Terry Reid – Chelsea Hotel #2
Leeann Skoda – Bird On A Wire
Available Record Store Day: April 22, 2017
Click here to find a participating store near you.
Event: Record Store Day 2017
Release Date: 4/22/2017
Label: Record Store Day
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
Last week [at time of original posting: Sept 28, 2011], the members of R.E.M. posted this notice on their official site,
To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.
R.E.M. has long admired and sometimes emulated Leonard Cohen. On the occasion of the band’s breakup, a retrospective look at the Leonard Cohen-R.E.M. connection seems an appropriate tribute to this groundbreaking group credited by many as the inventors of alternative rock.
The link between “Hope” by R.E.M. and “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen is intriguing because the melody of both songs is nearly identical and the lyrics, while dealing with dissimilar topics, are largely parallel. In addition, the lyrics of “Hope” have also been lauded by fans and reviewers as some of Michael Stipe’s strongest work.
According to Wikipedia,
The band R.E.M. gave Cohen a joint songwriting credit for their song “Hope” (on their 1998 album Up), in light of the similarity between the two songs. R.E.M. describe themselves as realising that similarity only after completing the song.
From Ask Michael Stipe: Finale!, posted September 28, 2008:
[Fan:] One of my favorite REM-songs is HOPE, because I really love the background sound, as well as the energy it transports and the rate. The lyrics are great, I especially love the line ” and you want to cross your DNA with something reptile”, so what is the song about and what was the idea about this special line? …
[Michael Stipe:] felt very futuristic/21st c. to me that someday we will use prehistoric ‘living fossil’ animal dna to bolster our own immunity; the guy in the song is facing some very difficult questions about longevity and survival, and basically grabbing at any possibility to stay alive. I obviously lifted most of the song from Leonard Cohen, along with the imagery ideas from World Leader Pretend
For a convenient comparison of the two songs, a video of R.E.M. performing “Hope” and Albert Noonan’s video of Cohen singing “Suzanne” at the November 12, 2009 Las Vegas concert are provided below.
R.E.M. – Hope: Video
The 2017 Juno Awards are broadcast on Sunday, April 2 on CTV. Today, the network and the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences have announced that Feist will perform a Leonard Cohen tribute at the awards show. She is set to play an “arrangement of one of Cohen’s classic songs,” according to a press release.
From Feist to Perform Leonard Cohen Tribute at 2017 Juno Awards by Matthew Strauss (Pitcjfork: 27 March 2017). Photo by Jason Persse – Flickr: Feist, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikipedia Commons
Note; In addition to these awards, Leonard Cohen has received numerous nominations
Leonard Cohen Inducted Into Canadian Music Hall Of Fame 1991
All posts dealing with Leonard Cohen and the Junos can be accessed at Juno Awards
Credit Due Department: Photo of Mr Cohen at Junos from Library and Archives Canada. Photographer: Barry Roden. Thanks to Linda Sturgess for contributions to this post.