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Live At The Isle of Wight (CD/DVD)

53 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 20, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 CD/DVD set. Nearly 40 summers ago on August 31, 1970, 35-year-old Leonard Cohen was awakened at 2 a.m. from a nap in his trailer and brought onstage to perform with his band at the third annual Isle Of Wight music festival. The audience of 600,000 was in a fiery and frenzied mood, after turning the festival into a political arena, trampling the fences, setting fire to structures and equipment- and stoked by the most incendiary performance of Jimi Hendrix's career. As Cohen followed Hendrix's set, onlookers (and fellow festival headliners) Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Judy Collins and others stood sidestage in awe as the Canadian Folk singer/songwriter and poet/novelist quietly tamed the crowd. This DVD/CD set contains a documentary by Murray Lerner and the full performance on CD. Included are live versions of classic songs from the first two Leonard Cohen LPs.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Bird On The Wire
  3. Intro to So Long, Marianne
  4. So Long, Marianne
  5. Intro: "Let's renew ourselves now..."
  6. You Know Who I Am
  7. Intro to Poems
  8. Lady Midnight
  9. They Locked Up A Man (poem)/A Person Who Eats Meat/Intro
  10. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong
  11. The Stranger Song
  12. Tonight Will Be Fine
  13. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
  14. Diamonds In The Mine
  15. Suzanne
  16. Sing Another Song, Boys
  17. The Partisan

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 20, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B002KREVE2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,934 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Z on October 20, 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Murray Lerner has unearthed quite a gem in making this film featuring Leonard Cohen's mesmerizing Isle of Wight performance from 1970. The 64-minute film deftly weaves modern interviews from relevant performers and associates of Leonard Cohen with the vintage musical performance by Cohen and his band, the affectionately named "Army" comprised of such stalwarts as legendary music producer Bob Johnston.

The audio quality is a sonic revelation, obliterating my expectations for a live multi-track recording from 1970 staged in front of 600,000 fans that had gotten rowdier as the festival progressed. Jimi Hendrix had performed his set before Cohen, with the crowd setting various things on fire like a piano and the scaffolding surrounding the stage. But the music was not to be denied, as Leonard Cohen slowly took the stage after they found a replacement piano and organ.

At 4 a.m. on August 31, 1970, the man introduced to the crowd as "a novelist, a poet, an author, a singer", began his intimate performance that encompassed most of the hits that had earned him acclaim, from "Bird On the Wire" to "Suzanne" and other well-known songs mainly from his first two albums. A nice surprise are the short stories Cohen shares and poem fragments he uses to introduce many of the songs. The crowd, who had booed previous performers like Kris Kristofferson, sat in rapt attention to the mostly acoustic set. My only quibble is that the complete audio performance by Leonard Cohen is not included on the Blu-ray. The CD version includes a couple of songs not shown in the documentary. I have no idea if the footage simply did not exist or was simply left out at the director's discretion.
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151 of 171 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 14, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
This is not a review of a legendary concert appearance by Leonard Cohen.

It's a meditation on personal power. His. Yours. Mine.

Essentially, I'm trying to figure out here what happens below the surface of your life so you can --- how you access your power for career advancement, personal gain and, not least, the good of the world.

But to do that, I have to tell you a Leonard Cohen story and urge you to watch a 64-minute documentary.

Here's the story.

In l967, 32-year-old Leonard Cohen --- a novelist and poet who was just starting out as a singer/songwriter --- walked onstage at Carnegie Hall, looked out at the audience, and started shaking. "I can't do this," he said, and left the stage. In the wings, Judy Collins took his hand, led him in front of the audience again and sang "Suzanne" with him.

In 1970, 35-year-old Leonard Cohen agreed to perform at England's Isle of Wight music festival. It was not a happy event. Angered that there was a wall to keep out those who hadn't paid, some of the young festivalgoers rebelled. They tore down fences. They crashed the gates. There were fires and fights. There was garbage.

600,000 people. Living outside. For almost five days.

At 2 in the morning of the fifth and final day, Leonard Cohen was awakened and asked to hurry onstage. There was no piano, no organ. Cohen, in his pajamas, insisted on both. And then he went back to his trailer to get dressed.

At 4 in the morning, Cohen took the stage. He looked into the darkness and, gently, slowly, told a story of going to the circus as a kid and liking only the moment when the audience lit matches in the darkness. He asked the crowd to light matches, and he waited while they did, and then he sang "Bird on a Wire.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Peter Solomon on April 15, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Me and... Leonard Cohen at Isle of Wight 1970 and 2009, 21 Oct 2009
By Peter Solomon

Memories, Dreams and Reflections - Isle Wight 1970.

Me and... Leonard Cohen at Isle of Wight 1970 and 2009

By Peter Solomon 1970 and 2009

I was just two months shy of my seventeenth birthday at 4 am on August 31 1970 and I knew all the words, I was maybe 50 to 75 yards from the stage just outside the overrun VIP and Press enclosure and Leonard Cohen was about to appear on stage at the Isle of Wight Festival.

My older brother Chris was to blame for me being there, for he introduced me to Leonard Cohen, and I had become smitten, I had caught the Leonard Cohen bug big time, which I would be unable to shake off for the rest of my life.

I knew all the songs and all about Marianne, Suzanne and Nancy. And I knew Tonight Will Be Fine, for I had waited 5 days and nights with hardly any sleep, after hitch hiking 250 miles with a friend Johnny Vernon from Manchester in the north of England to be there. I had just slept through most of Jimi Hendrix's set, though disappointed to have missed him, that was unimportant as I had come to see Leonard Cohen, and was slowing moving forward to get as close as possible to the stage.

Looking back now after nearly 40 years it seems like a dream and I have woken up and am watching the DVD of my Dream, compulsively, 3 consecutive times so far and also listened to the whole CD. It's as if time had become dislocated and the warp and woof of reality expanded to include a 40 year Present Moment.
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Leonard Cohen's financial state
it may be true but i'm still waiting for them to finish the remaster series like they promised...too many times the label puts out the 1st batch then sales aren't quite as good as they hoped so they pull the plug on the rest and ultimately lieing...we were promised cohen's next 4 in september of... Read More
Oct 3, 2009 by the Poet of yesterday |  See all 6 posts
Leonard Cohen/ Live From Isle of Wight
The album THE FIRST GREAT ROCK FESTIVALS OF THE SEVENTIES came out in late 1971. I've always suspected that the fiddle and harmonica that is heard on "Tonight will be fine" was overdubbed later in the studio. I don't know for sure but with the release of the entire Leonard Cohen set,... Read More
Oct 5, 2009 by Barry Smith |  See all 5 posts
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