From Rebirth Of A Ladies’ Man by Steven Blush. Seconds No 22: June/July 1993. Thanks to Rike, who contributed this article.
This appears to be the 1993 iteration of the 1988 promotions Leonard Cohen made with backup singers, usually anonymous stand-ins, lip-synching his songs on TV in France, Germany, Belgium, and other European countries. Those 1988 versions can be viewed
- Leonard Cohen & The Lip-synching Lennettes Take Manhattan – Belgium TV 1988
- International Showdown – Title Match For Goofiest Leonard Cohen Music Video
- Leonard Cohen & The Lip-synching Lennettes Return With Closing Time – Spanish TV 1988
Leonard Cohen – The Future
Spanish TV: 1993
While we haven’t seen the sort of gymnastics they performed on the Leonard Cohen tours, Charley & Hattie Webb remain lively as backup singers for Tom Petty. This video shows their response to The Lumineers at Safeco Field opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Aquarium Drunkard Features Leonard Cohen’s 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival Show
There’s no shortage of Leonard Cohen live albums from over the years, but there’s never been an official release from the man’s 1976 summer tour of Europe. This masterful two-hour Montreux (June 25, 1976) set would do the trick nicely – backed by a versatile band, Cohen leans into his hits with a swagger worthy of Sinatra and offers up a handful of less-traveled tracks. You don’t really think of his music as particularly funky, but hey, it was ‘76 and disco was in the air; “Lover Lover Lover” and “There Is A War” are darkly comic boogies, with Cohen savoring every syllable. And then there’s “Do I Have To Dance All Night,” his unabashed plunge into disco, which he was playing that summer, but only released as a limited single in Europe. It’s fantastically sleazy:
Excerpt from Leonard Cohen :: Montreux Jazz Festival, June 25, 1976 by T Wilcox (Aquarium Drunkard: Aug 21, 2017). The entire piece, including a download of a recording of the concert, is available at the link.
Note: Do I Have To Dance All Night has been the subject of several posts on this site; these entries are collected at Cohencentric: Do I Have To Dance All Night
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.
Oh! What It Seemed to Be
Tom Chaffin, author of Conversations From A Room (1993 Leonard Cohen interview), wrutes
Was looking at your Leonard Cohen Jukebox the other day, and thought of a song that he mentioned to me as one of his early favorites. At the time I wasn’t familiar with the song (just remember him reciting first verse or so), so I have no idea of what version he had in mind.
Wikipedia informs us
“Oh! What it Seemed to Be” is a song composed by Bennie Benjamin, George Weiss and Frankie Carle. The song was most popular in 1946, and was taken to number 1 that year by both Frank Sinatra and the Frankie Carle orchestra, the latter with Marjorie Hughes on vocals.
That first verse follows:
It was just a neighborhood dance
That’s all that it was
But, oh, what it seemed to be
It was like a masquerade ball
With costumes and all
Cause you were at the dance with me
Since Leonard was not, for the most part, a Sinatra fan, I’ve chosen the version by the Frankie Carle orchestra for this post.
View more animated gifs at Leonard Cohen Animations