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I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen By... Compilation

4.0 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 26 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Compilation
  • Label: Oscar
  • ASIN: B000002ISX
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,624 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. First We Take Manhattan - R.E.M.
2. Hey That's No Way To Say GoodBye - Ian McColloch
3. I Can't Forget - Pixies
4. Stories Of The Street - That Petrol Emotion
5. Bird On A Wire - The Lilac Time
6. Suzanne - Geoffry Oryema
7. So Long Marianne - James
8. Avalanche IV - Jean-Louis Murat
9. Don't Go Home With Your Hard-on - David McComb & Adam Peters
10. Who By Fire - The House Of Love
11. Chelsea Hotel - Lloyd Cole
12. Tower Of Song - Robert Forster
13. Take This Longing - Peter Astor
14. True Love Leaves No Traces - Dead Famous People
15. I'm Your Man - Bill Pritchard
16. A Singer Must Die - Fatima Mansions
17. Tower Of Song - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
18. Hallelujah - John Cale

Product Description

1 x CD Compilation
US 1991

1R.E.M.First We Take Manhattan6:05
2Ian McCullochHey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye3:21
3PixiesI Can't Forget3:24
4That Petrol EmotionStories Of The Street4:58
5Lilac Time, TheBird On The Wire3:19
6Geoffrey OryemaSuzanne4:28
7JamesSo Long Marianne4:48
8Jean-Louis MuratAvalanche IV5:12
9David McComb & Adam PetersDon't Go Home With Your Hard-On5:13
10House Of Love, TheWho By Fire2:26
11Lloyd ColeChelsea Hotel3:24
12Robert ForsterTower Of Song3:19
13Peter AstorTake This Longing4:39
14Dead Famous PeopleTrue Love Leaves No Traces3:36
15Bill PritchardI'm Your Man4:01
16Fatima Mansions, TheA Singer Must Die3:53
17Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsTower Of Song5:40
18John CaleHallelujah4:06

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By A Customer on July 11 2004
Format: 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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Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: 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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