- Audio CD (11 Feb. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
- Label: Import
- ASIN: B000NOKA1C
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,473 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Songs From A Room Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
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Leonard Cohen's second album arrived in 1969, fully loaded with poetic classics. This expanded edition contains a pair of previously unreleased cuts, produced by the legendary John Hammond. Contains Bird on the Wire; Story of Isaac; A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes, and 7 more.
Top Customer Reviews
All of which has the effect of making this a more cohesive album, the product of a consistent production philospophy. Dylan producer Bob Johnston does for Cohen just what he did for his previous boss: records the voice perfectly, so that Cohen is 'centre-stage' and never obscured by the backing musicians (who - disappointingly - aren't credited).
As to the songs - well, a lot of them are Cohen standards: 'Bird On The Wire' needs no introduction; 'Story of Isaac' is a subtle Vietname commentary (though it applies equally well to any armed conflict); 'Seems So Long Ago, Nancy' is a harrowing personal tale and 'Tonight Will Be Fine' encapsulates Lennie's approach to life and loving into three and half minutes of perfect folk-pop! There's also a beautiful version of the Resistance anthem 'The Partisan', which most people now know through Cohen's version (in which the female choir makes its one, very telling, appearance). Those are the standout tracks....but I don't think anything else on the album quite reaches those heights, enjoyable as songs like 'The Old Revolution' and 'You Know Who I Am'are - hence the four stars, as opposed to five. In all honesty, I probably enjoy 'Songs Of...' and 'Songs Of Love And Hate' more, even though they are less cohesive albums in terms of production and style.Read more ›
The most popular number here is Bird On A Wire that has been covered by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Judy Collins, Rita Coolidge, Tim Hardin, The Neville Brothers and Jennifer Warnes.
For some reason, the opening lines of Bunch Of Lonesome Heroes make me think of Frodo's journey to Mordor in Lord Of The Rings: "A bunch of lonesome and very quarrelsome heroes/Were smoking out upon the open road." Other highlights include The Story Of Isaac and The Old Revolution, in both of which Cohen's characteristic Biblical imagery surfaces, and the somber Lady Midnight with its many layers of meaning.
Seems So Long Ago is a wistful confessional dirge whilst You Know Who I Am is a delicate love poem with esoteric undertones: "I am the one who loves changing from nothing to one". The mood lightens up on the former closing track Tonight Will Be Fine with its catchy melody, driving rhythm and erotic lyric, although even here the sadness is just a sigh away.
This reissue booklet includes liner notes by Anthony DeCurtis, one full-color and four black & white photographs plus a full-color painting of a chair. Both extra tracks were originally produced by David Crosby and for reissue by Bruce Dickinson. The first, Like A Bird, is an earlier version of Bird On The Wire. This version is less flowing, more halting than the familiar one. Nothing To One is the earlier version of You Know Who I Am.
Cohen's sublime music has a transcendent, spiritual quality. These haunting songs "from a room" have lost none of their poetic impact after 4 decades; their grace, elegance and beauty shine on.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Item was delivered very quickly. It was well priced and I consider it to be good value and I recommend seller.Published on 27 Sept. 2013 by Robert Coley
This album is wonderful. It is so good to be able to listen to it again after 40 years! The passage of time has not aged it and there is nothing else quite like it.Published on 1 Oct. 2010 by J. Eady