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Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:06 pm
by DrHGuy
"X Is On Leonard Cohen's Jukebox," is a short series of posts on my Heck Of A Guy blog that features songs performed by others that Leonard Cohen has favorably mentioned. For example, in several interviews he has praised "Blueberry Hill" by Fats Domino: http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/04/10/blueb ... s-jukebox/

I have a few songs left in reserve (e.g., KD Lang's cover of "Hallelujah," Dylan's “I and I,” "Don’t Go Home With Your Hard On," by David McComb & Adam Peters, and a (very) few others), but I would appreciate any help in finding other specimens in this class.

There are a number of singers, including Waits, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Judy Collins, and Nina Simone, that LC has frequently mentioned in almost reverent tones yet inconsiderately has not (as far as I can tell) listed the specific tunes of theirs that he likes. He even speaks admiringly of Simone’s first album but not a special song.

Anyway, the self-imposed inclusion criterion is that a specific song is favorably mentioned by Leonard Cohen in an interview (including radio interviews) or a reliable source (e.g., Anjani, Sharon Robinson, Jarkko, my mother, etc) has reported that Leonard Cohen has favorably mentioned a specific song.

I'm happy to credit anyone who points me to a referenced song that I post.

Thanks

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:22 pm
by Davido
Leonard interviewed Suzanne Vega in October 1992 and discussed her album 99.9F- which Leonard obviously likes: "I think that's the genius of the album, behind the very careful construction of the songs and the very sparse lyrics there is some kind of raging apetite."
They talk about a number of songs from that album : http://www.suzannevega.com/
Dave

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:16 pm
by jarkko
I understand that you were asking about songs, not artists, so this reply is not useful for you, but I was reading something that I decided to mention on the Forum anyway.

Last weekend I finally found the time to read Marianne's memoirs from Hydra (Kari Hesthamar: "So long, Marianne, a love story"; excellent book, let's hope there will be a translation from Norwegian into English soon!).

On page 165 Marianne tells: "...Leonard was again sitting and writing in his room or on the terrace [of his Hydra house], with Ray Charles on the portable record player next to him..."

On page 218, in a letter written in Montreal on December 24, 1960, Leonard says: "...Mahalia Jackson is on the record player. I'm right there with her, flying with you in that glory, pulling away the shrouds from the sun, making music of everything..."

I have to add that the same portable record player was still on his desk in THE room on Hydra when I was in the house some years ago, with a pile of vinyl LPs next to it, including indeed albums by Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and other big names of the 60's.

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:22 pm
by Florian
Hello dear Dr.HGuy
maybe this is usefull for You: some Hitlists that Leonard seems to have mentioned
(Taken from: Leonard Cohen - in eigenen Worten (in his own words)by Jim Devlin)

Leonard Cohens top five 1985
1 Take these chains from my heart- Ray Charles
2 Tangeld up in blue- Bob Dylan
3 Jezebel- Frankie Lane
4 Piece of my heart- Janis Joplin
5 Concierto de aranjuez- Rodrigo

and Cohens top ten 1988:
1 Window up above- Georg Jones
2 A case of you- Joni Mitchell
3 Bronsville Girl- Bob Dylan
4 Etüde Op.10 No. 1 in C-Dur- Chopin
5 Losing Hand- Ray Charles
6 House without love- Roy Orbison
7 La chambre d l'hôtel- Edith Piaf
8 Waltzing matilda- Tom Waits
9 Famous Blue Raincote- Jennifer Warnes
10 I fall to pieces- Patsy Cline

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:40 am
by DrHGuy
Incredible.

You guys are outstanding. Thanks for all the help

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:05 am
by Eskimo
He sang some of Je ne regrette rien, a song made famous by Piaf, in the Ghomeshi interview - one version here with Charles Dumont who wrote the music on piano....another here

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:44 am
by MaryB
Florian has already mentioned George Jones. I remember reading an interview posted here in the last 6 months or so where LC interupted the interview to get the reporter to listen to some lines from a George Jones song. I have tried to find this post but I'm sorry, had no luck. I apologize for having been of no help. Maybe someone else out there has a better memory or research skills.

Best regards,
Mary

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:08 pm
by DrHGuy
Mary -

Thanks for the lead. I did find this:
I listened to country as a kid. I could get WWVA from West Virginia, late at night. Have you heard George Jones' last record, Cold Hard Truth? I love to hear an old guy laying out his situation.

From: Re: Rolling Stone News on Leonard Cohen. Q&A: The New Leonard Cohen. The cult hero on his songwriting, cooking and Chinese liquor by MARK BINELLI Posted Oct 19, 2001 12:00 AM
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13330&p=155216&hilit=roshi#p155216

Is that the reference you had in mind?

In any case, George Jones & Cold Hard Truth is today's post: http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/06/30/cold- ... s-jukebox/

Thanks

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:47 pm
by Darling
Let's not forget the banana song ;-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qXI6Yp21fk

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:02 pm
by DrHGuy
I am, in fact, quite taken with the Banana Song, making it the highlight of my tribute to Leonard's obvious fascination with the fruit, "Leonard Cohen Has Gone Bananas"
http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/05/14/leona ... e-bananas/
dancevbanana.jpg
dancevbanana.jpg (24.1 KiB) Viewed 5351 times

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:51 pm
by Davido
This song was mentioned previously in the 'Monkey and plywood violin' thread. I posted the original words to the 1950's add:
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=14413&p=168094&hil ... ta#p168094

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:54 pm
by Darling
DrHGuy wrote:I am, in fact, quite taken with the Banana Song, making it the highlight of my tribute to Leonard's obvious fascination with the fruit, "Leonard Cohen Has Gone Bananas"
Sorry I hadn't checked your web site before, I love it ! :D

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:17 am
by MaryB
DrHGuy,

This might have been it, but it still niggles my mind that at the time of the interview, the song had been playing and he actually made the interviewer stop and listen to the lyrics. But then again, I could be completely wrong on this and it is just something I pictured in my own mind. Thanks for searching this out and so sorry for the confusion.

Kindest regards,
Mary

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:20 am
by sturgess66
Hey Dr. Heck. I don't know that Leonard has "favorited" this song or that his recording it can be considered a documented instance of him favoring this song , but I suspect he might like it since he recorded it on Elton John's Duets album. Ted Daffan is the composer and it has been recorded by lots and lots of people but probably most notably by Ray Charles. I think Elton sometimes sings it solo as well - so it could be one of Elton's favorites - but I do have it on good authority, from a longtime and devoted Elton follower, that Leonard is one of Elton's heroes.

"Born to Lose" - Leonard Cohen & Elton John (and wonderful sax by Plas Johnson)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpxX8YP5HhI

It seems all videos of Ray Charles singing this song have been removed from the worldwide web. :cry:

Linda S.

Re: Request For Help: Songs By Others Praised By Leonard Cohen

Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:47 am
by dar
Hello DrHGuy,

I remember hearing LC mention how he enjoyed a live show by one of my all-time favorite artists.
Just can't remember in which interview he mentions Alberta Hunter. This amazing woman rocked well into her 80's. (I'm sorry I haven't posted a link to a youtube vid but I'm sure there's something on the site.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_Hunter