The Leonard Cohen-Bob Dylan Interface

cdiIn honor of Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, Cohencentric features The Cohen-Dylan Interface, comprising posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their interactions, comparisons of the two by others, and more. All these can be found at

Credit Due Department: Dylan photo by Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz – Bob Dylan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia. Cohen photo courtesy Leonard Cohen

“Dylan’s achievement is so monumental. He was the Picasso. I’m the Matisse. I love Matisse, but I’m in awe of Picasso.” Leonard Cohen (1992)

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From “Cohen’s Future Is Now” by Jim Slotek: Toronto Sun, November 19, 1992.

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

Bob Dylan on Leonard Cohen: “When people talk about Leonard, they fail to mention his melodies, which to me, along with his lyrics, are his greatest genius”

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When people talk about Leonard, they fail to mention his melodies, which to me, along with his lyrics, are his greatest genius. Even the counterpoint lines—they give a celestial character and melodic lift to every one of his songs. As far as I know, no one else comes close to this in modern music. Even the simplest song, like ‘The Law,’ which is structured on two fundamental chords, has counterpoint lines that are essential, and anybody who even thinks about doing this song and loves the lyrics would have to build around the counterpoint lines.quotedown2

Bob Dylan

 

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

Credit Due Department: Photo by Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz – Bob Dylan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia

 

Bob Dylan on Leonard Cohen: “These are all great songs, deep and truthful as ever and multidimensional, surprisingly melodic, & they make you think & feel”

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I like all of Leonard’s songs, early or late, ‘Going Home,’ ‘Show Me the Place,’ ‘The Darkness.’ These are all great songs, deep and truthful as ever and multidimensional, surprisingly melodic, and they make you think and feel. I like some of his later songs even better than his early ones. Yet there’s a simplicity to his early ones that I like, too.quotedown2

Bob Dylan

 

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

Credit Due Department: Photo by Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz – Bob Dylan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia

“Leonard’s songs were a combination of very real details and a sense of mystery, like prayers or spells.” Suzanne Vega Compares Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen

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It was the way he [Leonard Cohen] wrote about complicated things. It was very intimate and personal. Dylan took you to the far ends of the expanding universe, eight minutes of ‘one hand waving free,’ and I loved that, but it didn’t sound like anything I did or was likely to do—it wasn’t very earthly. Leonard’s songs were a combination of very real details and a sense of mystery, like prayers or spells.quotedown2

Suzanne Vega

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

Credit Due Department: By Richard Huber – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia

Bob Dylan Compares Leonard Cohen To Irving Berlin

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I see no disenchantment in Leonard’s lyrics at all. There’s always a direct sentiment, as if he’s holding a conversation and telling you something, him doing all the talking, but the listener keeps listening. He’s very much a descendant of Irving Berlin, maybe the only songwriter in modern history that Leonard can be directly related to. Berlin’s songs did the same thing. Berlin was also connected to some kind of celestial sphere. And, like Leonard, he probably had no classical-music training, either. Both of them just hear melodies that most of us can only strive for. Berlin’s lyrics also fell into place and consisted of half lines, full lines at surprising intervals, using simple elongated words. Both Leonard and Berlin are incredibly crafty. Leonard particularly uses chord progressions that seem classical in shape. He is a much more savvy musician than you’d think.quotedown2

Bob Dylan

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

Credit Due Department: Photo by Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz – Bob Dylan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia