What is your favourite Cohen CD?

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
greeksiren
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What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by greeksiren » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:38 am

I'll be brave enough to admit that I probably only own 5 or 6 of his CDs and I know there are a lot more out there. Some of them seem to have the same songs on them as other ones, so I'm wondering which one(s) you consider as the absolute "must-buy" best CDs of his? I know I'll get varying opinions, and that's quite all right. :D
John Etherington
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by John Etherington » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:23 pm

I can't answer this question directly, so I'll talk around it... There are only eleven studio albums, so these are the ones to go for first.
If you've bought any compilations then either give them away as presents, or tuck them away until you become a completist. If I could keep only eight Leonard albums, this would be my personal rough order of importance:

Recent Songs
Songs of Love and Hate
Songs of Leonard Cohen
The Future
I'm Your Man
Various Positions
Songs From a Room
Ten New Songs

I personally would put Anjani's "Blue Alert" next in importance, if you count it as a Cohen album.

The other three studio albums are:

New Skin for the Old Ceremony
Death of a Ladies Man
Dear Heather

Oh, and there are only three live albums, and these are all good too. My favourite is "Live Songs".

Ultimately all are essential...I bet some people will say their favourite is "Ten New Songs", "New Skin" or "Field Commander Cohen".

All the best, John E
yogi
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by yogi » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:48 pm

Usually the current one, i. e. "Dear Heather".
It's about time for a new release! :idea:
commonweal
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by commonweal » Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:50 am

Like John E, I cannot give a simple answer.

To my ears Leonard's most important studio albums are the following four: Songs of LC, Songs of Love and Hate, Recent Songs, and The Future. (These are placed in chronological order here; I find it impossible to rank them against each other.) After these in importance I would place two of the live albums - Field Commander Cohen and Cohen Live. Next, for me, come Songs from a Room, New Skin for the Old Ceremony, Various Positions, and I'm Your Man (again, a quartet of more or less equals). Then Ten New Songs (and, if it counts, Blue Alert). Then Live Songs, Death of a Ladies Man, and Dear Heather.

So ..., this is more or less the same sort of answer as John E, except that we seemingly disagree about the live albums and about New Skin. (And perhaps also about Blue Alert.)

What is it, John E, that makes you rate an album that includes Chelsea Hotel, Why Don't You Try, A Singer Must Die, Who by Fire, and Take This Longing as not being among LC's best? The production?
John Etherington
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by John Etherington » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:41 am

Hi commonweal,

I still love "New Skin" and Leonard only has his own standards of excellence against which to be graded! However, "Is This What You Wanted" and "Leaving Greensleeves" are not among my favourites, and I wasn't quite so keen on the up-tempo stuff like "Lover, Lover, Lover" and "There is a War" at the time. Nonetheless, I still listened to the album every day for weeks when it came out (and have it twice on vinyl and once on CD).

All the best, John E
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table top joe
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by table top joe » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:51 am

Have to get something off my chest here......its an album or a record its not a bloody "Cd"!! makes it sound like a product.....any one else find albums being referred to as "Cds" annoying?....just me??...anyway........



Songs of Leonard Cohen
Songs of Love and Hate
Songs from a room
The Future
Recent Songs
Various Positions
Im your man
New Skin for the old ceremony
Ten new songs
Death of a ladies man
Dear Heather(dont own this but have heard it a few times.....eh...less than great me thinks)
John Etherington
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by John Etherington » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:31 am

Interesting results so far...some overall agreement I would say. "Love and Hate", "Songs of" and "Recent Songs" are all high in our lists, and curiously "The Future" is rated higher than "I'm Your Man". Though, with a standard of excellence like Leonard's you could put most of his albums in any order and there could be little argument. And yeah...let's say albums instead of CDs.

All the best, John E
John Etherington
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by John Etherington » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:35 am

I suspect "Dear Heather" will rate lowest, but it still has its moments - most especially "The Faith", "Villanelle for Our Time", "Nightingale" and "Go No More A Roving". I found it came more alive after listening to Anjani's excellent album, because "Dear Heather" was very much a means of drawing Anjani into the limelight.
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table top joe
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by table top joe » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:39 am

Think there'd be arguments if you put "Death of a ladies man" at the top of the list :D ....i like "Im your man" but im not crazy about the production to be honest,think his last few records/albums(anything but Cds)have suffered from poor production too......should i leave now? :oops:
The Partisan
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by The Partisan » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:43 pm

In descending order:


New Skin For the Old Ceremony (my favourite: great set of songs, interesting arrangements, good production)
I'm Your Man
Various Positions
Songs of Love and Hate
Songs of Leonard Cohen
The Future
Recent Songs
Ten New Songs
Songs From a Room
Dear Heather
Death of a Ladies Man (an abomination)


Field Commander Cohen is the best of the live albums.
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thin_gypsy_thief
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by thin_gypsy_thief » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:39 pm

I just can't choose one between Songs of Leonard Cohen and Songs of Love and Hate to place at the top of the "chart", then Songs from a Room few steps behind. After that, "The Future" and "Various Position" at the close of the top 5
Be mindful of the prayers you send
Pray hard but pray with care
For the tears that you are crying now
Are just your answered prayers


waiting for:
Lucca, 27th July
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dharma
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by dharma » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:11 pm

this is the one for me... 8)

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Florian
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by Florian » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:18 pm

Well, hard to say because that constantly changes ...
Heard "The Future" quit often the last weeks
and "Songs of Love and Hate" has always been somhowe special to me.
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Yankovic
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by Yankovic » Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:32 pm

01. I'm Your Man
02. The Future
03. Recent Songs
04. Various Position
05. New Skin For the Old Ceremony
06. Songs of Love and Hate
07. Songs From a Room
08. Songs of Leonard Cohen
09. Death of a Ladies' Man
10. Ten New Songs
11. Dear Heather
They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
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skunk
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Re: What is your favourite Cohen CD?

Post by skunk » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:50 pm

Being a long time Cohen fan but fairly new to the forum I am surprised by just how much "Recent Songs" is liked. I am obviously missing something. I am also not much into "The Future".

Songs of LC
Songs of Love and Hate
I'm Your Man
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