Archive for the ‘Leonard Cohen box set’ Category

Leonard Cohen – still reverberating

July 29, 2008


Twelve days on, the monumental Leonard Cohen gig at London’s O2 is still reverberating. I still wake up humming Lenny tunes. I’ve been buying Lenny CDs for family (I already had them all – on vinyl and tape). And I’ve been buying all the missed Cohen books – by and about Leonard.

That’s what tours are all about, of course – revving up interest in the product range.

Before retiring Lenny from Music for Grown-Ups (for the time being), here are a few final observations:

* Whereas I used to consider Cohen’s early albums the peak of his output, it’s now clear that there are two outstanding trilogies in the (small) catalogue: the first three and an even stronger later group – Various Positions, I’m Your Man and The Future.

* Various Positions (not, as previously thought, I’m Your Man)is the key starting point for the late-career renaissance. Two of its songs – Hallelujah and If It Be Your Will – number among Len’s finest.

* If the tour’s merchandising operation doesn’t fill the Cohen coffers, I’d be surprised. To this cheapskate, some of the prices were outrageous. I didn’t mind shelling out £10 for a lovely (slim) souvenir booklet.

But the new box set, The Collection at £40? Gimme a break!

It’s a wonderful box, with five albums: Songs Of Leonard Cohen, Various Positions, The Future, I’m Your Man and Ten New Songs.

But for £40? It’s widely available elsewhere at around £25. And I recently bought all five CDs (plus a bonus, Love And Hate) from my local Tesco store/ for a grand total of £14.

* there’s now a gaping DVD LIVE-shaped hole in Leonard’s discography. I’m betting that a disc of footage of the highly-praised tour will go on sale for the Xmas market. I’ll certainly be buying.

* I was surprised and amazed at the high quality of the London venue, the O2. More to follow.

Gerry Smith