Captivity & Escape In Leonard Cohen’s Work
The posting of the Leonard Cohen Album Logos series featuring the Hummingbird Heart Handcuffs and Broken Chain symbols triggered observations from three Cohen cognoscenti, Francis Mus, Tom Sakic, and David Peloquin, on the prevalence of imagery associated with slavery and captivity, such as chains, in Leonard Cohen’s work. Consequently, Cohencentric is offering Captivity & Escape In Leonard Cohen’s Work, a set of posts organized around these themes. Today’s post features examples of emblems manifesting these concepts from Leonard Cohen albums, marketing, and merchandise. Part 2 of Captivity & Escape In Leonard Cohen’s Work will focus on these themes as they occur in the text of his songs and poems. Update: Part 2 is now online at Captivity & Escape In Leonard Cohen’s Work: The Texts.
Captivity & Escape In Leonard Cohen’s Work: Album Art
While this listing of album art (and associated images used in marketing and on merchandise) pertinent to captivity and escape is not exhaustive, I was impressed by its extent and, in the case of the symbols linked to The Future album, the variety of this motif.
Leonard Cohen Captivity & Escape Album Logos: Anima Sola
The earliest album cover art featuring symbols of captivity & escape if found on the back cover of Leonard Cohen’s first album, Songs Of Leonard Cohen. Talking to Jack Hafferkamp for Ladies & Gents, Leonard Cohen in Rolling Stone: Feb 4, 1971, Leonard explains
The picture on the back [of Songs Of Leonard Cohen] is a Mexican religious picture called “Anima Sola,” the lonely spirit or the lonely soul. It is the triumph of the spirit over matter. The spirit being that beautiful woman breaking out of the chains and the fire and prison.