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Live In London

260 customer reviews

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(Mar 31, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

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. Sex, spirituality, religion, power - he has relentlessly examined the largest issues in human lives, always with a full appreciation of how elusive answers can be to the vexing questions he raises. But those questions, and the journey he has traveled in seeking to address them, are the ever-shifting substance of his work, as well as the reasons why his songs never lose their overwhelming emotional force. Documentaries, awards, tribute albums and the ongoing march of artists eager to record his songs all acknowledge the peerless contribution Cohen has made to what one of his titles aptly calls "The Tower of Song."

In 2008 Leonard Cohen embarked on his first tour in 15 years. Quickly recognized as musical folklore in the making, 29 of the original dates sold out almost immediately, leaving fans and critics alike hailing the show as a once in a lifetime experience. By popular demand, the Canadian/UK tour was extended and by the end of that year it had reached 84 markets worldwide, selling more than 700,000 tickets. 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.

Track Listing:
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
14. Boogie Street
15. Hallelujah
16. Democracy
17. I'm Your Man
18. Recitation w/ N.L.
19. Take This Waltz
20. So Long, Marianne
21. First We Take Manhattan
22. Sisters Of Mercy
23. If It Be Your Will
24. Closing Time
25. I Tried To Leave You
26. Wither Thou Goest

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Leonard Cohen
  • Directors: Edward Sanders
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001RTP3Z0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,990 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Live In London" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

198 of 203 people found the following review helpful By William E. Innes on April 1, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I swore I would not open this DVD until after seeing L. Cohen in Oakland the Monday after next. But I'm so glad I broke my vow.

This is one of the most wonderful concerts I've ever seen captured on DVD.
The band and Leonard's singers are top-notch, and one senses that they feel as though they are a part of something special.
The songs span nearly 40 years of a canon that is second to none.

Most amazing of all,though, is how a digital disc can cut through its own technology and exude so much warmth and passion. Even when the camera shows a close shot of Cohen, one can still sense the warmth, love and admiration coming from the ecstatic London audience.

As for Leonard Cohen...if he were to do nothing but sing, that would be enough given the wonderful breadth of material performed at this concert.
However, his gentle and gracious command of the stage provides this show an added depth and dimension. Within the span of minutes he can be hilarious, self-deprecating, humble, poignant, appreciative...and I could easily go on with the superlatives to describe his on-stage demeanor.

Very often I make a point of remembering to trust the art and not the artist. In the case of Leonard Cohen, I tend to trust both. His warmth seems genuine. Unlike so many of his stature, his humility comes across as real. His spoken words are every bit as powerful as those that are sung. Given the way that the barriers are broken down between the singer and the band and the the point where it feels as though they are all part of one celebratory evening...such humility, graciousness and warmth cannot be anything but genuine.

The highlights are too many to mention: "Suzanne" sounds as fresh as it did 40 years ago.
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84 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Anderson on April 17, 2009
Format: DVD
This is pretty much a bare bones DVD featuring extended London concert footage. I have no beef with the camera work. It is simple, but effective, and much preferable to so many concert videos where the camera moves so much and cuts from one angle to the next occur so quickly it threatens to give one vertigo, or at least a headache.

The choice of 4:3 aspect ratio, in an era where even run-of-the-mill TV shows are widescreen, is inexplicable. The video quality is good, but not great. [A customer has reported that some sets offer a 16:9 version. That is good news, but be sure what you're getting before you buy. Mine is only 4:3. With a widescreen disc, I would bump up the rating to 4 1/2 stars.]

The audio could have been better. Happily, an uncompressed LCPM stereo track is available (the default) on the DVD, which should make for maximum sound quality. But the disc producers chose to muck this up, too. The sound is dynamically compressed, i.e. the soft parts are made loud so the dynamic contrast between soft and loud is blunted. When the band gets going full blast, the sound is congested -- it loses some clarity. Nevertheless, I would rate the sound as good, not great -- equivalent in sound quality to a musical segment on the Letterman show or Tonight Show on digital TV.

The concert is great, and Leonard is full of warmth and grit, whatever is called for. Leonard Cohen appears to be having the time of his life, and the band is perfect. His angelic choir, a trio of female backup singers, is magnificent. The guitarist provides Knopfler-esque lead lines, and his "wind instrument" and keyboard players add richness to the mix.

This is the perfect introduction to Leonard Cohen.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Irwin on April 10, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My wife and I had the privilege of seeing Leonard in concert here in Phoenix on April 5. The performance was quite possibly the best I've seen in more than 40 years of attending concerts, and it was nearly identical to the London concert captured on this DVD. As a result, we now have a wonderful reminder of the superb show we saw. But for those unable to attend the live show, this DVD is the next best thing to being there. Still, if you can be there, don't pass up the opportunity to see this extraordinary man, his musicians and his backup singers - it is well worth the cost.

Others have commented on the quality of the other performers, and I can't really add much here, other than to echo those sentiments - they are all world class. A few of them probably deserve special mention, though. Sharon Robinson's vocals on a couple of songs she co-wrote - "In My Secret Life" and "Boogie Street" - are among the concert highlights. And the Webb Sisters' version of "If It Be Your Will" is nothing short of breathtaking. Javier Mas does some sensational work on various forms of the acoustic guitar.

Most likely, everyone reading this is already a Leonard Cohen fan (disciple?), so remarks about his brilliance and the impact his work has on people probably all go without saying. Instead, I will just say that all of that shines through in this DVD, and every Leonard Cohen fan should have a copy.

Some reviews here mention disappointment with the sound, but our experience has been entirely positive. We did find that some adjustments to our system settings were necessary in order to get the most of out of it, but once we did that, it was just like being back at the Dodge Theater on April 5.
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