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Best of [Import]

Leonard Cohen Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 7.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Leonard Cohen - Songs from the Road


For four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. His songs have set a virtually unmatched standard in their seriousness and range. Sex, spirituality, religion, power – he has relentlessly examined the largest issues in human ... Read more in Amazon's Leonard Cohen Store

Visit Amazon's Leonard Cohen Store
for 70 albums, 11 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Oct 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000256G
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,810 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Suzanne
2. Sisters Of Mercy
3. So Long, Marianne
4. Bird On The Wire
5. Lady Midnight
6. The Partisan
7. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
8. Famous Blue Raincoat
9. Last Year's Man
10. Chelsea Hotel No. 2
11. Who By Fire
12. Take This Longing

Product Description


Leonard Cohen is famous as a major seller in much of the world outside the U.S., the Canadian singer/songwriter's adoptive home; in Europe, this album's title is Greatest Hits. Even listeners barely familiar with Cohen's name will know "Suzanne" and "Bird on a Wire," but those oft-covered numbers are the least of it. The former novelist's mission as a wry, resigned troubadour is better reflected in songs like "Chelsea Hotel No. 2," a remembrance of Janis Joplin with a devastating closing line, and "Who by Fire," which updates a Jewish prayer. --Rickey Wright

Product Description

Cohen,Leonard ~ Best Of Leonard Cohen

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply, the best. 29 April 2005
Format:Audio CD
Leonard Cohen has long been one of my favorite poets, song writers and singers. Once labeled "the poet laureate of pessimism," Cohen has brought me much pleasure during his thirty-six years of songwriting and eleven albums. His style, lyrics, interpretation and music resonate with me strongly. They always have. "The Best Of Leonard Cohen" is one of my favorite CDs. Look at the cuts - no other explanation needed.
"Famous Blue Raincoat" is probably my favorite Leonard Cohen song. The love, resignation and utter loneliness of this piece about a love triangle is poignant and emotional. "Bird On A Wire" is a fantastic poem of a song. It's also classic Cohen, the ladies' man, seducing through remorse. "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" is another great one. I live in NYC and the Chelsea Hotel, that preferred residence of writers and poets of the Beat Generation, is memorialized here, as is the long-ago lady who said, ""Well never mind, we are ugly but we have the music." "Take This Longing" is rife with intense yearning, love and a touch of bitterness - beyond brooding. "Who By Fire" is yet another favorite, for its great sound, the extraordinary lyrics and because it is based on a prayer recited during Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. I have always loved the romance and courage behind the lyrics and spirit of "The Partisan." Cohen says that he had the "curious notion that the Nazis were overthrown by music." Would that it had been so easy!
"Suzanne," Sisters of Mercy," "So Long Marianne," and "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye," all take me back to a time and place long past, but the music, and Cohen's voice, never fail to bring back the images along with the emotions which originally accompanied them.
It doesn't get better than this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars delivered on time and as stated 17 Jan 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
perfectly good, no problems, CD was as described. Very happy. I really hate having to write so much when I am perfectly satisfied with my purchase
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Leonard Cohen 27 April 2010
Format:Audio CD
... so of course I like it! Prompt delivery in good condition. I'm a happy teddy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  80 reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll never be the same again 14 Dec 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
People ,what can I say. When I lived in Germany in the begining of 1997 I bought this CD at a bargain. I didn't really know Cohen, except for two songs: Suzanne and First we take manhattan (not on this album). Still I bought it, sensing that something great was about to happen. Listening to it for the first time, I had to get used to his voice, but very soon the songs just absorbed me and I couldn't help feeling strong emotions with every song...what great lyrics...such an emtionless voice, yet it conveys so many emotions. I can honestly say that Cohen has influenced my personality a great deal and I have never been the same after buying this CD. Only recently did I buy all of his other official albums. It took me so long because I was affraid that I would be disappointed because "Best Of" is so perfect, that I thought all the rest had to be less good....I was wrong...I recently told my father that basically I can sell all my other CD's by other singers, for nothing can even come close to what Cohen does to me, except for the Russian-German singer Ivan Rebroff, but he belongs to a totally different musical scene. I love all Cohen's CD's, except for Death of a Ladies' man, which isn't a very good CD. All the other albums are splendid. Every album conveys a different emotion and sounds different than the other albums. I can't imagine my life without Cohen anymore. ps: I wouldn't mind e-mailing with other Cohen fans...an answer guaranteed
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soon it comes round to your soul. 28 Mar 2002
By darragh o'donoghue - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
We rarely think of Leonard Cohen as a pop star or rock idol - the very idea is absurd, almost sacreligious. Indeed, the very idea of thinking about him in terms of music at all seems wrongheaded - Cohen is a poet, who has condescended to use music as a means of reaching a wider audience than poets normally do. Most pop songs are expressions of a single emotion - Cohen tells stories, often in parable or ballad form, utilising a vocabulary so rigorously crafted, so austere and simple, it has the lapidary quality of the Bible (to which they often refer). Its apparent sincerity and plainness masks a remarkable playfulness, not just in the humour working underneath the most solemn of songs, but in the stories' switches in register, which at one moment seem to be about disintegrating relationships, the emptiness of loss, the elusiveness of other people, the intangibility of memory, or the transiecne of sex and desire; and at others seem to be a religious or political allegory about baptism, redemption, freedom or liberation. Statement and metaphor become indistinguishable in Cohen, which is why people spend lifetimes with his records, decoding their mysteries. The music is an unobtrusive background for this largely literary activity.
This was the caricatured conception I always had of Leonard Cohen, perhaps resentful of his always being limped with those other dullards of 60s earnestness, Dylan, Neil Young, The Doors, etc., in the posturing tastes of my teenage peers. But, over the years, it is not Cohen's words, but his haunting, repetitive, melodies that have stayed with me. Listening to these soul-etched songs for the first time in ages, I was surprised at how MUSICAL they were. Most follow the same formula - a repeated acoustic guitar is soon accompanied by strings or female backing vocals - but there are reverberant nuances throughout. The bobbing guitar of 'Suzanne' mimics the river the story is played out against, suggesting both stasis and movement, cradling the songs' heavy symbolic weight. Fairground music and strange tinkles brighten 'Sisters of Mercy'. 'So Long, Marianne' is perhaps the most musically inventive, full of fluid metamorphoses, from country hoe-down to military tattoo to Mediterranean mandolin. 'Bird On A Wire' and 'That's No Way To Say Goodbye' fray with Jew's harp; the latter has weirdly easy-listening, popping 'bap bam bam' backing vocals. The grating restlessness on the guitar in 'The Partisan' captures the song's sense of exile, of being on the run, far from home.
The method can sometimes become mannered, and neither 'Take This Longing' nor 'Who By Fire' count among Cohen's finest moments. 'Famous Blue Raincoat' is the masterpiece where it all comes together - the sparse atmosphere; the anti-dramatic narrative; the ambivalent language in the story-telling; the backing vocals that may or may not be the ghost of a lost love, or maybe echoes of the lost living now haunting the phantom narrator; the clash between a modern setting and a timeless vocabulary; and, especially the circular music, all its components spiralling into nothingness.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry Put to Music 10 Jun 2002
By Kenneth M. Gelwasser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The first time I ever heard the music of Lenard Cohen was in the classic, Robert Altman anti-western, "McCabe & Mrs.Miller". Cohen's solemn songs perfectly matched the dirty, muddy, frontier town featured in the movie. After seeing the film I had to find the amazing music I had heard on the soundtrack.I finally found it in this 'Best of Collection'."The Best of Lenard Cohen" has become what I like to call my favorite mope music. By mope music, I'm talking about when your feeling depressed or your in no way in the mood for cheery, bouncy tunes. A lot of people listen to groups like The Cure or Pink Floyd for something like this. I prefer the quiet singing of Mr. Cohen and his beautiful songs. Whenever I'm in the mood, I will put this disc on and listen to it's many classic tunes such as "Bird on a Wire", "Sisters of Mercy" or "So Long Marianne".My personal favorite song is "Suzanne".The lyrics to these songs are pure poetry. Everytime I hear this CD, I still picture in my mind, Altman's beautiful masterpiece of a film.I love it!This is truely a great collection of songs which will be an important part of any music collection.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Gems 10 Jun 2005
By Pieter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a wonderful collection of Cohen's now legendary early work. Drawn from his classic albums Songs Of Leonard Cohen, Songs From A Room, Songs Of Love And Hate and New Skin For The Old Ceremony, these timeless songs have become part of the serious poetic heritage of the English language.

I have no favourites here because each and every track is sublime, from the wistful Suzanne to the aching Take This Longing. From the album Songs Of Love and Hate I would have chosen Joan Of Arc, though, instead of Last Year's Man and would also have included The Old Revolution and Tonight Will Be Fine from Songs From A Room.

The impact of these timeless songs on popular culture is proved by the many cover versions, of which a few of the best include Rita Coolidge's Bird On A Wire plus The Lilac Time's and the Neville Brothers' version of the same song, Sting & The Chieftains' Sisters Of Mercy, James' cover of So Long Marianne, Geoffrey Oryema, Judy Collins and Nina Simone's very diverse interpretations of Suzanne, and Peter Astor's Take This Longing.

Cohen completists would also be interested in The Essential Collection, but note that album does not include Lady Midnight or Last Year's Man. What I found especially impressive on listening to this album again, were the brilliant arrangements and especially the siren-like quality of the female vocals so perfectly framing Cohen's weary voice. These songs just sound better and better as the decades pass.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars leonard's younger voice--a great place to start 4 Sep 2001
By axel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
For the people in their fifties who wrote and said they can't get people to agree about Cohen---I'm in my fifties, and he tells the truth with an openness, honesty and ache that is almost unbearable to hear. His voice is now much rougher, (who cares?) the word pictures are incredible, the remembered youth and romance is why the songs are there. I like his music because he lets you inside, tells his story without apology and doesn't look away. The feelings are real. By the way, A wonderful and moody Robert Altman film, "McCabe and Mrs. Miller", (Warren Beatty and Julie Christy--pimp and madam) is the place where I first heard several of the songs contained on this album. Austin City Limits presented an hour long Leonard Cohen concert from the late eighties recently. He's in a class by himself, and this album is a good place to start with his poetry and his music.
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