Billy Joel’s “Light As The Breeze” Cover Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Billy Joel Covers Leonard Cohen’s “Light As The Breeze”

tower of song tribBilly Joel’s take on “Light As The Breeze” is his contribution to Tower Of Song, a 1995 collection of Cohen’s tunes covered by artists such as Willie Nelson, Sting, Bono, and Peter Gabriel. It also appears on Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Volume III.

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Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen Covers

Leonard Cohen is notoriously positive toward versions of his songs performed by others. As Cohen himself points out,

But as for myself, whenever I hear anybody do one of my songs my critical judgments go into immediate suspended animation. I’m just knocked out when anybody does a cover of mine.

This blanket endorsement is hardly equivalent to his specific praise for songs such as  “Unchained Melody” or “Blueberry Hill,” the tunes featured in the first two Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox posts; consequently not every cover of “Hallelujah,” for example, will appear in this series.

In those instances in which Cohen unmistakably lauds a specific cover, however, the admittedly subjective criterion for inclusion of a song on this list would seem to be met.

With that in mind, consider …

Leonard Cohen On Billy Joel’s “Light As The Breeze”

From KCRW Interview With Leonard Cohen1

I think there are songs that are better done than I have done them. Just more successful versions of the songs that I have done. For instance, We were talking about “Billy Joel’s Light As A Breeze.” I think it’s a much much better version of the one I came up with.

Billy Joel – Light As The Breeze

Leonard Cohen – Light As The Breeze
From The Future Album

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Credit Due Department
I was first alerted to the Lenny likes Billy’s cover phenomenon by UrPal at LeonardCohenForum.

Note: Originally posted April 29, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Interview by Chris Doritos, KCRW-FM, Los Angeles, February 18, 1997 []