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Field Commander Cohen

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iTunes Review

The surprise 2001 release of a live album from Leonard Cohen’s 1979 European tour was welcomed by Cohen fans worldwide. Recorded in late 1979 on Dec. 4, 5, and 6 at London's Hammersmith Odeon and on Dec. 15 at Brighton's Dome Theatre, Field Commander Cohen features a setlist of tunes largely centered on his then-current album (Recent Songs) and includes the excellent “Memories” from the underrated Phil Spector–produced Death of a Ladies’ Man. The highly respected Jennifer Warnes and Sharon Robinson provide female vocals to balance Cohen’s voice, which wasn't yet reaching the "basso profundo" range of his late-‘80s and early-‘90s tours. Warnes, in particular, helps Cohen reach transcendence on “The Smokey Life,” while violinist Raffi Hakopian takes several key solos on “The Window,” “The Gypsy’s Wife,” and “The Guests.” Due to its unorthodox setlist, Field Commander Cohen is a true treat for fans who’ve heard the classics many times over. Cohen was sticking to his stylistic guns at a time when punk and new wave were considered cutting edge and AOR was dominating rock radio.

Customer Reviews

A great, great work

You can listen to the original versions of these songs and enjoy them - or you can listen to the live versions on this album and love them. Much like The Band, Cohen comes alive in front of an audience and inhabits his songs with a more intimate style (which may be an oxymoron but it's a truth) and truly becomes them. The Smoky Life is a must-listen anytime you are heading home of an evening. It will get you in the mood for the glass of wine that awaits. That may be my favorite but it is a tough choice because Cohen elevates all the tracks to a higher level.

Spend your hard-earned dollar right here. It's an inflation-proof investment...


Born: September 21, 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 six 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 is still...
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