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Live In London

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Audio CD, March 31, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 two CD set from the acclaimed singer/songwriter, recorded during his 2008 world tour. For over four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. His songs have set a virtually unmatched standard in their seriousness and range. Cohen remains one of the most compelling and enigmatic musical figures of his era, and one of the very few of that era who commands as much respect and attention The set was taken from his July 17, 2008 performance at London's O2 Arena during his world tour last year. The Live in London release fully captures and recreates the extraordinary show from that tour that earned Cohen more than 80 five-star reviews for his performances. Features 25 tracks including Cohen classics such as 'If It be Your Will,' 'I'm Your Man' and 'Hallelujah.'

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Dance Me To The End Of Love
  2. The Future
  3. Ain't No Cure For Love
  4. Bird On The Wire
  5. Everybody Knows
  6. In My Secret Life
  7. Who By Fire
  8. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
  9. Anthem
  10. Introduction
  11. Tower Of Song
  12. Suzanne
  13. The Gypsy's Wife

Disc: 2

  1. Boogie Street
  2. Hallelujah
  3. Democracy
  4. I'm Your Man
  5. Recitation w/ N.L.
  6. Take This Waltz
  7. So Long, Marianne
  8. First We Take Manhattan
  9. Sisters Of Mercy
  10. If It Be Your Will
  11. Closing Time
  12. I Tried To Leave You
  13. Wither Thou Goest

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 31, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B001RTP3YQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (337 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,496 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Many people are aware that this album was made as part of the attempt to repair Leonard Cohen's seriously damaged finances. After living in a Buddhist monastery for several years Cohen discovered that his business manager had embezzled most of his money. Cohen reluctantly went back on the road over a decade after he imagined that he had left his musical career behind him. One might therefore not be surprised if there were some signs of reluctance or regret hanging about this performance. There is not. In fact, this is one of the most delightful live performances I've heard in a while. Perhaps it is the result of his time in the monastery, but Cohen seems genuinely at ease and happy performing. Maybe it is like the old saying that if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. From beginning to end Cohen gives the impression that there is nowhere he would rather be than before these friends in London and that performing for them is one of the greatest honors that has come his way. So far from despair or regret, the concert radiates a sense of joy.

Cohen's sense of humor and deep graciousness permeates every number. The spoken intros to his songs and the verbal asides are among the highlights of the album. Not that the music isn't exceptionally fine. Although 73 at the time of the performance, Cohen is in very fine voice. His voice has deepened greatly over the years. If you listen to THE SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN, released in 1968, and then to this recording, the change in his voice is almost shocking. He is backed by a large and crack group of players. As always he has a talented group of women backing him, in this case his sometimes writing partner Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters.
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146 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Z on March 31, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Leonard Cohen is still a magnificent performer, even at 73-years old, and this concert captures that fact wonderfully. This two-disc cd set was recorded live at the concert in London at the O2 Arena on July 17th, 2008. Sony has done a marvelous job in putting this package together. Both cds are filled to maximum capacity and Amazon's tracklisting above is correct. There are several nice photographs of the event in the included booklet with liner notes by John Aizlewood.

The performance is spectacular on this set and very typical of the level of quality the current world tour has been regularly achieving at various venues. The backing singers and band members are all in top form and Leonard himself sounds in good voice. Sharon Robinson and the Webb sisters provide background vocals, while Roscoe Beck, Neil Larsen, Javier Mas, Bob Metzger, Dino Soldo, and Rafael Bernando Gayol comprise the band. Leonard throws out some light banter at times and probably is too gracious in the regular and profuse compliments he gives out to his supporting players.

On a technical level the recording is very good and sounds better than most live cds. The cds are mastered by Bob Ludwig, a well-known and respected mastering engineer. He did a fine job here as the music shows no signs of overcompression or clipping. The audience is well-behaved and generally can not be heard during the songs, though vigorous applause greets each song and Leonard's sly jokes.

The set captures the live magic of Leonard Cohen's current tour with many fine performances. While not every song on here is the definitive live version, many are great like "Tower Of Song" and "Who By Fire". Anyone with a marginal interest in the music of Leonard Cohen needs to pick up this cd set. It is essential in my estimation as a document of Leonard Cohen's current live performances. Hopefully more dates from this tour will be officially released.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Marina C. Watteck on April 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The year 2008 goes into my personal history, as the year I saw Leonard Cohen live in Vienna. What a performance! This "new" old Cohen is full of spirit, vivacious and with a twinkle in the eye. The music has been completely re-arranged and sounds better than ever. The way he interacted with the audience can only be described as lovely. Everybody was in awe of the great master. I highly recommend this CD which is a wonderful example of everything done right. All that's left to say is - I hope this was not the last recording of this wonderful man.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Sven Eberlein on April 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I saw Leonard Cohen and his fantastic band at the exquisitely intimate Paramount Theater in Oakland, CA last night. I'm still buzzing with both giddiness and a deep feeling of grace for being invited to 3 1/2 hours of soul massage. Aside from a sublime sound created by a 9-piece ensemble of talented musicians who have mastered the art of filling in just enough to let the greatness of these songs shine right through, I can hardly put in words how nice it felt to be carried through this musical journey by the simple power of . . . words.

There are love songs, the kind we are force-fed ad nauseum in daily radio and television diets, mostly shallow, formulaic professions of "Oh baby, you broke my heart, and I either want you back or you can go to hell." Then there are Love Songs, the rare kind that strike a chord so deep that they make a connection between our individual human condition or predicament and the infinitely more expansive and universal mystery behind our collective suffering and joy. The latter, of course, is Mr. Cohen's kind, tickling your soul's G-spot with his poetic feather until you can take it no more and surrender to the sensation of tears and smiles running side by side.

Inviting you in, through, and beyond, is the essence of poetry, and words are the cosmic training wheels that take you there, wherever there is. The most powerful words, however, may be the ones that -- like a caring guardian -- slowly fade into the distance once you're cruising, leaving you to explore all on your own the magic realm from whence they came while still feeling safely connected to their familiar ring. If these words are imbued in a deep dark whisper of a voice and carried by a cloud of sweet and gentle music, then you may find yourself catching a blissful glimpse of creation's finest, right through that crack where the light shines in.
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