September 21: The Late Great Leonard Cohen Was Born in 1934

leonard-cohen (2)

Like a Bird on a Wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
~Leonard  Cohen, Bird On A Wire

The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.
― Leonard Cohen

I don’t remember
lighting this cigarette
and I don’t remember
if I’m here alone
or waiting for someone.
~Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Leonard Norman Cohen
Born 21 September 1934
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died November 7, 2016 (aged 82)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Folk, folk rock, rock, pop rock,spoken word, synthpop
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter,poet, novelist
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano,keyboards, synthesizer
Years active 1956-present
Labels Columbia
Associated acts Sharon Robinson, Jennifer Warnes

 

Leonard Norman Cohen CC GOQ (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016).

His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

leonard-cohen-nyc

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August 11: Leonard Cohen – New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974)

leonard cohen old skin

…I must say I’m pleased with the album. It’s good. I’m not ashamed of it and am ready to stand by it. Rather than think of it as a masterpiece, I prefer to look at it as a little gem.
~Leonard Cohen (to Melody Maker’s Harvey Kubernik in March 1975)

That miraculously intimate voice has become more expressive and confident over the years without losing its beguiling flat amateurishness. Some of the new songs are less than memorable, but the settings, by John Lissauer, have the bizarre feel of John Simon’s “overproduction” on Cohen’s first album, which I always believed suited his studied vulgarity perfectly. A-
~Robert Christgau (robertchristgau.com)

.. The lyrics are filled with abstract yet vivid images, and the album primarily uses the metaphor of love and relationships as battlegrounds (“There Is a War,” “Field Commander Cohen”). Cohen is clearly singing from the heart, and he chronicles his relationship with Janis Joplin in “Chelsea Hotel No. 2.” This is one of his best album..
~Vik Lyengar (allmusic.com)

Chelsea Hotel #2

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.
Ah but you got away, didn’t you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don’t need you,
I need you, I don’t need you
and all of that jiving around.

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1969: 20 Songs Released in 1969 You Must Hear





My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

1969 was another great year in music, here are my 20 chosen songs (and those who came close).

  • Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones

    One of the greatest rock songs from any artist, “Gimme Shelter” is a glowering, snarling beast of a recording. It tiptoes in on one of music’s most recognizable chord-based riffs, ghostly “oooh’s,” and percussion ratcheting up the tension. When the full band enters—sinister low piano notes, fuzzy harmonica, organ chimes—it grabs you by the lapels and shakes you, begging you for shelter from an ominous storm.
    -Bill Janovitz (Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones)

    It first appeared as the opening track on the band’s 1969 album Let It Bleed.  Greil Marcus, writing in Rolling Stone magazine at the time of its release, said of it, “The Stones have never done anything better.”

    The recording features Richards playing in his new open tuning on electric guitar. The recording also features vocals by Merry Clayton, recorded at a last-minute late-night recording session during the mixing phase, arranged by her friend and record producer Jack Nitzsche. Lisa Fischer was later recruited to perform the song during their concerts.

    Oh, a storm is threat’ning
    My very life today
    If I don’t get some shelter
    Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away




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The Best Songs: Famous Blue Raincoat (Leonard Cohen)


It’s four in the morning, the end of December
I’m writing you now just to see if you’re better
New York is cold, but I like where I’m living
There’s music on Clinton Street all through the evening.

The problem with that song is that I’ve forgotten the actual triangle. Whether it was my own – of course, I always felt that there was an invisible male seducing the woman I was with, now whether this one was incarnate or merely imaginary I don’t remember, I’ve always had the sense that either I’ve been that figure in relation to another couple or there’d been a figure like that in relation to my marriage. I don’t quite remember but I did have this feeling that there was always a third party, sometimes me, sometimes another man, sometimes another woman. It was a song I’ve never been satisfied with. It’s not that I’ve resisted an impressionistic approach to songwriting, but I’ve never felt that this one, that I really nailed the lyric. I’m ready to concede something to the mystery, but secretly I’ve always felt that there was something about the song that was unclear. So I’ve been very happy with some of the imagery, but a lot of the imagery.
~Leonard Cohen (BBC Radio Interview 1994)

Sometime in the early 1970s, a thief stole Leonard Cohen’s old raincoat from Marianne Ihlen’s New York apartment. God only know what happened to it, but the thief almost certainly had no idea he was stealing an object that belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, if not the Smithsonian. It was that very coat that inspired Cohen to write one of his most beloved and mysterious songs. It’s written in the form of a letter, possibly to the narrator’s brother, who stole his lover, Jane.
~rollingstone.com

Famous Blue Raincoat (from the album – Songs of Love and Hate)

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May 14: Legendary producer the late Bob Johnston was born in 1932

Photo by Al Clayton

“Is it rolling, Bob?”
– Bob Dylan at the beginning of To Be Alone With You (Nashville Skyline)

“Johnston had fire in his eyes. He had that thing that some people call ‘Momentum.’ You could see it in his face and he shared that fire, that spirit. Columbia’s leading folk and country producer, he was born one hundred years too late. He should have been wearing a wide cape, a plumed hat, and riding with his sword held high. Johnston disregarded any warning that might get in his way. … Johnston lived on low country barbecue, and he was all charm.”
– Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One

“I had the best in the world in my hand – there was no place I couldn’t go with him, so that’s where I went. I think Blonde On Blonde is the best record Dylan ever cut… Blonde On Blonde was the first symphony cut in Nashville!”
– Bob Johnston (Uncut magazine)

Donald William ‘Bob’ Johnston (born May 14, 1932, Hillsboro, Texas, died August 14, 2015) was an American record producer, best known for his work with Bob DylanJohnny CashLeonard Cohen, and Simon and Garfunkel.

Great interview from youtube (by Harper Simon):

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November 7: Leonard Cohen is dead – Rest in peace great poet!

leonard-cohen (2)

Like a Bird on a Wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
~Leonard  Cohen, Bird On A Wire

“The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.”
― Leonard Cohen

“I don’t remember
lighting this cigarette
and I don’t remember
if I’m here alone
or waiting for someone.”
~Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing

From Facebook (Official Leonard Cohen):

It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.

A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Leonard Norman Cohen
Born 21 September 1934 , 10 November 2016 (age 82)
Genres Folk, folk rock, rock, pop rock,spoken word, synthpop
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter,poet, novelist
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano,keyboards, synthesizer
Years active 1956-present
Labels Columbia
Associated acts Sharon Robinson, Jennifer Warnes

Leonard Norman Cohen (born 21 September 1934)

His work often explored religion, isolation, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

leonard-cohen-nyc

Continue reading “November 7: Leonard Cohen is dead – Rest in peace great poet!”