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Songs From The Road

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 14 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B003VXNZIC
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,346 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Lover, Lover, Lover (Ramat Gan Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel, September 24, 2009)
2. Bird On the Wire (Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, Scotland, November 6, 2008)
3. Chelsea Hotel (Royal Albert Hall, London, England, November 17, 2008)
4. Heart With No Companion (Oberhausen King Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany, November 2, 2008)
5. That Don’t Make it Junk (O2 Arena, London, England, November 13, 2008)
6. Waiting for the Miracle (HP Pavilion, San Jose, California, November 13, 2009)
7. Avalanche (Gothenburg Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden, October 12, 2008)
8. Suzanne (MENA Arena, Manchester, England, November 30, 2008)
9. The Partisan (Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland, October 10, 2008)
10. Famous Blue Raincoat (O2 Arena, London, England, November 13, 2008)
11. Hallelujah (Coachella Music Festival, Indio, California, April 17, 2009)
12. Closing Time (John Labatt Centre, London, Ontario, May 24, 2009)

Product Description

In 1999, after an extended break from the spotlight, 64-year old Leonard Cohen returned to the recording studio and world stage with a passion. From then until now, his albums, concerts and DVD releases have informed a new generation. At the same time, Cohen has heroically fulfilled the dreams of his first generation of fans that have been following his career at Columbia Records since his debut LP in 1967.

Following the celebration of his 40th year as a Columbia artist in 2007 and coinciding with his induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in March 2008, Cohen thrilled his fans by announcing his first tour dates in 15 years. He’s gone on to play the most prestigious and beautiful venues in virtually every corner of the globe, mesmerizing and charming audiences with performances that were hailed as some of the best of his career. “When legend Cohen takes to the stage,” raved Ireland’s The Independent (June 2008), “it’s no less than a cultural event of Biblical dimensions.”

One dozen of Leonard Cohen’s most famous songs from those recent world tour performances – at auditorium halls, festivals, arenas, and stadiums from Tel Aviv to London, from across Europe to the California desert and his native Canada – are now collected on SONGS FROM THE ROAD. The 12-song program filmed in high def and recorded in 5.1 surround sound will be issued in two separate packages: The DVD+CD package will be an oversized 2-disc softpak, identical to last year’s Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970. The Blu-ray will be in a standard amray case. Both will be available at all retail outlets starting September 14th through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. A gatefold, 180 gram vinyl LP of the 12 audio tracks will also be released the same date.

As a bonus, the DVD and Blu-ray configurations will include a 20-minute “behind the scenes” backstage interview with the individual band members. The interviews were conducted by Leonard’s daughter, Lorca Cohen.

The sets also feature two different sets of annotations. One is a rare album liner notes essay written by Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic. The other is a detailed track-by-track insider’s commentary written by Ed Sanders, who served as producer of the sound recording and editing, and producer and director of the video recording and editing. “I was there for every rehearsal,” he begins. “I was at every sound check. I was present at every show.”

Sanders’ notes provides precious insight into the selection process for the twelve outstanding performances captured on SONGS FROM THE ROAD. For “Chelsea Hotel” (Royal Albert Hall, London, 11/17/2008), Sanders writes “Between sound check and show time Leonard would often play his guitar in the dressing room. In the early stages of this leg I would find him practicing ‘Chelsea Hotel’. It came as a surprise to everyone (especially those on stage!) when at Rotterdam he launched into it solo after ‘Tower of Song’. He continued to rehearse it with the band until the arrangement was ready. The version presented here is the second full-band performance. At the time I thought it was exceptionally compelling and I told Leonard so during intermission. He replied that he thought it went well; that he could feel the presence of a certain ‘someone’ as he sang it.”

SONGS FROM THE ROAD is not only a tribute to Cohen’s consummate artistry as a concert performer, it is also a tribute to his enduring worldwide popularity at this time in his career. The program complements his 2-disc DVD release of last year, Live In London, recorded on July 17, 2008, at London’s 02 Arena, one of Europe’s largest indoor venues. Live In London marked his first concert collection to be released since the 2001 CD, Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979. (Note: The O2 Arena selections on SONGS FROM THE ROAD are from November 2008.)

It is ultimately Cohen’s ageless songs that draw faithful audiences – new fans and old – to his advance sold-out concerts. (The 2008 tour dates sold over 700,000 tickets alone, across 84 shows worldwide.) SONGS FROM THE ROAD represents every decade of his life as a recording artist, from the 1960s (“Suzanne” from his 1967 debut, Songs Of Leonard Cohen; “Bird on the Wire” and his interpretation of “The Partisan” both from his second album, 1969’s Songs From a Room) – to the ’00s (“That Don’t Make it Junk” from 2001’s Ten New Songs).

Along the way, SONGS FROM THE ROAD revisits Cohen’s ‘greatest hits’ from the 1970s (“Famous Blue Raincoat” and “Avalanche” both from 1971’s Songs Of Love and Hate; “Chelsea Hotel” from 1974’s New Skin For the Old Ceremony, and “Lover, Lover, Lover” from the 1979 Field Commander Cohen recordings) – the 1980s (“Hallelujah” and “Heart With No Companion” from 1984’s Various Positions) – and the 1990s (“Waiting for the Miracle” and “Closing Time” from 1992’s The Future.)

“Throughout the show,” Wieseltier concludes in his essay, “it was never clear whose gratitude was greater, Cohen’s or the audience’s. He seemed to find at every stop the sisters of mercy whom he immortalized in one of his oldest and most tender songs…. And now, wherever this precious man wanders, the famous blue raincoat notwithstand-ing, people sing ‘hallelujah!’ The Psalmist himself could not have asked for more.”


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Mr. Cohen has indeed been a very busy man the past couple of years, touring almost ceaselessly to finally put a finishing coda on to a great and illustrious career. At the time of this album's release it was pretty much the understanding that this was the end of his performing career, yet, a few years latere ( 2015 ), he's STILL at it. Cohen's magnificent performance DVD "Live in London", was probably the grandest and most fitting summation of a great musical legacy. It is a totally riveting and compelling performance with a decades-spanning roster of Cohen's greatest work. The accompanying CD was an impressive collection comprised of the same songs done at that single performance in London. One would think that that's all one really needs for a Leonard Cohen live swan song. Yet in 2010 Columbia/Sony released "Songs from the Road".

The point of difference with this release is revealed in the liner notes to this CD. Cohen's Producer, Ed Sanders, had kept a very detailed record of songs that Cohen himself had remarked on at the end of several shows on his long tours. If the performance of a particular song during the night's concert had struck Cohen as having been exceptional and noteworthy, Sanders made a note of it. He also recorded WHY those particular performances stood out in Cohen's mind. As time and tours went on the collection of noteworthy performances, exceptional moments, and distinctly special events in location and audience response amassed to a collection that was deemed worthy of organization and release. Hence, "Songs from the Road". One listen to this CD and you can clearly see why all these moments were deemed special.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a terrific CD, featuring the best of Cohen's 2010 world tour. The arrangements are spectacular, and the quality of the recording almost makes you feel like you're there. "Heart with No Companion" and "The Patriot" are amazing.
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Format: Audio CD
It takes the right mood, to really appriciate Leonard Cohens poetry and songs.
I do not mix them with other kind of music, just a Leonard Cohen evening and hoping not to get disturbed by a telephonecall. Pure bliss. Karla
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 16 2011
These 12 tracks from the 2008/2009 world tour were selected for their special qualities as explained by producer Ed Sanders in the sleeve notes. They represent a blend of the familiar - refreshed and rejuvenated by innovative arrangements - and the obscure. The "greatest hits" are Bird On The Wire, Suzanne, Famous Blue Raincoat, Hallelujah, The Partisan and Chelsea Hotel.

The highlights, however, are three lesser known songs, i.e. Heart With No Companion, Lover Lover Lover and Closing Time. Lover Lover Lover's lilting rhythms transform the song far away from the harsh 1973 studio version on New Skin For The Old Ceremony whilst the slightly amended lyrics and jazzy treatment give Bird On The Wire a whole different feel.

From Gothenburg in Sweden, there's an austere, acoustic rendition of Avalanche from Songs Of Love And Hate. The buoyantly performed Heart With No Companion in Oberhausen, Germany, raises gooseflesh with the lines "through the days of shame that coming, through the nights of wild distress". The only outdoor performance is of Hallelujah at a festival in California and the album concludes with a vibrant version of Closing Time in London, Ontario.

No tracks from Dear Heather, I'm Your Man, Recent Songs, or Death of a Ladies' Man are included; live versions of songs from the last two are available on
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Don't know why I waited so long to buy this CD. Absolutely the best, all my favorites on one album.
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Ce n'est pas un disque qui va passer à l'histoire...mais la musique est tout de même intéressante.
J'imagine que j'ai encore du chemin à parcourir pour découvrir l'univers musical de Cohen !
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Live music is some of my favorite and to hear the crowd on some of my favorite Cohen songs gives me chills.
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What can I say. It is Cohen and he never seems to falter.
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