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Live In London

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Editors’ Notes

In his mid-70s, Leonard Cohen has attained the status of elder statesman and plays the part perfectly, speaking and singing in unmatched eloquent verse and stage banter, graciously thanking his audience for keeping his songs alive and then bringing them to brilliant execution as only Leonard Cohen can. This recording from London’s 02 Arena in July 2008 spans Cohen’s entire career from his initial liftoff with the now standards “Suzanne” and “Bird On the Wire” through his later celebrated work, including the much-covered “Hallelujah,” “Everybody Knows,” “Democracy,” and “First We Take Manhattan.” With a celebrated chorus of supporting singers, a sensitive yet quite active backing band of ambitious guitars, and percolating keyboards, Cohen explores his entire canon with reverence and good humor. The audience returns the favor, cheering wildly when he sings of his “golden voice,” in acknowledgement that no singer has done more with a limited range. If anything, Cohen’s voice has improved with age, the deepening of his lowest range adding an ominous, foreboding darkness to these songs of personal struggle and spiritual grace. 

Biography

Born: 21 September 1934 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most fascinating and enigmatic — if not the most successful — singer/songwriters of the late '60s, Leonard Cohen has retained an audience across five decades of music-making interrupted by various digressions into personal and creative exploration, all of which have only added to the mystique surrounding him. Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon), he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the '60s who...
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