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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

on 5 July 2017
I've yet to hear a bad cd from Leonard Cohen and this is fantastic.
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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 a simple but engaging melody. 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 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.
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on 8 October 2001
Leonard Cohen's first album is his best. Although I have heard all his albums and enjoyed them to varying degrees, "The Songs Of..." is the one I always come back to.
It's a brave album in that he lays his emotions bare in a way that no-one had previously. None of the bluster of Edith Piaf, none of the schmaltz of Sinatra, none of the goofiness of Dylan. The delivery is sad but very romantic and his love of and lust for women is so naked it's at times embarassing.
The classical guitar playing, although without the panache of Reinhardt, has tremendous energy and drive and I have never heard a style like Leonard's. The voice. What more can I say? Rich like the darkest treacle, his voice insistently begs for your attention. You know great sadness has been there but also great joy. Beautiful but transient women have been lovers.
The songs speak for themselves. "Suzanne" is simply a classic, "Sisters Of Mercy" is the most bittersweet symphony there has ever been, "Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye" is top 10 pop in a melancholy 1968 way.
Have I said enough? Probably more than enough. Buy it and love it.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 January 2007
This 1969 publication opens with an article on Cohen by William Kloman from a 1968 New York Times. It is part biography and part interview with quotes from his novel Beautiful Losers and the song Stories Of The Street. This insightful essay reveals profound wisdom in the artist's view of the world of that time, the late 1960s. This is followed by black and white photographs of his life in Greece, and in the next chaper, his life in America. The first contains pics of Marianne, Axel, their house on the island Hydra and scenes of socializing in Greek cafes. The next one has pics of, amongst others, John Hammond and Judy Collins. In addition, the page preceding the Contents has a lovely pic of The Buckskin Boys, the artist's first group from his teenage years.

There is a legend explaining the musical notation: the guitar accompaniment for the compositions is illustrated in easily readable tablature. All the lyrics are provided. The songs are: A Bunch Of Lonesome Heroes, Bird On The Wire, The Butcher, Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye, Lady Midnight, Master Song, The Old Revolution, One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong, Priests, Seems So Long Ago Nancy, Sisters Of Mercy, So Long Marianne, Stories Of The Street, The Story of Isaac, The Stranger Song, Suzanne, Teachers, Tonight Will Be Fine, Winter Lady and You Know Who I Am.

The black and white photograps are by John Berg, David Gahr, Julie Snow, Roz Kelly, Michael A Vaccaro and James Wigler. The combination of photographs, article and these timeless songs from the early days provides a nostalgic look at the legendary singer, songwriter and author. All devoted fans will appreciate it as a unique historical document of a master artist at the outset of his long career.
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on 31 August 2001
The early works of Leonard Cohen are unique in their appeal, and this debut album is my favourite. People who dismiss this record as depressing and miserable are not hearing what I hear, a peerless collection of songs and poems combined with superb arrangements. While Cohen's lyrics are quite rightly celebrated, what many overlook is his skillful guitar work, which is evident on every track. Classic after classic, one after another, the tracklisting speaks for itself... lesser known titles such as Master Song and Winter Lady are as good as, if not better than, the usual suspects here such as Suzanne and ...Marianne. Cohen's certainly an acquired taste, though I can't understand why! One of the best albums ever made, great songs and playing combined with subtle, haunting arrangements. Excellent!
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on 29 September 2000
One of the charges levelled against Leonard Cohen is that he is depressing. If one listens to the lyrics, it swiftly becomes apparent that these allegations are actually are groundless. Haunting, lyrically beautiful, mesmerising and poetic are all applicable to this quite brilliant album. The songs themselves drip sensuality and hint at the erotic, which very much concerned the young Leonard Cohen. The songs themselves range from tongue in cheek (though whose tongue in whose cheek, I'm not sure) Sisters of Mercy to the breathe-catching One of Us Cannot Be Wrong. The words are sublime; the music (all played on an gut-string guitar) possesses (as the Amazon reviewer feels) a narcotic, smoky carelessness, which belies the poetry within. Take your time. Have a listen. Take a look at the world through the blissful haze of this music.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 September 2011
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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VINE VOICEon 17 July 2002
Leonard Cohen is unique in that his first album was his best, his second was his second-best ... and so on into current well-earned obscurity. The Suicide King has a deep bass voice and an obsession with minor harmonies, but his songs are actually life-affirming, as others have noticed. "I loved you in the morning, your kisses deep and warm, your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm". He is a brilliant wordsmith, more arty than Dylan. All these songs get under your skin, perhaps "The master song" being the most obsessive of all time. Certainly one of the great folk/rock albums.
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on 3 November 2014
nothing special - cannot remember the Leonard Cohen song I wanted to hear - I have other Leonard Cohen CD's but I had never heard this particular song before - hoped it would be here.
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on 26 November 2016
Arrived next day very early
Good quality well packed
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