Leonard Cohen and the Most Overlooked Live Album of 2009

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
User avatar
sturgess66
Posts: 4085
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:50 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Leonard Cohen and the Most Overlooked Live Album of 2009

Postby sturgess66 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:27 pm

From PhoenixNewTimes.com -
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsu ... st_ove.php
Leonard Cohen and the Most Overlooked Live Album of 2009

By Sarah Ventre in DVD Review
Fri., Jan. 8 2010 @ 10:27AM

Image

​Leonard Cohen Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 is not just some re-mastered re-issue. It ain't no run-of-the-mill recording. This is the first time that Cohen's entire performance at the historic festival has been released. Why is this exciting and noteworthy, you may ask? For several reasons.

Firstly, Leonard Cohen is widely considered one of the most brilliant lyricists and songwriters of our time. He is well known for his social consciousness, poetic verses, and dark, stirring voice. His contemporaries include Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan.

Next, the Isle of Wight Festival of 1970 was a monumental event in music history, yet remains largely unknown to today's generation. At that event, more than 600,000 people filled the tiny island off of the southern coast of England, which had fewer than 100,000 residents. The festival is considered one of the largest gatherings in history. (Woodstock had about 400,000 people in attendance.)

At the Isle of Wight festival, the audience rebelled in ways that were unprecedented. The placement of the show was not conducive to the large crowd in attendance. The stage was located at the bottom of Devastation Hill. The problem was that while there were gates up around the perimeter of the area designated for the show, many people just sat atop the hill, just outside of the gates to watch the show for free. Indeed, many of them also attempted to tear the gates down. Fans claimed to be angry about the ticket price, only £3 for the four-day festival.

Musicians were routinely booed off the stage. Joni Mitchell, nearly in tears, had to beg the audience to calm down so she could play her set. Kris Kristofferson and his band refused to get off the stage unless they were forced to at gunpoint. When the crowd wouldn't settle down, he responded, "I think they're gonna shoot us." Nothing though, could top Jimi Hendrix's performance, when the crowd set the stage on fire.

That is, perhaps, except for Leonard Cohen. As soon as he took the stage, all 600,000 people seemed to simultaneously, instantaneously fall silent in his ostensibly supernatural presence. While others were visibly nervous upon taking the stage, Cohen was unapologetic. He was awoken in the middle of the night to perform because his time slot had been pushed far back because of the crowd's revolt.

What is also remarkable, is that while recording technology in 1970 was not what it is today, the quality is phenomenal, with resounding clarity. And while the hardest thing to capture in a live recording is the energy of the musician, and the relationship between the performer and the audience, somehow it's as though the feeling was bottled and released to you as you watch it. One cannot help but be transfixed by Cohen. His subtlety, his movements, his slight swagger, his tired eyes, his long face, the depth of his voice, and even his stillness cannot help but halt you in awe and wonder.

And though this mesmerizing recording was released last fall, it went fairly unnoticed. Perhaps some of this was related to the timing of its release. Leonard Cohen Live in London premiered on PBS around the same time. While everyone wrote extensively about the indie pop bands that the in crowd is listening to at the moment, few made remarks about this gem. Give yourself a present and listen to it. Bonus: The recording comes with the DVD documentary made by Oscar winner Murray Lerner about the event, featuring most of the live footage of Cohen's performance. Can't lose.

Tags: 1970, album reviews, Bob Dylan, Isle of Wight Festival, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, Leonard Cohen
MaryB
Posts: 3952
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:40 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA

Re: Leonard Cohen and the Most Overlooked Live Album of 2009

Postby MaryB » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:24 am

Love this review - thanks for posting it Linda!!
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
sue7
Posts: 397
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:29 am
Location: New York City

Re: Leonard Cohen and the Most Overlooked Live Album of 2009

Postby sue7 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:25 am

Great review, Linda: thanks!
Sue
songwriter
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:58 pm

Re: Leonard Cohen and the Most Overlooked Live Album of 2009

Postby songwriter » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:08 pm

sing another song, boys on this album is the most perfect 6mins of music I own

Return to “Live in London, Dear Heather, The Essential Leonard Cohen, Ten New Songs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests