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Live Songs Live

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Amazon's Leonard Cohen Store


Frequently Bought Together

  • Live Songs
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  • Field Commander Cohen - 1979 Tour
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  • Cohen Live - Leonard Cohen Live In Concert
Total price: £13.97
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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Feb. 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Sony Music Cmg
  • ASIN: B000007VW5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,182 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

CD Description

180 grams audiophile vinyl / 2011 Remastered Edition

About the Artist

When Cohen became known as a musician in his late 30's with his albums 'Songs Of Leonard Cohen' and the sophomore 'Songs From A Room', people were surprised that his music seemed to come out fully formed. Many were familiar with his work as an author and poet, but did not know that he had been a musician for most of his life. For Cohen, making music was another way to bring his poetry to the people. The dark thrall of his songs portray an artist that is ever able to trace the hidden contours of love, lust, sex, religion, politics and history. 'Live Songs' was released in 1973; Cohen's fourth album was a collection of recordings made at a number of concerts in Europe between 1970 and 1973. The collection consists of songs from 1969's 'Songs From A Room', such as 'Bird On A Wire', 'Story of Isaak' and a new version of 'Seems So Long Ago, 'Nancy' (now simply dubbed 'Nancy'), and a number of new songs. The epic climax is unmistakably the 13-minute 'Please Don t Pass Me By (A Disgrace)', in which Cohen describes his personal descent into hell & oblivion. The song tormented Cohen to such a degree that he rarely sang it again. A beautiful collection of songs that shows Cohen in his most raw & vulnerable moments... --This text refers to the Vinyl edition.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Those of us fortunate enought to have seen Leonard Cohen in concert will understand that these are joyous, life-affirming occasions. Mr Cohen is one of those very rare artists who can engage with his audience almost automatically.

These live performances come from 1970 (Isle Of Wight and Albert Hall) and 1972 (various European locations) and there is a noticeable difference in attitude and sound quality between the two dates: 1970 is rowdy, with Cohen fronting a big(sounding) band. 'Tonight Will Be Fine' here gets a very different treatment (and gains two extra verses) from its sombre original on Songs From A Room - and I've often wondered if this trick inspired Dylan to pull a similar stunt with his songbook on his 1974 tour (captured on 'Before The Flood'). 'Please Don't Pass Me By', the other track from that year is parenthesised as 'A Disgrace' - an occasion when Cohen allowed his vulnerability to show before an audience in a way that he felt personally humiliating. It may not be something you'll want to hear that often, but when you're in the mood, it can be suitably cathartic. 'Passin' Through' (not a Cohen song) is a pleasant performance of a thought-provoking lyric. I sing and play this one myself a lot, and I learned it from this recording.

I prefer the 1972 selections: Cohen seems calmer, more professional and his band provide him with a sympathetically muted backing. 'Bird', 'Isaac', 'Nancy' and 'You Know Who I Am' all surpass the studio originals.

Which leaves us with 'Minute Prologue' - a short 'prequel' to the main programme, 'Queen Victoria', an old poem set 'spontaneously' to music in a hotel room and 'Improvisation', a rather pointless digression on the 'You Know Who I Am' riff. Never understood why this was included....
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Live Songs, released in 1973, is a compilation of live performances in London & The Isle of Wight in 1970, and in Berlin, Brussels, London, Paris and a "room in Tennessee" in 1972. The stirring female backing vocals that characterize Cohen's best work are prominent throughout and come from Donna Washburn & Jennifer Warren on the 1972 tracks and from Aileen Fowler & Corlynn Hanney in 1970. The album is one of Cohen's early classics and should be part of every fan's collection.

The brief intro Minute Prologue & the songs Passing Thru, Please Don't Pass Me By & Queen Victoria are rare, if not unique to this album. It would be great if studio versions existed. The prologue expresses something quite meaningful for devoted fans, the yearning Passing Through ("glad that I ran into you") is tuneful and rhythmic, colored by scriptural imagery and a clever pun or two whilst the mystical masterpiece You Know Who I Am gets a delicate & reverential treatment.

Bird On A Wire has a brief spoken introduction in French, something about searching for freedom in the heart of the night, and the lyrics slightly stray from the original in a few places. The centerpiece of the album is the 14-minute long Please Don't Pass Me By (A Disgrace) with its spoken sections and harrowing, almost unbearably painful message. Some very perturbing truths about the human condition are conveyed in this anguished performance. Phew! A more digestible song in the same vein is The Captain on Various Positions.

The sensual track Tonight Will Be Fine is performed up-tempo with appealing fiddle and banjo.
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Format: Audio CD
I am a Cohen fan. This album is by far the most raw and perhaps inaccessible. His voice is very gravelly. The choice of songs is not the usual greatest hits stuff. But it certainly contrasts the slick produced albums.
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Format: Audio CD
From the black and white cover of a slightly menacing Mr Cohen sucking on a cigar, to a range of songs that do not take prisoners-this is a good live album. Released in 1973 I grabbed it thinking it would be a continuation of the polished, accomplished "Songs of Love and Hate". It isn't. It is a brooding set almost a deconstruction of what had gone before. I admit, I lost interest in Mr Cohen after this and only returned to listening to him in the last ten years. This still works. As close as I am likely to get to Mr Cohen live and it does me just well.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Can"t get enough of this guy's music. I'm catching up with a few old live albums I've not got. This is amazing value, and has the track Queen Victoria which I have not found anywhere else. All thoroughly enjoyable.
As usual packing and delivery was excellent.
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Firstly, if i had to choose between this and 'Live in Concept', id choose the former. The sound quality is what you would expect from a sparse and intimate recording. The song selection is better than '...in Concert', with a lot more earlier material from his 'bedroom' days. If i had to invisage a perfect rainy Sunday morning come-down record, then this would be it. Their are no 'hits' as such, just a moving, intimate rendevous with the gravel-voiced master of apathetic introspection. What comes after, meaning the 80s material which is so in-vogue with younger listeners - thanks, Watchmen - is a pale shadow of his former days, when he could sigh his way into your heart. Like a broken Frank Sinatra, and much more fine French-Canadian songmanship. Tom Waits spent his whole career trying to mimic what Mr. Cohen had put before. Not that i rate Mr. Tom Waits any less for it, but sometimes everybody wishes they were living in a Leonard Cohen afterword, and thats enough popular references that id like to divulge. Sometimes, its better to start the musical experience from year dot, and find out what works best, and cuts closest, for your little ol' selves. Oh yes, and this record is the perfect complement to Songs from a Room. They both came of the same 'glass is half empty', embryo, so to speak. When you start sounding like Curtis Stiger, thats a kind of personal, waking suicide. You know what they used to say, about misery loving company. Nothing is better than two depressive, bar-soaks, comparing anecdotes. Schmooze... R.
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