Rolling Stone's Review of Leonard's Remastered

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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lizzytysh
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Rolling Stone's Review of Leonard's Remastered

Post by lizzytysh » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:26 pm

How very odd... I was sitting in the waiting room of the doctor's office yesterday and browsing the magazine. What do I find under Review/New CDS/Blue Debut?
The birth of a ladies' man: How Leonard Cohen became the world-weary roue of the hippie age. By Robert Christgau.
Bringing the magazine to work with me, I use it for reference to find this review on the Rolling Stone's Internet site, so I can link and copy-paste it.

Who knows but the shadow why it's not listed anywhere in the table of contents of Issue 1023>>April 5, 2007>>$4.50 issue, but unless I'm overlooking it multiple times, trying to locate it various ways, then it's simply not listed :shock: .

So, I'll just type it out myself here and now from page 78. The three album covers are pictured thumbnail size, in a long, verticle, rectangular box on the left. The ratings for the albums [in order from top to bottom of their 'stacking' inside the box] are: The Songs of Leonard Cohen 1968 ~ 4.5*; Songs From a Room 1969 ~ 3*; Songs of Love and Hate 1971 ~ 3.5* . There's another [as opposed to what can be seen of him on the album covers] gorgeous [apparently file] photo of Leonard finger-picking his guitar and singing into the mic. It's labeled "Cohen, circa 1967":
Leonard Cohen / Sony/Legacy

If you think Leonard Cohen is old now, try to imagine how old he was when he was young. In 1966, folk chanteuse Judy Collins turned the thirty-two-year-old into a hot rumor by recording his poem-set-to-music "Suzanne." Cohen had two novels and four slim volumes of verse on his dossier. He sported suit jackets, short hair and a formidable five o'clock shadow, and he hailed, ooh la la, from Montreal. Now wonder hippies ten years his junior ate up his world-weary roue act.

At the time, no one would have dreamed there was anything lithe or lyrical about Cohen's charcoal monotone. [My/Lizzy's editorial comment here is that I beg to differ on that :shock: ... ] But though he certainly plays his seniority for seductive savoir-faire, Cohen still sounds capable of various positions on his first three albums. The problem is how much of his wad he blows on his 1968 debut. Whatever one thinks of John Simon's production, which Cohen considered glitzy and others found droll, the tunes remain surefire four decades later - only the unfinished-seeming "Winter Lady" fails to reintroduce itself with a warm handshake and a winning wink. But after the great, defeated cri de coeur "Bird on a Wire," 1969's Songs From a Room proves as desiccated melodically as it is instrumentally, especially on political material Cohen didn't necessarily have his heart in. Two years later, Songs of Love and Hate rebounds, with Paul Buckmaster orchestrations shoring songs up when they falter.

So what do Cohen's undoubted craft and canny self-projection add up to? After all, the one great theme of this early work is a romantic melancholy he shares in rough outline with many page poets and countless half-assed singer-songwriters. The secret is simply that Cohen does it better. There isn't a wryer ice-queen kiss-off than the relatively minor "One of Us Cannot Be Wrong," and classics like "So Long, Marianne" and "Famous Blue Raincoat" wrote the book on the doomed twentieth-century bohemian love affiar. Most of his fans will never bed a woman with legs like those of Leonard's ladies (or possess same). [My/Lizzy's editorial comment here is the equivalent of "You got that right... both counts."] But as voyeur fodder goes, this is deep, witty and enduring stuff.
Now... thanking you in advance to whomever, more familiar with navigating the Rolling Stone magazine online, zips right over to it and brings the link immediately here :D . All I can say is that it was a pleasure rereading the article as I typed :wink: .


~ Lizzy
Last edited by lizzytysh on Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Yankovic
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Post by Yankovic » Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:52 am

I'm back!

You forgot to tell us how many stars they gave each album.

I will pick up a copy tomorrow!
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Post by lizzytysh » Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:02 am

Picky, picky, picky, Yanky... :wink: ~ I just noticed them when you said that. The Songs of Leonard Cohen 1968 ~ 4.5*; Songs From a Room 1969 ~ 3*; Songs of Love and Hate 1971 ~ 3.5* .

Happy now :P ? Now, that I've answered you directly, I'll go edit my original rendering of this little piece, even if I DON'T agree with the star ratings.

Nice to see you back :D .


~ Lizzy
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Post by John K. » Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:16 am

post deleted
Last edited by John K. on Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
I love to speak with John
He's a pundit and a fraud
He's a lazy banker living in a suit

http://www.johnkloberdanz.com
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Post by lizzytysh » Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:21 am

Yes, I know what you mean, John :shock: . The 5 W's ~ Who, What, Where, When, and Why? Those ratings require a 'music journalistic' explanation for me.

Perhaps, Robert Christgau will drop by and explain. I've gone there and confessed that I typed out the piece in its entirety here, for lack of a link. As long as I was saying something to them, I should have asked something as well ~ about those ratings.

I couldn't figure out how to get inside the magazine, like typing in a specific page number... or clicking on the cover, itself. If I could've managed that much, I could've brought a link to the page and article, itself.



Love,
Lizzay
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Post by Teratogen » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:36 am

Those ratings are not terrible. We are all fans so of course we'd all disagree. The review was better than I thought it would be because I know how most Rolling Stone writers are. But if you're not a fan of Cohen and you're looking at this review, the only important thing you're gonna skim are the star ratings, in which case, yeah, I'd have an objection or two. But first and foremost, before any of this, I never trust journalists anyway. Never liked 'em, never will--doesn't matter what kind of material they're discussing--film, music, news, world events... if you're passionate about the topics, that's one thing. But journalism itself, I just can't stand it. I earned a degree in English and have used it for nothing. Everyone says, "Go into journalism." No way.
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Post by lizzytysh » Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:23 pm

Everyone says, "Go into journalism." No way.
How about becoming an impassioned journalist, Jason? I know you could be one of those :D ! [Even if it is diametrically opposed to the job description :wink: .]


~ Lizzy
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Post by Yankovic » Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:31 pm

Rolling Stone loves Leonard!

I can smell the Rock Hall!

It's just a matter of when!
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Post by lizzytysh » Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:43 pm

Rolling Stone loves Leonard!
That was the impression I've always been under, Yankovic. So, I was surprized to see the less-than-stellar stars.
I can smell the Rock Hall!
Patchouli? Rose? Ambergris?



~ Lizzy
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Teratogen
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Post by Teratogen » Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:47 am

I enjoy Rolling Stone on occassion because, well... it's Rolling Stone. But they've always given the cold shoulder and eye-roll to my boy, Marilyn Manson. So I just kind of take their reviews on music with a grain of salt whenever I see what they say about the music I like.

Lizzy... if more journalists like Lester Bangs or Hunter Thompson were still around, perhaps I wouldn't think twice about becoming a journalist.
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Post by lizzytysh » Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:28 pm

Hi Jason ~

I'm not familiar with Lester Bangs, but am with Hunter Thompson; perhaps, what's needed in that world now is a Jason Teratogen.


~ Lizzy
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Post by dick » Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:05 pm

thanks for typing the review tish

I found it too, and looked high and low for a web link, but also could not locate one

Don't you think it strange that the review does not speak of the albums being remastered and issued with added material?
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Post by lizzytysh » Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:22 pm

Hi Dick ~

You're welcome :) ~ my pleasure.

Yes, regarding the remastering, I did find that a glaring omission... thinking that somehow it was ME who was missing something. I kept looking, too, for mention of that, much less the added material! The review seems to presume a fore-knowledge of facts.

I'm also relieved to know it's not just me in not being able to locate a link. My non-techno self could easily overlook the obvious, much less the obscure.

The problem is that if you're an online person and don't get the magazine, you won't even be aware that it's there! I emailed them regarding this, but who knows whether someone will correct the situation :? .

[A correction regarding what I mentioned, elsewhere, about Lennon's article being in this month's. It was in the other copy of Rolling Stones, and it may not have actually been 'this' month.]


~ Tish
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Post by Teratogen » Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:31 am

Lizzy, are you kidding? Someone like Lester Bangs would never fly in today's world of journalism. If you knew him you'd understand what I meant. I have a book of his called Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung that a teacher "lent" to me but I never gave back. I feel so guilty about it because he was one of my favorite teachers I ever had, but I just never got a chance to visit him again and it's been several years since he "lent" this to me. The footnote on the cover says "The work of a legendary critic: Rock 'n' roll as literature and literature as rock 'n' roll." It mostly consists of reviews for music, as he was popular in the 70s. I know of his mostly because of his reviews on Lou Reed's music. I believe he wrote for Creem magazine, if that sounds familiar to you. He was played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie Almost Famous.

As far as a Teratogenic journalist... I'd have to have a great set of steel balls to pull that off and I just ain't up for the challenge. Perhaps one day. But not now.
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Post by lizzytysh » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:07 pm

Hi Jason ~

Yes, I do remember Creem magazine, though I pretty much only glanced through it and read an article from time to time. You're right that if I 'knew' Lester Bangs, I'd probably not be saying what I did :wink: .

With that borrowed, never returned book from one of your favourite teachers, Google and the online White Pages can work wonders in locating someone. Not only could it dispense with your feeling so guilty, it could also be a great reunion of sorts, even if only by phone or mail. Do you know whether he was aware of Leonard? He sounds like someone who would be and, if so and he's not already aware of it, he'd find it favourable that you became interested in him. These are all projections of possibilities, of course, since I don't recall how long ago you got into Leonard or how long ago you were in this man's class.

Just some ideas. I know that long-ago borrowed items are always a treat to get back.


~ Lizzy
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