With the incredibly sad news earlier this evening, of the passing of legend and icon Leonard Cohen, it gives further evidence 2016 has been a terrible year for loss.
Cohen, whose milestone album Songs Of Leonard Cohen, became required listening for just about everyone of high school age in the mid-late 1960s. Suzanne was the pinpoint song which helped define a generation, and it was probably one of the most listened to of all of Cohen’s songs at that time. It was the song fledgling acoustic guitar players learned first.
Where Bob Dylan came from a place of social protest, Leonard Cohen came from a place of love and loss; a deeply personal singer whose songs resonated with countless people, because he knew exactly how we felt and had gone through what we were going through at the time. His was a soundtrack for coming-of-age in the 1960s.
But his work and influence didn’t stop there – over the decades, Leonard Cohen has mellowed, collaborated with a vast range of people and had branched out to encompass poetry and fiction – all the time influencing and encouraging a new generation of listeners and musicians.
This session, the first one for John Peel (who did two others in 1969) was recorded on July 9, 1968 and it features Cohen in his customary setting; singer and guitar, playing primarily songs from his Songs Of Leonard Cohen album.
The music of Leonard Cohen has a timeless quality to it – because of how personal it was and how it tapped into feelings of alienation, so prevalent in just about all of his work.
So, as way of tribute to the memory of an iconic and immortal artist, whose vision paved the way for many who followed in his footsteps, I have included one of his many concerts he performed throughout his career as a reminder of who was in our midst.
RIP: Leonard Cohen – Grateful you were here.