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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece enhanced
Cohen's timeless debut has been enhanced by the addition of 2 extra tracks. The lilting poetry of Suzanne lures the listener into his world of romantic despair while introducing the essence of his sound: a deep monotone framed by sublime female backing vocals over simple but engaging melodies.

Master Song, Winter Lady and Stranger Song reinforce the desolate...
Published on 13 Jun 2007 by Pieter Uys

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Downbeat stuff from a legend - my wife loves it
I'm not a great Cohen fan - prefer upbeat and happier music. However I know my wife loves him, so bought this as a surprise gift. It was very well received and she cooked me a great supper. So a win-win result. Actually I have to admit that the songs are well structured and do have much charm. Just not to be played if you are feeling down and don't want to be cheered up!
Published 21 days ago by Mr. R. J. Wyndham


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece enhanced, 13 Jun 2007
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Songs Of Leonard Cohen (Audio CD)
Cohen's timeless debut has been enhanced by the addition of 2 extra tracks. The lilting poetry of Suzanne lures the listener into his world of romantic despair while introducing the essence of his sound: a deep monotone framed by sublime female backing vocals over simple but engaging melodies.

Master Song, Winter Lady and Stranger Song reinforce the desolate landscape although the melodies are less immediate. Cohen's genius shines brightly on the immortal Sisters Of Mercy, a strange mixture of the spiritual and the sensual that must be one of the most beautiful musical poems in the English language.

This delicate gem is followed by the powerful and evocative So Long Marianne and the understated Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye, both masterpieces of words, melody and arrangement - the female vocals on Goodbye is especially impressive.

Stories of the Street appears as a poem in one of Cohen's 1960s poetry books: Selected Poems 1956-1968 and deals with a visit to Havana during of just after the revolution. Interesting fact: The line "some girls wander by mistake" from Teachers was later used as an album title by the goth band Sisters Of Mercy: Some Girls Wander By Mistake

One Us Cannot Be Wrong addresses the beloved in a series of strange images before moving on to melodic whistling and ending with bitter shouted la la lahs. For those interested in other artists' take on Cohen: Suzanne has been beautifully covered by inter alia Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen: Democracy and Geoffrey Oryema: I'm Your Fan, while Sting and the Chieftains' celtic version of Sisters Of Mercy is available on the Tower of Song: The Songs of Leonard Cohen tribute album.

On the I'm Your Fan tribute there are interesting interpretations of Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye by Ian McCulloch, Stories Of The Street by That Petrol Emotion and So Long Marianne by James.

This reissue booklet includes liner notes by Anthony DeCurtis, three black & white photographs of LC and two full-color paintings by the artist. Both extra tracks were originally produced by John Hammond and for reissue by Bruce Dickinson. The second, Blessed Is The Memory, is the more immediately appealing with its lovely organ flourishes.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Album, 15 Sep 2007
By 
pikeyboy (carmarthen, uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Songs Of Leonard Cohen (Audio CD)
This, without a crumb of doubt, is my favourite album of all time. I know every word, every note on the guitar, I could recite it all backwards if you asked me to. I first was made aware of its existence one late, drunken night watching 'McCabe And Mrs. Miller' on the box, in the days before video, Channel 4, all of it, and the moment I heard 'The Stranger Song' I felt like I had opened the Book Of Revelation. That next day being saturday, I was on the train to Penny Lane in Chester to find that soundtrack. I stopped off at my girlfriends on the way home and sat on my own listening to the opening chords of 'Suzanne' and I was blown away, and to this day I remain blown by all of it - every album, every lyric, the novels, the poems - the man is just phenomenal. I had always loved Bob Dylan, from the age of about 13, but not even Bob engages me on the deep emotional level that Cohen does. The only other artist I know who does is Gram Parsons. Van Morrison, Marvin Gaye, Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Richard Hawley, Hank Williams Snr., Brian Wilson, Arthur Lee, Kevin Rowland, Fred Neil, Shane MacGowan, Christy Moore: there are lots who've come extremely close, but there's such a depth of humanity to both Cohen and Parsons, I find it hard to talk about their music, and what I love about them, without touching upon the things it reveals about my own deepest feelings. That said, just go and buy this album and delight in its infinite joys. It is like a book of the heart opened up for inspection, and the tunes are all lovely and timeless. It may not even be the best Cohen album at the end of the day, and it may not be the greatest album of all time: I'm not making that claim. What I am saying is: this is my favourite album of all time. If I can be buried with only one, make it this....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's Not Depressing!, 12 Feb 2011
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Songs Of Leonard Cohen (Audio CD)
This was Leonard Cohen's debut album, and if, as the blurb on the CD says, his career had ended with this, his stature as one of the most gifted songwriters of our time would still be secure. Something I would wholeheartedly agree with! Thankfully his career prospered, and the old boy is still strutting his stuff today. This album defies time, and has not dated a bit. Like Bob Dylan, Cohen was way ahead of his time. A published poet for ten years before he made it with this album, he brings all his unique talents to bear in this collection of songs. I first heard some of the songs in the Robert Altman movie "McCabe and Mrs Miller", and was bowled over. So much so that I had to buy this album which includes them. Cohen's style is utterly unique. He combines his poetic talents to merge with his beautifully nuanced and sung ballads. They have this haunting beauty that is hard to describe in words. To understand what I mean you really have to listen to him, if you are one of the few who has not already done so.

When I have spoken to friends recently about Cohen, I keep hearing that he is too depressing. Rubbish, they can't have been listening to the same bloke, who I actually find to be inspiring. Every track on this album carries the man's own brilliant hallmark. The album was incredibly first issued in 1967, which is hard to believe. I found it late and was astonished to find it was that from that era as it sounded so fresh. I still have a lot of catching up to do with Cohen, and I look forward to the experience! I am not too sure about the chained naked lady, with a serene look on her face in the middle of a raging inferno, shown on the back of the disc, but then of course Cohen is an artist entitled to more Bohemian tastes!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs Of Leonard Cohen: Leonard Cohen - Master song-writer tells stories of the street, 29 Sep 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Songs Of Leonard Cohen (Audio CD)
This is a truly great debut from the man who has become the Master of the singer/songwriter genre, Leonard Cohen.

Recorded in 1967, when the man was already in his early thirties, there is a maturity to the themes explored that, when combined with the sincere and sparse delivery, gives the record an emotional intelligence and intensity that other similar artists (Dylan, Paul Simon) could not hope to match.

From the sublime opening bars of `Suzanne' through to the closing of `One of Us Cannot Be Wrong', Cohen quietly and without any egotistical flourishes draws us along with his tales of love, loss, life and pain. The songs are literate, lyrical. Beautifully crafted tales backed with simple melodies. The album is just a pure joy to listen to.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Record !, 18 Nov 2011
By 
Dr. Tom Bell "Tom Bell" (Devon UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Songs Of Leonard Cohen (Audio CD)
I was a 15 year old in a boarding school. It wasnt 'the best of times'. Into this right into the middle of my 'O' levels came a record called "The Rock Machine Turns You On". This was a brilliant Island Record Sampler. On it was Bob Dylan, Tim Rose, Tim Hardin, Taj Mahal ... and I think "Sisters of mercy" by Leonard Cohen. I bought his eponymous 1st LP unheard and fell in love with it at FIRST listening. Far frombeing depressing I found it beautiful, moving and every track is excellent in its own way. It was an era when each great new artist was unique and special. To me Leonard Cohen brought a quiet beauty. A deep melancholic voice and a wonderful simple guitar backing to his songs. Suzanne is well known and one of the great songs of all time, but all the others are excellent.But " So long Marianne" about his scandinavian girlfriend, Sister of Mercy, Hey thats no way to say goodbye are stand out songs. I have to say LC is someone you either love or hate ... so the only thing to do is listen and make up your own mind up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful debut album, 14 April 2010
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This is the legendary debut. The lilting poetry of Suzanne lures the listener into Cohen's world of spiritual and romantic yearning while introducing the essence of his sound: a deep monotone framed by sublime female backing vocals over simple but engaging melodies.

Master Song, Winter Lady and Stranger Song reinforce the desolate landscape although the melodies are less immediate. Cohen's genius shines brightly on the immortal Sisters Of Mercy, a strange mixture of the devotional and the sensual that must be one of the most beautiful musical poems in the English language.

This delicate gem is followed by the powerful and evocative So Long Marianne and the understated Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye, both masterpieces of words, melody and arrangement - the female vocals on Goodbye are especially impressive.

Stories of the Street appears as a poem in one of Cohen's 1960s poetry books: Selected Poems 1956-1968 and deals with a visit to Havana during or just after the revolution. Interesting fact: The line "some girls wander by mistake" from Teachers was later used as an album title by the goth band Sisters Of Mercy: Some Girls Wander By Mistake

One Us Cannot Be Wrong addresses the beloved in a series of strange images before moving on to melodic whistling and ending with bitter shouted la la lahs. For those interested in other artists' take on Cohen: Suzanne has been beautifully covered by inter alia Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen: Democracy and Geoffrey Oryema: I'm Your Fan, while Sting and the Chieftains' celtic version of Sisters Of Mercy is available on the Tower of Song: The Songs of Leonard Cohen tribute album.

On the I'm Your Fan tribute there are interesting interpretations of Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye by Ian McCulloch, Stories Of The Street by That Petrol Emotion and So Long Marianne by James. Stirring live versions of Sisters Of Mercy, So Long Marianne & Suzanne appear on the Live In London CD & DVD of 2008.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Classic, 17 Dec 2008
This review is from: Songs Of Leonard Cohen (Audio CD)
I first heard this album as a teenager, impressionable and open-minded. There is no doubt that Leonard Cohen is a poet with extraordinary depth and passion. The songs never seem to get old as I listen to them 30 years later and I am amazed how they still sound so fresh, I suppose that's the genius that Leonard Cohen. Don't drink a bottle of vodka and leave razor blades around the house though; it's not a happy Mondays album!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs Of Leonard Cohen(2007 reissue): Leonard Cohen - Master song-writer tells stories of the street, 29 Sep 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Songs Of Leonard Cohen (Audio CD)
This is a truly great debut from the man who has become the Master of the singer/songwriter genre, Leonard Cohen.

Recorded in 1967, when the man was already in his early thirties, there is a maturity to the themes explored that, when combined with the sincere and sparse delivery, gives the record an emotional intelligence and intensity that other similar artists (Dylan, Paul Simon) could not hope to match.

From the sublime opening bars of `Suzanne' through to the closing of `One of Us Cannot Be Wrong', Cohen quietly and without any egotistical flourishes draws us along with his tales of love, loss, life and pain. The songs are literate, lyrical. Beautifully crafted tales backed with simple melodies. The album is just a pure joy to listen to.

This 2007 reissue has a well mixed sound which is much sharper and clearer than my old cd copy (though lacking in some of the atmosphere I get from my original vinyl copy, but that's always the way with CD). There are two bonus tracks, recorded early in the genesis of the album, which are interesting as they show how the recorded sound of Cohen evolved even as he was recording. In all, five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 22 Oct 2006
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Songs of Leonard Cohen (Audio CD)
The lilting poetry of Suzanne lures the listener into Leonard Cohen's world of romantic despair while introducing the essence of his sound: a deep monotone voice framed by sublime female backing vocals over simple but engaging melodies.

Master Song, Winter Lady and Stranger Song reinforce the desolate landscape although the melodies are less immediate. Cohen's genius shines brightly on the immortal Sisters Of Mercy, a strange mixture of the spiritual and the sensual that must be one of the most beautiful song-poems in the English language.

This delicate gem is followed by the poignant and evocative So Long Marianne and the understated Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye, both masterpieces of words, melody and arrangement - the female vocals on Goodbye is especially impressive. The music sounds as if it is divinely inspired.

I also recommend Democracy: Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen, to enjoy her beautiful interpretations of Suzanne, Sisters Of Mercy and Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye. She was the first to cover his songs. Famous Blue Raincoat by Jennifer Warnes is another sublime tribute album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first masterpiece, 21 Nov 2004
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Songs of Leonard Cohen (Audio CD)
This 1968 album was Cohen's debut and remains one of his finest. The lilting poetry of Suzanne lures the listener into a world of romantic despair while introducing the essence of his sound: a deep monotone voice framed by sublime female backing vocals over simple but engaging melodies. Master Song, Winter Lady and Stranger Song reinforce the desolate landscape although the melodies are less immediate. Cohen's genius shines brightly on the immortal Sisters Of Mercy, a strange mixture of the spiritual and the sensual that must be one of the most beautiful song-poems in the English language. This delicate gem is followed by the poignant and evocative So Long Marianne and the understated Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye, both masterpieces of words, melody and arrangement - the female vocals on Goodbye is especially impressive. The timeless appeal of these compositions is proven by the countless cover versions down the years.
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