SONGS FROM THE ROAD BY Leonard Cohen [CD/DVD]


The last time I reviewed a Leonard Cohen CD, Live From London, Anna and Lee and Patrick thought I was being too harsh on the artist. After listening to Songs From the Road Cohen’s voice hasn’t improved. But Leonard Cohen’s fans will want this CD/DVD set. Cohen sings some of his more obscure songs. He adds a verse to “Suzanne” and changes the order of verses in “Bird On the Wire.” Hardcore fans will enjoy the 93-minute DVD with concert footage and an interview with Cohen. As I said in my review of Live From London, Cohen’s manager stole his money and now Cohen’s touring at the age of 74 to survive. I keep buying Leonard Cohen’s CDs to support the artist. GRADE: CD/C; DVD/B.
TRACK LIST
Disc 1
1 Lover, Lover, Lover [Ramat Gan Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel, September 24, 7:43
2 Bird On the Wire [Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, Scotland, November 6, 2008 6:09
3 Chelsea Hotel Royal Albert Hall, London, England, November 17, 2008 3:31
4 Heart With No Companion [Oberhausen King Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Ge 5:06
5 That Don’t Make It Junk O2 Arena, London, England, November 13, 2008 4:22
6 Waiting For the Miracle [Hp Pavilion, San Jose, California, November 13 8:01
7 Avalanche [Gothenburg Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden, October 12, 200 4:17
8 Suzanne Mena Arena, Manchester, England, November 30, 2008 3:41
9 The Partisan Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland, October 10, 2008 5:18
10 Famous Blue Raincoat O2 Arena, London, England, November 13, 2008 5:23
11 Hallelujah [Coachella Music Festival, Indio, California, April 17, 2009 7:32
12 Closing Time John Labbatt Centre, London, Ontario, May 24, 2009 6:07

Disc 2
1 Lover, Lover, Lover [Ramat Gan Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel, September 24, 2009
2 Bird On the Wire [Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, Scotland, November 6, 2008
3 Chelsea Hotel Royal Albert Hall, London, England, November 17, 2008
4 Heart With No Companion [Oberhausen King Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Ge]
5 That Don’t Make It Junk O2 Arena, London, England, November 13, 2008
6 Waiting For the Miracle [Hp Pavilion, San Jose, California, November 13, 2009
7 Avalanche [Gothenburg Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden, October 12, 2008
8 Suzanne Mena Arena, Manchester, England, November 30, 2008
9 The Partisan Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland, October 10, 2008
10 Famous Blue Raincoat O2 Arena, London, England, November 13, 2008
11 Hallelujah [Coachella Music Festival, Indio, California, April 17, 2009
12 Closing Time John Labbatt Centre, London, Ontario, May 24, 2009
13 Backstage Sketch Bonus Track

18 thoughts on “SONGS FROM THE ROAD BY Leonard Cohen [CD/DVD]

    1. george Post author

      I consider Leonard Cohen a brilliant song writer, Jeff. He was an okay performer in his younger years, but this geezer tour is sometimes painful to listen to. Cohen doesn’t sing. He chants. He narrates. I feel sorry that a senior citizen has to go out on the road because someone stole all his money. Sad.

      Reply
    1. george Post author

      You and Jeff are part of a larger listening public who wouldn’t be interested in this CD/DVD set, Rick. But Leonard Cohen fans love his work and are devoted collectors of anything Cohen puts out. SONGS FROM THE ROAD duplicates much of LIVE FROM LONDON, but there are enough differences so hardcore fans will see this as a must-buy.

      Reply
  1. Deb

    I had not heard about Leonard Cohen’s money situation. It’s very sad that someone just a year younger than my parents still has to hit the road. (I saw Willie Nelson last year–he’s about the same age as Cohen–and he seemed to be having a grand ol’ time, but perhaps it was because he was on the road voluntarily.) I’m in the same camp with the comments here: I think Cohen’s a fantastic songwriter, but I have his Greatest Hits compilation (and a very good cover collection–”I’m Your Fan”) and have no interest in this CD/DVD.

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      I have all of Leonard Cohen’s CDs, Deb. I admire his songs although I think other singers make them sound better. And, I admire Cohen for going out on the road in his 70s and doing his best. That’s one of the reasons I keep buying his music.

      Reply
  2. Jeff Meyerson

    We saw Willie recently too, Deb. I’m sure part of it is his (admitted) indulging in controlled substances on the bus before and after the show.

    Reply
  3. Johnny

    Hello all, I came across this and honestly and respectfully think you have it all wrong! I challenge any one of you to find a concert review of his show from May 2008 to present that doesn’t say it was one of the best tours of anyone’s in recent memory. Truly, come forth! I seriously doubt you’ll find a single one, because his tour has sold out halls around the world. This very night, he’s wowing Moscow. Secondarily, I defy nearly anyone, LC fan or not, to watch this DVD’s Bird on the Wire, Suzanne, Famous Blue Raincoat or the triumphant rendering of Hallelujah at the Generation X gathering, Coachella, and not be impressed with this man and his artistry at this stage of his life. Sorry, everyone, I think you’re missing the boat on the man and his art. OK. Carry on.

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      I’ll grant you that Leonard Cohen, even in his mid-Seventies, has an impressive stage presence, Johnny. I gave the DVD a “B” grade.

      Reply
  4. Dan

    Back in college we played Leonard Cohen’s first albumb till hegrooves wore down. I even read his noovel BEAUTIFUL LOSERS. Haven’t kept up with him, but your mention brings back memories….

    Reply
  5. Johnny

    Yes, I appreciate that, George…however, I think your remark about the “geezer tour” is very much off the mark for almost anyone who has seen the current tour. Might I turn your attention to this link: http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/coachella/coachella-on-leonard-cohen-hal/ It recounts Leonard’s heralded appearance at Coachella. Once you’ve read that, if you’re interested, you might try this one, which gives more detail about the impact of LC at Coachella, playing the same weekend that Sir Paul took the stage: http://soundcheck.ocregister.com/2009/04/18/coachella-09-leonard-cohen-stuns-with-hallelujah-moz-sickened-by-meat-franz-ferdinand-silversun-pickups-rock/6219/. I’m not mad with/at you at all, George, just showing you that the million+ fans who have seen the current couldn’t be more opposed to this being any sort of a geezer tour. LC made back his lost money in the first year of touring and now simply does it because the fans are demanding more of him. The tour wraps up 12/11 in Las Vegas, and you can bet I’ll be there. This may be the last time we’ll ever have the chance.

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      I agree that Las Vegas might be the final tour stop for Leonard Cohen, Johnny. As I’ve mentioned, I own all his CDs. I’ve been a fan for decades. But there’s a vast difference between Leonard Cohen at 30 and Leonard Cohen at 74. Yes, Cohen has a loyal fan base, but for casual music fans the music on SONGS FROM THE ROAD might not connect with them the way listening to I’M YOUR MAN might.

      Reply
  6. Johnny

    George, again, I’m not mad or angry. I just don’t happen to agree. Interestingly, I used to buy LC’s albums and could never understand the appeal. I kept trying, but it never worked for me. Then, I heard Live in London and all of a sudden, like a light bulb, I suddenly “got it”. And now I believe that the way he is expressing his art, on this tour, with this band and arrangements and with his much deeper voice, I honestly believe that his music has never been presented better. So, it’s interesting that you prefer him at 30, whereas I just can’t listen to the voice he had back then…too high and whiny for me. I much prefer the smoky huskiness of his voice now, and it could be argued that there’s a lot of people around the world who feel similarly. After all, the fans don’t want him to stop touring and he just keeps selling out shows. Anyway, great conversing with you!

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      Great conversing with you, too, Johnny! Actually, I prefer Leonard Cohen’s songs sung by Jennifer Warnes or Judy Collins or k. d. lang.

      Reply
  7. Patti Abbott

    I like his music although his voice has deteriorated quite a bit. I still like to hear other people sing his work though. The doc on him not long ago was a pleasure.

    Reply
  8. Johnny

    Patti, it’s so interesting how people hear things so differently sometimes. I just went to the iTunes Music Store and sampled “Bird on the Wire” from his early studio days and then compared that with the sample from “Songs From the Road”. And I much prefer the more recent version. I honestly can’t believe that anyone would like to hear the warbling that he’s doing on the original version when he tries to go up high (that particular part is on the 30-second sample). I can’t believe anyone would actually prefer that. But, as they say, to each his/her own!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>