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Leonard Cohen: 10 of the best

Posted: Wed May 06, 2015 6:44 pm
by Born With The Gift Of A G

Re: Leonard Cohen: 10 of the best

Posted: Thu May 07, 2015 10:03 pm
by alb123
Hmmm... Top 10 lists can sometimes be interesting. For the most part, they're boring when music journalists release them. But, that's just MY opinion, just like a Top 10 list is someone else's opinion.

I think his list is fine. Including 'Almost Like The Blues' as #10 was a bold move. Bold moves stir conversation and I think that's great. To me, that is what Top 10 lists should do. They should get us talking, discussing and debating the tracks mentioned. Having said all of that, I am now going to say something that will probably tick off a lot of people. Suzanne is not Leonard Cohen's best song. I definitely would not include it in my Top 5 list either - maybe Top 10, but I'd really have to think about it. I'm not saying that Suzanne is a bad song. I don't think that at all. In fact, I think Suzanne is a beautiful song that any songwriter would be proud to have written. Among Cohen's catalog, it just doesn't quite shine as brightly as many people claim. Maybe it does...to them. Or, maybe it's just the easy way out?

Does anyone else agree with me about Suzanne? Or Top 10 lists, in general?

Re: Leonard Cohen: 10 of the best

Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 12:20 am
by Goldin
I agree with that, Chris.
At least for me, Suzanne isn't "so personal, that it becomes universal" (interesting formula, isn't it?). I hardly can imagine this particular song changing one's life, way of thinking etc. It sounds more like a poetic arabesque.

Re: Leonard Cohen: 10 of the best

Posted: Sat May 09, 2015 6:43 am
by lizzytysh
It sure changed mine, Roman! It's what first drove me onto my Leonard path in life. Had I not heard another song off that album, I'd still be here because of that one. It's also resonated conceptually in numerous ways over these many years.

Re: Leonard Cohen: 10 of the best

Posted: Sat May 09, 2015 4:44 pm
by Tchocolatl
The first quintessential Leonard Cohen song for me was Dance me to the End of Love. I entered in a trance each time I was listening to it. Now this energy is evaporated. It rests Leonard Cohen in everything.

Regarding the song Suzanne, the first version feels like his first novels. In the early performance there is a sensation of a journey from coarse material to the most refined that can be in this world, and it gives the intuition of something like a passage to another state of living more subtil and incomprehensible until you are there. In this regard, the silence at the end is part of the song as much as the music. You find yourself lifted (taken by the hand, litteraly) to that special space, an experience that gives you a hint. Awe. Of what life can also be.

Re: Leonard Cohen: 10 of the best

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 12:58 am
by lizzytysh
Beautifully written and eloquently expressed, Tchoc.

Re: Leonard Cohen: 10 of the best

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 4:49 pm
by rmorgan
I would have dropped The Future and Almost Like the Blues (much as I love them, of course), for Anthem and Alexandra Leaving. That's the problem with top tens when it could be top .. thirty, at least! But if the question were, if you only had 10 LC songs on your desert island .... well, those two would need to be there. (Or maybe Democracy instead of Anthem, because it lasts longer ... :D ).

As for Suzanne .. those of us who heard it soon after its entry upon the world might tend to think of it differently. It was for many, I think, THE portal to this strange new world of Leonard Cohen. The doorway to the SpiceBox of Earth. The companion to the Favourite Game and the narrow way towards Beautiful Losers. The handmaiden for the journey into the first three albums, the Sisters of Mercy, the Winter Lady, the Avalanche, Nancy, Jane and Joan of Arc. The reason for picking up an acoustic guitar for the first time and learning the basic chords with the LC Songbook.

I'm never sure if I heard Suzanne first in Leonard's voice or from Judy Collins. But it was this song that those of us reaching adolescence around 1970 usually heard first. And thus ... well, you can imagine. In those days, things coming all the way from China, via Montreal, WERE truly exotic!