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Songs From The Road
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Following the celebration of his 40th year as a Columbia artist in 2007 and coinciding with his induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in March 2008, Cohen thrilled his fans by announcing his first tour dates in 15 years. He's gone on to play the most prestigious and beautiful venues in virtually every corner of the globe, mesmerizing and charming audiences with performances that were hailed as some of the best of his career. When legend Cohen takes to the stage, raved Ireland's The Independent (June 2008), it's no less than a cultural event of Biblical dimensions.
One dozen of Leonard Cohen's most famous songs from those recent world tour performances at auditorium halls, festivals, arenas, and stadiums from Tel Aviv to London, from across Europe to the California desert and his native Canada are now collected on Songs From the Road. The 12-song program filmed in high definition and recorded in 5.1 surround sound will be issued in three separate packages: CD+DVD in a beautiful softpak with a 12-page book, Blu-ray, and 2-LP 180-gram audiophile vinyl in a gatefold jacket.
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Leonard Cohen is a genius and one of the greatest living artists in any genre. I can only listen to the music of two people over and over and never be disappointed or bored - J.S. Bach and Leonard Cohen.
I really am sorry to gush, but it's my honest reaction. I wish Amazon allowed six stars.
The musician ship is profound and the backstage track allows the musicians to
speak about their relationship to the music and to Leonard. Imagine being on the
road with Cohen for two years! what depth... and the tracks selected were the
one's that Leonard pronounced as having something special to them...out of all
of the performances of the same piece.
Very.... zen.... Very...Leonard at home
Songs From the Road contains a Helsinki performance of The Partisan that's so intense it did it once again. "Through the graves the wind is blowing. Freedom soon will come".
In addition there are seven other songs that weren't on Live In London (only four are repeated). Taken together they round out the record of what must be one of the most amazing tours ever. All performed by a man in his mid seventies.
Apart from The Partisan, the standouts for me are Famous Blue Raincoat, Lover, Lover, Lover, and Waiting for the Miracle. Famous Blue Raincoat includes what must be one of the most sultry and soulful sax solos ever laid down by the incomparable Dino Soldo. Lover, Lover, Lover throbs with the insistency of unrequited desire, set against the flowing virtuosity of Javier Mas. And Waiting For the Miracle broods with an almost unimaginable darkness.
The only song that doesn't work for me is Avalanche ("I stepped into an avalanche, it covered up my soul"). The original version on Songs of Love and Hate is defined by a raw and menacing cello line which here is absent. Considering that the musicians in Cohen's band seem each to play a multiplicity of instruments, it doesn't seem like it would have been a stretch for musical director Roscoe Beck to put down the 5 string electric bass and contrabass to pick up a cello for the part.
But it was not to be...