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The Essential Leonard Cohen

The Essential Leonard Cohen

23 Jul 2014

£6.69 (VAT included if applicable)

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Disc 2
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 22 Oct 2002
  • Release Date: 22 Oct 2002
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Columbia
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:35:38
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00M2W0VU8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 647 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Paul Dalheim on 18 May 2006
Format: Audio CD
This album is superb value, two generous discs crammed with very special music. It spans the whole range of Cohen's output (up to "Ten new songs") and you can hear his voice becoming deeper and more melancholy as the tracks go by.

Whilst everyone will have his favourite Cohen track, it must be said that there is not a bad track in the collection. Whilst all are clearly "Cohen", there is within that heading a tremendous range of moods and styles from the driving rhythms of "Democracy" to the more reflective favourite "Suzanne". In the later songs Sharon Robinson (the co-writer) plays a big part, but I find these songs just as good as the "pure" Cohen: in any case one of Cohen's strengths is that he changes in style, but still remains distinctly himself.

As always the lyrics are superb and blend in perfectly with the music: really the two cannot be separated. For me the very ambiguity and different possible interpretations of the words of such songs as "Alexandra leaving" add to their universality and give them an appeal to so many people (and make them suitable for so many moods).

When I purchased this disc I had not listened to Cohen for some time and had forgotten just how much I liked him and just how unique he is. I regard it as one of the best discs in my collection
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Oct 2008
Format: Audio CD
This 3.0 edition with its third disc is a magnificent retrospective. The first two discs draw heavily on Cohen's legendary earlier work like Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs from a Room and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (Disc One, Tracks 1 to 11), and on later albums like Various Positions, I'm Your Man, The Future and Ten New Songs. The live albums are not represented at all, a great pity in the case of Live Songs of which Passing Through and Please Don't Pass Me By are particularly rare & unknown.

No doubt it deserves five stars - particularly since the artist himself made this selection - but I do miss some favorites, like the graceful The Window from Recent Songs (1979), Heart With No Companion from Various Positions (1985), which in my opinion would have been a better choice than Hallelujah (compare John Cale's great cover of this song on the I'm Your Fan tribute album) and Take This Waltz from I'm Your Man (1988).

I completely agree with the choice of tracks from The Future and Ten New Songs, especially the magnificent Alexandra Leaving, now joined by The Rivers Dark on the 3rd disc. Famous Blue Raincoat is joined by Love Calls You By Your Name to represent
...Read more ›
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98 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Edward Barry on 11 Nov 2002
Format: Audio CD
...the it has has to be this one.
Cohen is the man -the only true poet attempting a musical context. More articulate critics than me will always claim Dylan as the laurel wearer but his two and a half hour compilation is the absolute refutation. His work is not 60's, it is not bedsit it has an enduring quality very much akin to the singer's own feted inspiration, Lorca.
The range yet the consistency of the man is incredible (an aspect well articulated in the liner notes). The sparse guitar accompaniment of the first album tracks through the quintessential 80's greed indictment, 'I'm Your Man' to the 21st Century measured resonance of the heart-rending 'Alexandra Leaving'
Neither can I fault the breadth and balance of the compilers choice - who have gone for quality rather than fair sampling (thus rightfully neglecting everything from 'Death of a Ladies Man'). Additionally, all the tracks have been sumptuously remastered, an expression which meant little before this purchase but here means subtle layering of the never-intrusive backing instrumentation and providing Cohen's delivery with an even more cavernous echo. Whilst probably targetting newcomers to Cohen's work , this last fact makes for an enticing package to even the most die-hard completist.
Of the 300+ albums I own, covering a range of genre, this has immediately become the most important. I recommend it unreservedly to anyone who still holds the primacy of lyric in contemporary music in high regard.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Music Man on 4 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
The voice is the first thing you notice. The early poetic renditions on such classics as "Suzanne", "Sisters of Mercy" and "Famous Blue Raincoat" are presented in a voice that is deadpan but not as gruff as in later years. This was at a period when he was a well kept secret and with a style and presentation that not everyone took to. Move onto disc 2 and you notice how the voice deepens and the songs become bigger. One thing that Cohen has never failed to deliver is quality songs with curious stories to tell. He has an almost hymn-like or gospel touch on a lot of his work, usually enhanced by superb backing singers and wondrous musicians and arrangements.

I move between both of his periods with equal ease, but I find the latter stuff more appealing these days. Some people could sing the contents of the telephone directory given the right voice, he is one of them. "Democracy", "Tower of Song", "First we take Manhattan" and "Hallelujah" are stand out tracks but I defy anyone not to get lost in "Closing Time". This is by far my favourite. A fun song, with so many catchy hooks it just pulls you off your seat and invites you to dance with the nearest partner. You can almost smell the smoke and alcoholic fumes as if you are drinking in the bar with him. A tremendous talent......but what great assistance from his backing singers.

This is a great selection of his work. If you are a fan, you'll want it in your collection. If you are just curious, buy it.........it's a great introduction.
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