Video: Leonard Cohen’s 1988 Icelandic Hallelujah – Most Moving Performance Ever?

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In Video: Leonard Cohen’s Gorgeous Performance Of Hallelujah – Reykjavik 1988, I wrote

For a fleeting moment in 2009, YouTube blessed us with a live video of Leonard Cohen performing Hallelujah at the June 24, 1988 Laugardalshöll, Reykjavik, Iceland concert. It was a particularly lovely version that impressed many viewers, inducing me. As we have experienced many times, however, YouTube giveth, and YouTube taketh away. All traces of Leonard Cohen’s 1988 Icelandic concert, including the performance of Hallelujah, have disappeared from YouTube and similar sites.

I have serendipitously come across another YouTube posting of the same video, albeit of lesser quality. Although it’s described on YouTube as having taken place in 1985, this appears to be a segment from the June 24, 1988 concert in Reykjavik, Iceland, which was used in a program broadcast on Icelandic TV. Included are bits of an interview, an Icelandic cover of “Hallelujah,” and, most importantly, a version of “Hallelujah”  sung by Cohen (with backup singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen) that is not only distinct from every other rendition of that song I’ve heard before but perhaps the most moving performance of  “Hallelujah” by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Make no mistake – the color is distorted, the editing clumsy, and the subtitles distracting, and we don’t get our first vision of Leonard singing until just past the 2 minute mark, but the live scenes of Leonard Cohen and backup singers, Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, performing are overwhelmingly moving. (For the record, I believe my own version of this performance at Video: Leonard Cohen’s Gorgeous Performance Of Hallelujah – Reykjavik 1988 has its own merits and urge you to take a look if you haven’t seen it before.)

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Reykjavik: June 24, 1988

Note: Originally posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Best Videos Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour: The Darkness – Boston

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darkbostonI caught the darkness
It was drinking from your cup
I caught the darkness
Drinking from your cup
I said is this contagious?
You said just drink it up

Best 2012 Leonard Cohen Videos: Cohencentric.com features selections from the Best Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist, which comprises the best available video of each of the songs performed during the 2012 Leonard Cohen World Tour.

Leonard Cohen – The Darkness
Boston: Dec 16, 2012
Video by

Video Animation Of "The Letters" By Leonard Cohen And Sharon Robinson

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An Effective Presentation Of A Lesser Known Leonard Cohen-Sharon Robinson Song

“The Letters,” written and performed by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, is a song I’ve considered benignly unremarkable.1  Viewing this video comprising a series of simple animations, however, has raised my interest in and appreciation of this track from the Dear Heather album. The effectiveness of the visual images appears to be less the result of offering interpretive clues than providing focus.

Leonard Cohen & Sharon Robinson – The Letters
From Dear Heather
Video from cronogeo

Note: Originally posted Dec 16, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. I should note that, while I stand by my description of “The Letters” as a lesser known Leonard Cohen-Sharon Robinson Song, I am also aware that there are many who have long held a special fondness for this song. []

Video: Leonard Cohen Has Got The Moves – Nashville 2009

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The title of this video, Fancy Footwork, says it all, but just in case, I’ll explain:

This is the most fun you are going to get from feet in
25 seconds without invoking the word, “fetish.”

The video excerpt is, of course, the basis for the Leonard Cohen Animation atop this post, but the original recording, which includes the audio deleted in the gif, is particularly admirable.

Leonard Cohen, Nashville – Fancy Footwork
Video of “I’m Your Man” excerpt  from alkmrt, aka Linda Straub

Note: Originally posted Nov 22, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Location: Los Angeles – “It’s a tough company town. Fortunately, I’m not in that world, so I just enjoy the climate.”

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From Leonard Cohen Can’t Slow Down by Gavin Edwards. Rolling Stone (India): October 24, 2014. Photo by SPBer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons. See other Leonard Cohen geopolitical quotes at

Note: Originally posted November 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Signs Of Leonard Cohen: 1992 “The Voice Of The Soul” The Future Ad

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This rare, gorgeously designed and executed French advertisement for Leonard Cohen’s The Future album was published in Les Inrockuptibles (December 1992, n° 41, p 59). The heading, “LA VOIX DE L’ÂME …” translated into English is “THE VOICE OF THE SOUL…” From Dominique BOILE

Note: Originally posted Aug 6, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen & Band Travel Day – 2009 Tour

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As its title suggests, “Travel Day for Leonard Cohen Band by Dino Soldo 10/14/2009” is a cinema verite travelogue constructed around the bus-borne journey between hotels for the musicians and support staff of Leonard Cohen’s band.

The video is narrated and directed by Dino Soldo, whose primary roles the past 16 months have been playing “instruments of the wind” at World Tour concerts and occasioning a certain amount of swooning among female fans. Mr Soldo is also, not coincidentally, the star of the flick with supporting roles played by crew, other band members, and backup singers.

A small speaking part, “man in hat occupying front seat of bus,”  is adequately performed by one Leonard Cohen.

Travel Day for Leonard Cohen Band
By Dino Soldo 10/14/2009

Note: Originally posted Oct 18, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric