cohen. The rest is just awful and will disappoint fans...
Published on April 9 2001 by Matthew Carpenter


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A middling tribute album, July 11 2004
By 
"cynarae" (The Beautiful South, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
After spending the last few years wandering other musical landscapes, I rediscovered Leonard Cohen this year (years after being a mega LC geek in school) and especially wanted to seek this album out again.
Compared to Famous Blue Raincoat (much shorter but much, much more luminous), I'm Your Fan is middling. What's up with the two covers of Tower of Song? Why is the cover of Suzanne so freaking boring? But then there are the beautiful plusses -- A Singer Must Die, the funky cover of Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On (who wouldn't want to hear THAT at a wedding?) and the oft-mentioned version of Hallelujah. I really like the French version of Avalanche (I didn't get the original for many years after this and was very surprised as my hand translated version was very different).
Bottom line: if you want 1 LC tribute CD, get Jennifer Warnes's. If you want 2, get this one too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beg to differ..., April 9 2001
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
This album is a perfect example of why tribute albums should be illegal. I can't imagine what the other reviewers saw in this. Bluntly, its 99% garbage. Either rote recitation or half hearted attempts. As the one bright spot, the Pixies (I Can't Forget)seem to be the only ones even excited about the idea of covering Cohen. The rest is just awful and will disappoint fans of both the bands or Cohen.
In addition to original sins, this disk suffers sins of omission. There are many incredible Cohen covers (ex: Concrete Blonde "Everybody Knows"), that were available at the time, that are missing.
Just go the next CD on your list. Now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The best of the compilation tribute genre, Dec 13 2001
By 
S. McDuffie (Pueblo, CO) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
REM has been so inspired by Cohen for so long, that their rendition of "First We Take Manhattan" simply sounds like an REM song. It is, however, excellent and is one of the best, most powerful cuts on this record.
The Pixies, arguably one of the best bands of the last 20 years, have covered Cohen's "I Can't Forget" superbly. Their version of this song is a fantastic hard rock rave-up. I don't think that the words exist that will enable me to accurately describe how I feel about their take on this song. The Pixies are a great cover band anyway (listen to "Evil Hearted You", "Head On", and "Cecilia Ann", "Wild Honey Pie" and "In Heaven (Everything is Fine)" from their own catalog, and this song is certainly their best cover song, and could be the best cover song ever.
Some of my favorite Cohen songs are done badly by musicians I love ("Take this Longing" by Peter Astor, once touted as the "new Bob Dylan" and "I'm Your Man" by Bill Pritchard are forgettable) and some Cohen songs that I don't like are done badly by musicians that I can't stand (Don't Go Home With Your Hard-on by David McComb & Adam Peters). This is why I gave it 4 stars. On the upside, some of my least favorite Cohen songs are done very well by artists I love ("Halleluiah" by John Cale was a nice song); some of my favorite artists cover Cohen classics very well (Pixies, REM and Nick Cave). Did you get all that?
One great benefit of this album, one way in which it has helped me to be more eclectic is that many songs I love are done very well by artists I had never of prior to buying this CD. I have since bought CDs by many of the artists paying tribute to Cohen on this album and I am quite happy I did. Geoffrey Oryema, The Lilac Time, James and That Petrol Emotion are immensly talented musicians and are a great antidote to the bland tripe that accountants at gigantic record companies want to shove down your throat these days.
I always wondered what Cohen's work would sound like with a better singer. Now I know. I thank those responsible for the recording and distribution of this CD.
If you love Cohen, buy this album, if you love even one of the artists who contributed to this effort, buy this album, and if you are looking for great music that will probably never get played on the radio, buy this album. It is remarkable. Buy it soon however, such a good record is destined to be discontinued prematurely. (...) In fact, I am surprised it is still available.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different light, Nov. 22 2001
By 
"slack33" (Brooklyn, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
There are two schools of thought when considering tribute albums. Make sure the artists don't do too much with the song so that it's unrecognizable and second don't do too little so that it sounds too similar. This one strikes a near perfect balance. I particularly like the inclusion of (now) fairly anonymous bands who Cohen has actually influenced: Pixies, Lilac Time, Fatima Mansions, That Petrol Emotion etc. My favorite song on the album: The Pixies' devastating rendering of "I can't forget" which has the punch of their own material yet keeping the lyric right up front (where it belongs in any Cohen song). Jeffrey Oryema's take on Suzanne has forever altered how I listened to Cohen's original. Lloyd Cole's version of "Chelsea Hotel" is the perfect blend of the two qualities of tribute albums that I mentioned earlier: not too much, not too little. This album is well worth a try for those who are fans of Cohen (like myself) and also for people who are looking for a alternative entry way to listening and understanding one of the finest songwriters of our time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brings some light and fun to some brilliant words, April 5 2001
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
Right now I'm listening to the man himself, "I'm Your Man", and I guiltily caught myself thinking that I actually prefer the REM version of "First We Take Manhattan" on "I'm Your Fan" to the artist's own rendition. I think for those of my generation (I'm 27), the heavy background vocals and synthesizers of LC's later work (ironic though it may be) is hard to digest, although we can manage to get past it through sheer love of his work. He is certainly a poet first and a producer second - though his acoustic work has a raw power that's hard to match. Also I find that LC tends to over-emote his own songs (for my taste anyway) - I prefer a delivery that is a bit lighter-handed and dispassionate, which most of the tracks on this cover album have. They let the power of the song (pun slightly intended) speak for itself, and give us kids the gift of these songs which many of us might never be able to palate otherwise.
I do think there are some snoozers on here, but none of the tracks really make me cringe (though I generally fast-forward past "Suzanne" as I find the approach a bit heavy and dull. It's hard to bring anything new to that one, it's been done so well by others. I love the cover of "Take This Longing", also "A Singer Must Die", and although others disagree, I adore REM's track. I can't even talk about John Cale's "Hallelujah". As a side note, I strongly urge people who like his track here to buy his "Fragments of a Rainy Season". His songwriting is absolutely compelling to me, though don't try it if you like to be handed obvious meanings on a plate. He accompanies himself on acoustic piano or guitar, creating a gorgeous and chilling atmospheric space, perfect for a rainy afternoon. But I digress.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable interpretations, Sept. 6 2000
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
This 1991 tribute album reveals the broad range of Cohen's talent as composer in its dazzling variety of voices and styles. Following the prayer Who By Fire by House of Love, Ian McCulloch soars through Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye, adding his own melancholy twist to the song's sublime sadness; The Pixies storm through I Can't Forget at their characteristic fast pace, whilst That Petrol Emotion poignantly render Stories Of The Street and James perform a meandering but moving So Long Marianne. Stephen Duffy of The Lilac Time gently caresses Bird On A Wire, followed by the Ugandan singer Geoffrey Oryema whose Suzanne, embellished by flute and a trio of guitars, fades out on a click-filled chorus.

Quite brutal is David McComb's exploration of the sleazy Don't Go Home With Your Hard-on which shakes, rattles and rolls along with the best of the psychotic beats, while Dead Famous People, produced by Serge Gainsbourg, make a surprising success of a bubblegum singalong rendition of True Love Leaves No Traces. The star of the show is John Cale as he paints a truly great soundscape with only voice and piano in Hallelujah, a classic which would have remained buried in Cohen's own rather monotone version. Others are not so great: REM's sloppy First We Take Manhattan and Nick Cave's pointless Tower Of Song, which is better interpreted by Robert Forster.

Fans of Leonard might also be interested in the other tribute albums like the I'm Your Man soundtrack, Jennifer Warnes' Famous Blue Raincoat: 20th Anniversary Edition & Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen: Democracy. The one titled Tower of Song: The Songs of Leonard Cohen by a selection of mostly country singers is not quite as memorable as the aforementioned although it does contain a gem or two. Overall, I'm Your Fan is a varied and enjoyable listening experience that brilliantly showcases the melodic and lyrical depth of Leonard Cohen's work. The CD booklet contains black & white pics of the artists and the lyrics to all the songs.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Wide Variety of Stylistic Interpretations, June 9 2000
By 
dev1 (Baltimore) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
I've never been a big fan of Leonard Cohen singing Leonard Cohen for two reasons. One, his voice is dry, husky and nonmusical. Cohen's delivery is closer to a speaking recital than popular singing. Second, his high-art intellectual poetry is generally moody and dark. Overall, the result of Cohen doing Cohen is usually weary and depressing.
Interpretations of Cohen's material by other artists (especially nonfolk-poet artists) can be entertaining, moving and inspirational. I'm Your Fan offers such a variety. The Pixies 'I Can't Forget' is a screaming guitar rocker with a group of ladies singing lovely harmony vocals. The romantic crooner Lloyd Cole gently rocks 'Chelsea Hotel.' For luscious vocal harmonies, try 'True Love Leaves No Traces' by Dead Famous People. R.E.M's powerful 'First We Take Manhattan' sounds threatening and ominous. And moving from bands to folk balladeers, my favorite artists include Geoffrey Oryema's dreamy rendition of 'Suzanne,' French artist Jean-Louis Murat with a very mysterious 'Avalanche IV,' and the childlike 'Who By Fire' by the House Of Love.' Finally, John Cale's 'Hallelujah' is spiritually moving. Because of the wide variety of stylistic interpretations, I'm Your Fan lacks the continuity found on Cohen's own albums. However, if you favor the pure poetry of I'm Your Fan, you may find Leonard Cohen's original work worthwhile.
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4.0 out of 5 stars They were his fans, Aug. 22 2001
By 
S. Maruta (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
Leonard Cohen was rocking -if I may say- my craddle and I still love the old cracking LPs I stole from my mother. Hence the shock in 1991 when my then fav' magazine (Les Inrockuptibles, then a glossy Paris fanzine with an obsession for English/US alternative music, now a more muddled catch-all weekly)somehow managed to get some of the most influentials indy artists of the late 80s to pay a tribute to the old master... THe result is now interestingly dated, as many of the bands are well past their prime or have disappeared (who the h*** was Robert Foster any way?). Although none of the songs here approach the iconic status of Jeff Buckley's rendition of Hallelujah, some are extremely good (Ian Mc Culloch's Hey that's no way to say goodbye, Who by fire by the House of Love or That Petrol Emotion's Stories of the Street - my personal favourite on the album) and some are funnily anachronistic duds (James's trademark yodelling).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic if you like Leonard Cohen or a few of these bands., June 4 1998
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
Tribute albums are always a mixed bag but the standard of material makes this listenable right the way through. The massive highlight for me is the Pixies doing 'I can't forget' in a true Pixies style and making it sound for all the world like it's always been their song - and one of their best songs at that. Truely breathtaking. If you like the Pixies and haven't heard this song buy the c.d. - it's worth it (and the rest is pretty good too!)
John Cale's cover of 'Hallelujah' is a real unexpected gem while James mix up the lyrics on 'So Long Marianne' but come out on top and House of Love do a luxurious 'Who by Fire'. REM are disappointing with a really unadventurous plod through 'First we take Manhattan' - I anticipated a much more interesting interprettation from them.
If you like Leonard Cohen or some of the bands here it's definitely worth getting - even the lesser covers don't damage some wonderful songs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I'm a fan, Feb. 15 2000
By 
John (West Hampstead United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... (Audio CD)
I heard this album before I had heard any of Leonard Cohen's work. Such was the effect on me that I immediately sought out work of the man who had inspired this, and have been a fan of Cohen's ever since. Tribute albums can always be hit and miss affairs, but there are no misses on this. There is a strong feeling of deep respect for the man throughout the record. It is difficult to single out particular tracks, but Geoffrey Oryema's Marianne, The Pixies I can't forget and John Cale's Hallelujah are probably the cream of this bounteous crop. If you are into any of the bands on this, or looking for an easy route to enjoying Cohen's music, or even an ardent fan of the man, this is certainly worth having. A similar tribute album called "Tower of Song" also exists, but this is far superior.
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I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By...
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