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Who remembers Leonard Cohen?

Leonard CohenHis music is from the ’60’s and early ’70’s, and he definitely looks his age. But those who do remember this folk music icon of a bygone era, and have the NS 400 -600 needed to buy a ticket will be present in Ramat Gan Stadium on September 24, when Leonard Cohen saunters out on the stage and begins to sing the folk ballads that for a while made him almost as well known as another Jewish folk legend, Bob Dillon.

Cohen isn’t afraid to let the world know of his religious and cultural background, and has refused to sing at a concert for Palestinians in Ramallah for the simple reason that they had demanded he cancel his Israel gig. This fact, however, has not stopped Cohen from promising that all the proceeds from his concert will go towards Israeli and Palestinian organizations that are working towards reconciliation between the two peoples. In fact, he calls his September concert “A concert for reconciliation, tolerance and peace”.

Some of Leonard Cohen’s greatest hits, as were noted on a best selling album in 1975: Greatest Hits – The Best of Leonard Cohen, includes ones like Suzanne, Hallelujah, Bird on the Wire, and Dance Me Till the End of Love. His soulful, gravelly voice was popular with millions of fans who appreciated his lyrics and the timeless message they sent out; especially for people trying to recover from the traumas of Vietnam and the aftermath of what had been known as the “Hippie generation”.

More than twenty years after his greatest hits album, Cohen came out with another album entitled More Best, which includes some songs which were “updated” a bit to suit changing times. Some of these include ones like The Future, and Closing Time. His Greatest Hits album, has also been re-issued this year, and includes songs from both previous Best of Leonard Cohen albums.

Cohen’s first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, came out in 1967, when Americans were embroiled in the midst of the Vietnam War. But his messages of peace and love soon caught on in other countries, especially the UK, where he has performed a number of concerts over the years. His classic song, Hallelujah, was recently reintroduced in the London music charts, where it rose to the No. 1 position on the U.K. singles chart. Many people say this is his best song; but many others, including Suzanne and Bird on a Wire, are also claimed to be his best ones by his fans.

His Israel gig will come close to the time of Madonna’s scheduled September 1st concert. But obviously, those who get into Cohen’s type of music probably aren’t going to make the Madonna concert as the music of both artists just doesn’t have the same “vibes”. Nevertheless, Cohen’s performance should being back a lot of memories for a lot of us who dreamed different dreams and looked at the world in a different way than we do now.

3 Comments

  1. Apparently the reviewer is unfamiliar with Cohen’s later works, issued on albums “I’m Your Man,” “The Future” and most recently “Ten New Songs”. Cohen is still writing and most everyone I know think his later works surpass his early efforts. Many of these later songs are included in his live concert.

  2. We are fortunate to be living at the same time as Leonard Cohen.He is the greatest songwriter of the last 100 years.Listening to Cohen is like listening to Moses,David,or Jesus.Try this play Leonard Cohen’s song Suzanne.Then,watch Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” and at the very end during the credits listen to Leonard Cohen sing the words to his song,”Future”.Now,tell me Cohen isn’t a prophet of the highest standing.

  3. Otto Munaf Iskandar

    August 30, 2009 at 3:41 am

    I am wondering the performance of such famous world musicians eg Glenn Miller, Billy Vaughn, James Last, Benny Goodman, Xavier Cugat etc, are still even play nor popular amongst the people here, I am very fond of the above mentioned musicians whatsoever, thank you

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