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Various Positions [CD]

Leonard Cohen Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: 4.28 & 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

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Frequently Bought Together

Various Positions + I'm Your Man + The Future
Price For All Three: 14.25

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  • I'm Your Man 4.99
  • The Future 4.98

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Nov 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Music Cmg
  • ASIN: B000025K9Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,644 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dance Me To The End Of Love
2. Coming Back To You
3. The Law
4. Night Comes On
5. Hallelujah
6. The Captain
7. Hunter's Lullaby
8. Heart With No Companion
9. If It Be Your Will

Product Description

Various Positions was Leonard Cohen's first album of the 1980s, yet was in keeping with the rest of his albums in two important respects: one, it sounded absolutely nothing like anything else anyone else was doing; two, it was a compelling reason for anyone else dealing in songs of love and its loss to wonder why they were bothering. As a lyricist, Cohen has few, if any, peers--he has never been the relentless doom-monger of popular myth, but a wise, warm and frequently very funny chronicler of heartbreak. Cohen, like very few others, has always appreciated that love is at least as much comedy as tragedy. Various Positions contains some of Cohen's best--"Dance Me To The End Of Love", "Coming Back To You" and a shortened, accusatory version of "Hallelujah", later covered to such majestic effect by Jeff Buckley. It also contains the bizarre country epic "The Captain", in which Cohen plays the part of a young officer being handed command of his unit by his dying superior. All are sung in Cohen's trademark husky drone and all are the work of a writer who, here as always, uses language like Vincent used paint. --Andrew Mueller

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This 1984 album, the last of Cohen's folk masterpieces and one subtly spiced with country, never grows stale due to the intricacy of its arrangements - vocal & instrumental - while perennially revealing deeper layers of metaphysical & symbolic significance. Or as one ages one understands better! Particularly sublime is the interaction of male & female vocals calibrated to bring out the best in both. The devotion and the vocals of Anjani Thomas and Jennifer Warnes make a major contribution to the music's enduring beauty.

Cohen's gift of melody & rhythm finds buoyant expression in Dance Me to the End Of Love which may sound catchy and even frisky like a simple pop tune but if one pays attention multiple meanings & possibilities emerge. In contrast, Coming Back to You unfolds slowly and solemnly through a graceful melody wed to imagery that navigates delicately between romantic & divine love. The two tracks The Law and The Night Comes On evoke something of John Berryman's poetic sensibility ... The Moon and the Night and the Men, The Song of the Tortured Girl and above all, Sonnet number 34.

The Night Comes On may be the absolute highlight of this album, a rare gem ranking amongst the greatest of Cohen's songs. Like assembling a pearl necklace, it strings striking images of the domestic & personal, the universal, the spiritual, historical and prophetic on a thread of longing. As the song unfolds, the symbolism unleashes an almost supernatural power that stirs the psyche hinting at or conjuring vague specters of ancient memories.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen at his best 8 Feb 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of my favourite Cohen CDs, as it has no tracks I tend to skip past. As usual it is Cohen's strong lyrics (more poetry really) and the quality of his voice that holds the simple backing tunes together. Being exposed to country music as a child by my father I particularly like, well love actually, 'The Captain' (he even gently mocks the format in the lyrics) but there other strong songs in there as well you may prefer, like 'The Law' or 'The night comes in' or 'Hallelujah' [yes, the fantastic song from Shrek written by LC & sung by Neil Diamond]. However I do find the superb track 'The night comes in' rather sad and uncomfortable listening [even more than 'The story of Isaac' on Songs from a room] - although music that's powerful enough to move you certainly can't be considered a bad thing. Cohen's words are often interestingly cryptic, moving and deeply reflective, rather than being outrightly political or 'protest'. If you are new to Leonard Cohen I'd also get the later 'I'm your man', plus perhaps 'The Future' and 'Songs from a room'. The recording quality of all these re-released Cohen CD's is very good, and this one is no exception. They are also great value when offered for under a fiver.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lennie meets the ugly eighties.... 22 July 2009
Format:Audio CD
With one notable exception, the major music figures of the sixties and seventies failed to adjust to the heritage-baiting musical climate of the eighties: Dylan, Mitchell, Clapton, McCartney et al all came a cropper during that decade and finished it with their artistic reputations in tatters. Bizarrely, the one to buck the trend was Leonard Cohen (we'll argue later over whether Mr. C has ever been a 'major music figure', shall we?), who seemed to find himself right at home in the world of programmed synthsizers and drum machines. This, his first album of the decade, is almost a sonic manifesto: out with the old and wooden, in with the shiny and metallic.

Sounds awful....yet, Various Positions is a triumph: song for song, this is probably Leonard's best record. There is not one weak track on here and three of the peaks of his recording career are included: Dance Me To The End Of Love, Night Comes On and the (now) all-conquering Hallelujah. But those are only the well-known ones: we also get the affecting ballad Coming Back To You, the chilling The Law, the mournful Hunter's Lullaby, the jaunty-with-a-twist C&W ballad The Captain and the powerful 'modern hymn If It Be Your Will. Heart With No Companion, a fine song, doesn't quite get the treatment it deserves on here....the version currently being performed by Leonard and his excellent touring band reveal it for the great song it always has been.

I shall always treasure this album for personal reasons, as it was the second LC album I bought, after the debut. It crept out almost unnoticed (and wasn't even released in the USA, so low was Leonard's stock over there), but I knew it was a masterpiece from the first hearing. Hopefully, you'll agree with me.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Other Side Of Sorrow And Despair 9 Sep 2007
Format:Audio CD
Cohen made three classic albums with John Lissaeur at the helm: 1974's New Skin For The Old Ceremony, 1979's Recent Songs, but at the apex of these achievements stands 1984's Various Positions, in that it paved the way for a new audience to discover Leonard Cohen afresh. This wasn't done by just adding the odd synthesised drone here and there, for there is the same continuity of themes and musical genres threaded consistently through the works (compare New Skin's 'Why Don't You Try?' or 'I Tried To Leave You' alongside Recent Songs' 'Came So Far For Beauty' or 'The Smokey Life', i.e., and you'll find they sit naturally next to tracks like 'Hallelujah' or 'Coming Back To You', whereas 'Night Comes On' and 'If It Be Your Will' would not have sounded out of place on Songs From A Room). What appears so much different about Various Positions is more to do with Cohen as an artist: he sounds rejuvenated and almost ready to make that protean leap towards making that one true classic that would positively redefine him for generations to come. I refer, of course, to I'm Your Man. I was recently tickled to read of a conversation around this time between Leonard and Bob Dylan, where Leonard asked Bob how long it took him to write 'I And I' from the album Infidels. "About ten minutes," was the forthright reply Bob gave. "How long did it take you to write 'Hallelujah'?" "Three or four years," deadpanned Cohen, later explaining: "it really took about five years, but I didn't want to look like I was dragging my heels or anything." The point being: you can appreciate the precision and care that Cohen took in recording certain tracks on Various Positions. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Laughing Len
all the way to the bank for one song alone (you guess), last of the great releases until old idea's appeared to rekindle a great career
Published 6 months ago by Richard Clark
1.0 out of 5 stars CD
Only purchased so I could hear what a friend raved about. Certainly chills you out so boring sleep is a welcome diversion
Published 6 months ago by K Vasey
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Cohen
Leonard Cohen back on form with this album, can only agree with previous reviewer's positive comments, one of his best. Read more
Published 10 months ago by D. J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I had this on a cassette tape which stretched - I can now annoy my teenage children anew with 'my music'
Published 15 months ago by Andree Brougham
5.0 out of 5 stars His best ever collection?
The best LCCD I've ever owned. Why was I putting up with a scratchy old audio-cassette when the CD was so reasonably priced?
Published 20 months ago by MRS NANCY GOODWIN
5.0 out of 5 stars Dance Me To The End Of Love'
In this album Leonard Cohen displays the full range of his genius.

It begins with the richly melodic `Dance Me To The End Of Love', with it's distinct... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Gary Selikow
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great album
This is really vintage Cohen. Every track on the album is a classic, and it contains songs such as Halleluia. It is a worthwhile addition to my collection
Published on 15 May 2012 by AndyM
5.0 out of 5 stars Variuos positions review
Leonard Cohen's best record yet, superb words and pure simple accompaniments. He is regarding death with his usual wry humour, as well as the problems of being old whist having a... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2012 by Mr. Jonathan Bayley
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the world
This 1984 album, Cohen`s seventh studio recording, following the wonderful Recent Songs five years earlier and preceding the unexpected I`m Your Man almost four years later, has... Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2012 by GlynLuke
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia!
Again,replacing LP's but I won't be parting with my collection! Although I'm happy with the CD, the tone is not as good as "Songs of Leonard Cohen" Small price to pay.
Published on 19 Oct 2011 by Jeannette, Tyne&Wear
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