Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Best of Leonard Cohen
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
Leonard Cohen is famous as a major seller in much of the world outside the U.S., the Canadian singer-songwriter's adoptive home; in Europe, this album's title is Greatest Hits. Even listeners barely familiar with Cohen's n... more »
Leonard Cohen is famous as a major seller in much of the world outside the U.S., the Canadian singer-songwriter's adoptive home; in Europe, this album's title is Greatest Hits. Even listeners barely familiar with Cohen's name will know "Suzanne" and "Bird on a Wire," but those oft-covered numbers are the least of it. The former novelist's mission as a wry, resigned troubadour is better reflected in songs like "Chelsea Hotel No. 2," a remembrance of Janis Joplin with a devastating closing line, and "Who by Fire," which updates a Jewish prayer. --Rickey Wright
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Mike B. | 12/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Best Of Leonard Cohen" is distilled from his first 4 albums, and nicely summarizes his earliest 8 years as a singer. Prior to this he was chiefly known in his native Canada (since 1956) as a published poet/novelist. Cohen established himself as a major songwriter right off the bat with "Songs Of Leonard Cohen" (1967) - and continued to do so on "Songs From A Room", "Songs Of Love And Hate", and "New Skin For The Old Ceremony" (1974).
I think "The Best Of" (1975) was his most important album. He gained many new fans that were too young to know his 60's output, and were happy to catch up. Most of the people I know came to Cohen through this - then went back and bought his first four. Their continued devotion has ensured his stardom to this day. Some other examples that served the same purpose: Judy Collins' "Colors Of The Day", and Rolling Stones' "Hot Rocks".
As a late starter (not recording until in his thirties) - Cohen bypassed having any youthful embarrassments. From the first album on he came off as urbane, witty, debonair, thoughtful, and well-travelled. These were the songs of a man who had been around and learned some things. I once read that the writer Gustave Flaubert toiled for days over each sentence of "Madame Bovary". It's known that Cohen did the same, and the evidence is here. He's only recorded 7 more studio albums since (for a total of 11), and they are all worth having. His later involvement with Buddhism has only deepened his understanding and empathy. It pleases me enormously that he can still sell out a concert hall no matter where he goes in the world.
There's "More Best Of Leonard Cohen" (1997), and a 2-disc "Essential" - but for me and countless others this was our introduction. Let it be yours."