Shop now Shop now Shop now Up to 70% off Fashion Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Amazon Fire TV Amazon Pantry Food & Drink Beauty Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

157 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Monkey and The Plywood Violin, 31 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Live In London (Audio CD)
Last year I saw this tour twice. The first time in the intimate surroundings of the Manchester Opera House. I'd gone half expecting to see an old man go through the motions (I guessed I'd never get the chance again especially as he has not toured for the best part of 15 years). I wrote a review elsewhere (which follows) of the concert which turned out to be the best gig I've ever attended.

As for the CD. It is a joy. The band are absolutely superb and Cohen's voice 'pours down like honey'. Whilst the sound at the concerts set new standards for live gigs so does the CD for live audio quality. It is brilliantly recorded.

In an age of reality tv stars, cynical reunion tours and ringtone music give yourself a treat, get this CD and listen to a truly great songwriter, a very humble man accompanied by one of the finest bands going. You wont be disappointed. My only personal disappointment is that the setlist does not include 'The Patriot' and 'Chelsea Hotel' which have also been performed on the tour (although there was a legal mp3 of these streamed from the NYC Beacon Theatre Show).

Leonard who? younger friends are probably going to ask.

Cohen was 32 and an established Canadian poet and novelist in the 1960's before taking up song writing. Often described in terms such as "the poet laureate of pessimism", "the grocer of despair", "the godfather of gloom" and "the prince of bummers" his albums were once staple fare of lovelorn students in bedsit land.

Suzanne is one of those songs that sent shivers down my spine when I first heard it as a teenager and it still does now. He once called it "journalism", as the details were drawn from life in Montreal. Suzanne was a friend, Suzanne Verdal, who really did serve him tea and oranges in her loft by the river. Cohen wrote the line "I touched your perfect body with my mind" because she was married to a friend of his. Suzanne is apparently still alive and living in an old camper van in California somewhere.

His return to touring after 15 years or so was brought about because he had apparently been swindled of all his money by his manager whilst he was living in seclusion in a Buddhist monastery.

Cohen came on stage not far of his 74th birthday (in fact we share the same birthday but he is a tad older!) and put on one of the best concerts I've ever seen (and I've seen a few). Seeing him in such a small theatre was perfection.

Surrounded by probably the best musicians I've ever seen assembled on stage in one place he made the rest of the world seem so very average. A special mention must go to the playing of Javier Mas; sublime.

What was particularly striking was how Cohen's voice, never as "golden" as he ironically observed on Tower Of Song, has matured into an instrument that's wholly appropriate for these songs.

The set boasted such songs as The Future, Suzanne, Anthem, So Long Marianne and Hallejulah. And whilst those of you of younger years may know the Jeff Buckley or even Rufus Wainright versions of the later; Cohen wrenched his own song back from the young pretenders. I don't mind admitting that I was close to crying when he delivered a spoken-word version of A Thousand Kisses Deep and the version of If It Be Your Will, sung by two of his backing vocalists the Webb sisters. It was simply an astonishing night.

Even more astonishing was the fact that despite everything the man was so humble; he genuinely looked surprised that people were on their feet before he had sung a note. He thanked us profusely for keeping his music alive after playing a set that lasted over 3 hours with a short interval. Now I've seen Springsteen do that but at a time when many 'stars' can only just give over an hour or so of indifference this was nothing short of amazing from a septuagenarian performing his fourth concert in 4 nights.

So if you've never heard of Cohen take a listen sometime, and if you've dismissed it as music to slit your wrists to give it another listen because really it is truly uplifting, almost spiritual and on Friday's evidence sung by an all time great.

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Apr 2009 00:30:39 BDT
I still get emotional thinking about "1000 kisses deep" have to say as a song I have listened to and thought nice song, but spoken in his wonderful voice, it still makes me think "wow"...I love "chelsea hotel" and like you a bit dissapointed that he did not sing it, the words are wonderful, and as we all know was writen about "Janis Joplin"..

Posted on 13 Jul 2009 19:01:10 BDT
London says:
This review is absolutely, absolutely, spot on - it was the best concert I have ever attended (and I have also attended quite a few, including two previous UK tours by Cohen) - quite the best I have seen.

Posted on 28 Jul 2009 21:24:10 BDT
Johnny says:
A lovely review of what must have been an outstanding performance in 2008. Almost a year to the day later I saw him in Dublin and, playing his 4th and final night in the 02 arena - capacity around 14000 I think. He was every bit as superb as this reviewer so eloquently states. The best live music event I have ever been to.

Posted on 10 Oct 2009 14:57:58 BDT
A really excellent review which says all the things I would have said if I'd have got there first.
Everybody knows ! !

Posted on 21 Dec 2010 11:45:05 GMT
m j bailey says:
A superb review, created by a fan with a real love of the man and his music. Thanks

Posted on 18 Sep 2013 08:55:07 BDT
Wilkinson65 says:
What a fabulous review. Thanks. I went to see Leonard Cohen at the O2 London on Sunday (15th September 2013) and your review would still hold true although the man is now a few days short of 79. He's one of the few stars who seems to love his audience as much as his audience loves him. Let's hope he goes on for a few more years.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2014 08:44:05 GMT
D. A. Mellor says:
I saw Leonard at the' Phones for you' arena in 2013, it was the VERY BEST CONCERT ever, I cried twice at the wonderful man, his choice of songs his rapport with the audience, he could have been a 30 yr old, not an elegant and amazing 79. I have been to hundreds of concerts and a hell of a lot of festivals in my time, but this surpassed them all by a country mile.
Mad to see him again I then went to the O2 London concert, but although it was brilliant, just could not compare to Manchester, Leonard sang on and on, but in London we had to leave early because the management virtually stopped the show. Shame on them I may never get to see the Master again. xxxx Love to all Leonard fans wherever you may be.

Posted on 12 Dec 2014 21:08:25 GMT
Saiph says:
Great review.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2015 15:18:50 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 21 Mar 2015 15:19:02 GMT]
‹ Previous 1 Next ›