DVD Talk
Leonard Cohen Has Died [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum


View Full Version : Leonard Cohen Has Died

Rex Power Colt-Robot Man
11-10-16, 08:47 PM

Leonard Cohen, the hugely influential singer and songwriter whose work spanned five decades, died at the age of 82. Cohen's label, Sony Music Canada, confirmed his death on the singer's Facebook page.
"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," the statement read. "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." A cause of death was not given.

Inside Leonard Cohen's Late-Career Triumph 'You Want It Darker'
After an epic tour, the singer fell into poor health. But he dug deep and came up with a powerful new album
Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equaled him as a song poet. Cohen's haunting bass voice, nylon-stringed guitar patterns, Greek-chorus backing vocals shaped evocative songs that dealt with love and hate, sex and spirituality, war and peace, ecstasy and depression. He was also the rare artist of his generation to enjoy artistic success into his Eighties, releasing his final album, You Want It Darker, earlier this year.
"I never had the sense that there was an end," he said in 1992. "That there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot."
Leonard Norman Cohen was born on September 21st, 1934, in Westmount, Quebec. He learned guitar as a teenager and formed a folk group called the Buckskin Boys. Early exposure to Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca turned him toward poetry – while a flamenco guitar teacher convinced him to trade steel strings for nylon. After graduating from McGill University, Cohen moved to the Greek island of Hydra, where he purchased a house for $1,500 with the help of a modest trust fund established by his father, who died when Leonard was nine. While living on Hydra, Cohen published the poetry collection Flowers for Hitler (1964) and the novels The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966).
Frustrated by poor book sales, and tired of working in Montreal's garment industry, Cohen visited New York in 1966 to investigate the city's robust folk-rock scene. He met folk singer Judy Collins, who later that year included two of his songs, including the early hit "Suzanne," on her album In My Life. His New York milieu included Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground, and, most importantly, the haunting German singer Nico, whose despondent delivery he may have emulated on his exquisite 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen.
Cohen quickly became the songwriter's songwriter of choice for artists like Collins, James Taylor, Willie Nelson and many others. His black-and-white album photos offered an arresting image to go with his stark yet lovely songs. His next two albums, Songs From a Room (1969) and Songs of Love and Hate (1971), benefited from the spare production of Bob Johnston, along with a group of seasoned session musicians that included Charlie Daniels, gave them in Nashville.
During the Seventies, Cohen set out on the first of the many long, intense tours he would reprise toward the end of his career. "One of the reasons I'm on tour is to meet people," he told Rolling Stone in 1971. "I consider it a reconnaissance. You know, I consider myself like in a military operation. I don't feel like a citizen." His time on tour inspired the live sound producer John Lissauer brought to his 1974 masterpiece, New Skin for the Old Ceremony. However, he risked a production catastrophe by hiring wall-of-sound maximalist Phil Spector to work on his next album, Death of a Ladies Man, whose adversarial creation resulted in a Rolling Stone review titled "Leonard Cohen's Doo-Wop Nightmare."

PHOTOS: Readers' Poll: 10 Best Leonard Cohen Albums
See which album managed to top 'The Future,' 'I'm Your Man' and 'Songs of Leonard Cohen'
Cohen's relationship with Suzanne Elrod during most of the Seventies resulted in two children, the photographer Lorca Cohen and Adam Cohen, who leads the group Low Millions. Cohen was well known for his wandering ways, and his most stable relationships were with backing singers Laura Branigan, Sharon Robinson, Anjani Thomas, and, most notably, Jennifer Warnes, who he wrote with and produced (Warnes frequently performed Cohen’s music). After indulging in a variety of international styles on Recent Songs (1979), Cohen accorded Warnes full co-vocal credit on 1984's Various Positions.
Various Positions included "Hallelujah," a meditation on love, sex, and music that would become Cohen's best-known composition thanks to Jeff Buckley's incandescent 1994 reinterpretation. Its greatness wasn't recognized by Cohen's label, however. By way of informing him that Columbia Records would not be releasing Various Positions, label head Walter Yetnikoff reportedly told Cohen, "Look, Leonard; we know you're great, but we don't know if you're any good." Cohen returned to the label in 1988 with I'm Your Man, an album of sly humor and social commentary that launched the synths-and-gravitas style he continued on The Future (1992).
In 1995, Cohen put the breaks on his career, entered the Mt. Baldy Zen Center outside of Los Angeles, became an ordained Buddhist monk, and took on the Dharma name Jikan ("silence"). His duties included cooking for Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi, the priest and longtime Cohen mentor who died in 2014 at the age of 104. Cohen broke his musical silence in 2001 with Ten New Songs, a collaboration with Sharon Robinson, and Dear Heather (2004), a relatively uplifting project with current girlfriend Anjani Thomas. While never abandoning Judaism, the Sabbath-observing songwriter attributed Buddhism to curbing the depressive episodes that had always plagued him.
The final act of Cohen's career began in 2005, when Lorca Cohen began to suspect her father's longtime manager, Kelley Lynch, of embezzling funds from his retirement account. In fact, Lynch had robbed Cohen of more than $5 million. To replenish the fund, Cohen undertook an epic world tour during which he would perform 247 shows from 2008 to 2010. He continued to record as well, releasing Old Ideas (2012) and Popular Problems, which hit U.S. shops a day after his eightieth birthday. "[Y]ou depend on a certain resilience that is not yours to command, but which is present," he told Rolling Stone upon its release. "And if you can sense this resilience or sense this capacity to continue, it means a lot more at this age than it did when I was 30, when I took it for granted."

11-10-16, 08:48 PM
Fuck :(

11-10-16, 09:19 PM
My favorite version of Hallelujah from Jeff Buckley


11-10-16, 09:32 PM
2016 truly is the darkest timeline.

11-10-16, 09:41 PM
I'm a big fan of his and especially liked his early albums and have never grown tired of them. Watching McCabe & Mrs. Miller turned me on to him.

I remember going to a concert in Los Angeles in the 1980s when his popularity was waning and getting front row seats. Quite the thrill.

11-10-16, 09:52 PM
Holy crap, this has been a shit year for losing musicians!

11-10-16, 09:57 PM
:( I'm glad his manager robbed him blind, so I got a chance to see him perform a few years ago. I think he was 78 when I saw him and he still put on an amazing show and played for more than two hours.

Norm de Plume
11-10-16, 10:06 PM
Wow, unexpected. RIP.

11-10-16, 10:08 PM
Damn, he was ready after all :(. He'll be missed.

11-10-16, 10:35 PM
RIP Master Of Melancholy

11-11-16, 03:29 AM
One of the most beautiful songs (lyrics & melody) ever written. Perfect duet featuring Jennifer Warnes. Reduces me to tears every time.


Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

11-11-16, 03:32 AM
He was a true poet and artist. I cannot believe how many masters we've lost this year.

Rex Power Colt-Robot Man
11-11-16, 05:43 AM
My favorite version of Hallelujah from Jeff Buckley


Beautiful version

Throwing Copper
11-11-16, 06:07 AM
My favorite version of Hallelujah from Jeff Buckley


By far my favorite version of the song. Buckley's performance never gets old. RIP Leonard Cohen.

11-11-16, 06:11 AM
Hallelujah is a beautiful song (overplayed to the point that some hate it), but I do wish the media would maybe act as though he wrote something else (one CNN talking head called him "Leonarado" Cohen. -ohbfrank- Also overlooked & not mentioned are his books of poetry (I always thought of him more as a poet rather than singer/performer/songwriter).

First heard him on the radio with "Suzanne" and "Bird On the Wire." Wasn't a fan then but he grew on me.

Some favorites: A Thousand Kisses Deep, The Stranger Song, First We Take Manhattan, Sisters of Mercy, I'm Your Man, If It Be Your Will, Everybody Knows, Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye, Dance Me To the End of Love.

Love this stripped-down sound:


“And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones:” I Kings 13:31

11-11-16, 06:20 AM
Nice link to a sampling of Cohen poems: http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/poem.html

Two examples:

My lady can sleep from "The Spice-Box of Earth"

My lady can sleep
Upon a handkerchief
Or if it be Fall
Upon a fallen leaf.

I have seen the hunters
kneel before her hem
Even in her sleep
She turns away from them.

The only gift they offer
Is their abiding grief
I pull out my pockets
For a handkerchief or leaf.


Millennium from "Flowers for Hitler"

This could be my little
book about love
if I wrote it--
but my good demon said:
'Lay off documents!'
Everybody was watching me
burn my books--
I swung my liberty torch
happy as a gestapo brute;
the only thing I wanted to save
was a scar
a burn or two--
but my good demon said:
'Lay off documents!
The fire's not important!'
The pile was safely blazing.
I went home to take a bath.
I phoned my grandmother.
She is suffering from arthritis.
'Keep well,' I said, 'don't mind the pain.'
'You neither,' she said.
Hours later I wondered
did she mean
don't mind my pain
or don't mind her pain?
Whereupon my good demon said:
'Is that all you can do?'
Well was it?
Was it all I could do?
There was the old lady
eating alone, thinking about
Prince Albert, Flanders Field,
Kishenev, her fingers too sore
for TV knobs;
but how could I get there ?
The books were gone
my address lists--
My good demon said again:
'Lay off documents!
You know how to get there!'
And suddenly I did!
I remembered it from memory!
I found her
pouring over the royal family tree,
I almost said,
'you've got it upside down--'
'Take a look,' she said,
'it only goes to George V.'
'That's far enough
you sweet old blood!'
'You're right!' she sang
and burned the
London Illustrated Souvenir
I did not understand
the day it was
till I looked outside
and saw a fire in every
window on the street
and crowds of humans
crazy to talk
and cats and dogs and birds
smiling at each other!

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:1

Nick Danger
11-11-16, 06:36 AM
I only discovered Leonard Cohen about five years ago and I bought his first album. Then I kept buying another album and another because they were all so good. I don't know why I had never heard him until then.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XbeItR8NTks" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

When I finally listened to him, what I got from his songs is that he loved a lot and he expressed it well.

11-11-16, 07:08 AM
The hits just keep on coming this year. :(

Widely reported a few weeks ago but worth revisiting...

Earlier this year, Cohen learned that Marianne Ihlen, his former girlfriend and the inspiration for "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye," "Bird on a Wire," and "So Long Marianne" was dying. He sent her an email saying:

"Well Marianne, it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road."

Two days later, Cohen got an email saying "Dear Leonard, Marianne slept slowly out of this life yesterday evening. Totally at ease, surrounded by close friends.

Your letter came when she still could talk and laugh in full consciousness. When we read it aloud, she smiled as only Marianne can. She lifted her hand, when you said you were right behind, close enough to reach her.

It gave her deep peace of mind that you knew her condition. And your blessing for the journey gave her extra strength. . . . In her last hour I held her hand and hummed “Bird on the Wire,” while she was breathing so lightly. And when we left the room, after her soul had flown out of the window for new adventures, we kissed her head and whispered your everlasting words.

So long, Marianne . . . "

11-11-16, 09:01 AM
He also said he was ready to die. I would hardly call this a surprise.

RIP. This year is just crazy for highly influential musicians.

E Unit
11-11-16, 09:37 AM
Yeah, from Bowie to Cohen and everyone in between, this has been a devastating year. And those shoes will never be filled again.

11-11-16, 09:55 AM
He also said he was ready to die. I would hardly call this a surprise.

Yes, he spoke out in recent months that he was ready to die. And while not a surprise, it still leaves a big hole out there just knowing he's gone for good.

Reality is a bitch.
Fuck you 2016.

Thanks for everything, Mr. Cohen...

DVD Josh
11-11-16, 09:56 AM
My favorite version of Hallelujah from Jeff Buckley


There are times when I hear this I actually tear up. It's incredible. Probably one of the 10 best performances of all time.

11-11-16, 12:33 PM
Man, another tough loss. Played some Cohen tunes last night shortly after the news broke. Suzanne, The Guests, So Long Marianne...so many great songs. rip :(

11-11-16, 04:00 PM
I just heard. Sad news to be sure.

Ropes Pierre
11-11-16, 04:51 PM
"I've got a to do list that's longer than a fucking Leonard Cohen song"

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0