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Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen (Musicians in Their Own Words)by Leonard Cohen
Synopses & Reviews
Leonard Cohen, one of the most admired performers of the last half century, has had a stranger-than-fiction, roller-coaster ride of a life. Now, for the first time, he tells his story in his own words, via more than 50 interviews conducted worldwide between 1966 and 2012. In Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen—which includes a foreword by singer Suzanne Vega and eight pages of rarely seen photos—the artist talks about “Bird on the Wire,” “Hallelujah,” and his other classic songs. He candidly discusses his famous romances, his years in a Zen monastery, his ill-fated collaboration with producer Phil Spector, his long battle with depression, and much more. You'll find interviews that first appeared in the New York Times and Rolling Stone, but also conversations that have not previously been printed in English. Some of the material here has not been available until now in any format, including the many illuminating reminiscences that contributors supplied specifically for this definitive anthology.
"The past two years have been good to the enigmatic and sometimes mysterious Cohen. He released Old Ideas, his first studio album in eight years, to wide acclaim, and Sylvie Simmons published a highly praised biography of Cohen, I'm Your Man. Now we get to hear the man himself in these interviews that music writer Burger gathers from various music magazines and newspapers — some hard to find and others not previously published in English — from 1966 to the present. On his musical predecessors: 'I am very much aware of where I stood in a long line of singers or poets... and to be one of the figures that allows the tradition to continue is very gratifying.' In an early interview, Cohen comments that he doesn't 'go around looking for joy. I don't go around looking for melancholy either... I'm not on an archaeological expedition.' In the most recent interview, from 2012, Cohen reflects on the nature of song: 'Song operates on so many levels... it addresses the heart in its ordeals and its defeats but it is also useful in getting the dishes done or cleaning the house.' Every collection like this has its uneven and repetitious moments, but Burger's discerning editorial hand selects those conversations with Cohen that offer insights into his music. For longtime and fans as well as newcomers to Cohen's work." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jeff Burger is the editor of Springsteen on Springsteen. He has contributed to Barrons, Family Circle, GQ, the Los Angeles Times, Readers Digest, and more than 75 other magazines, newspapers, and books, including many national and international music periodicals. He has published interviews with such leading musicians as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Tom Waits, the Righteous Brothers, and the members of Steely Dan. He has also interviewed many other public figures, including Sir Richard Branson, F. Lee Bailey, James Carville, Suze Orman, Sydney Pollack, and Wolfman Jack. He lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Pop Vocal