“You don’t really think of his music as particularly funky, but hey, it was ‘76 and disco was in the air” Leonard Cohen’s 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival Show

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 

1976 Leonard Cohen Olympia, Paris Show: Watch Video Gems & Hear Complete Concert

6-Jun-1976-5The June 5, 1976 Leonard Cohen concert at the Olympia Theatre in Paris is the source for a number of delights, including the rare photo atop this post taken by Dominique BOILE (also see more of Dominique’s shots of this show).

Do I Have To Dance All Night Release

do i have to dance all night cover art french900Although Cohen sang Do I Have To Dance All Night frequently in 1976 and 1980 concerts, it was released only as a seven inch single of the  June 5, 1976 performance. (For more information, see Do I Have To Dance All Night – The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve (Probably) Never Heard). There was, however, no video – until I created one.

Is This What You Wanted Video

Because I could not find a high quality video of Is This What You Wanted online, I created one, again using the recording from the 1976 Olympia concert. (For more information, see Video: Is This What You Wanted by Leonard Cohen – Paris 1976)

Leonard Cohen: Is This What You Wanted

Complete 1976 Leonard Cohen Paris Show

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Hear Best of Leonard Cohen World Tour 2008-2010 (Unofficial Selection)

“A small bunch of songs, all of exceptional intensity, sound and emotion”

Note: Being included with the great Banalny in the dedication of this outstanding bootleg collection is, as we say in medicine, “a non-trivial event” for me.

From the original collection (and repeated in the YouTube description):

At the end of Leonard Cohen’s tour and the official album, “Songs From The Road” was released it was clear to us that we’d just gone through 3 years of absolutely historical concerts at a high level of dedication, virtuosity and feelings. It is difficult in three years not having one bad night. The exception was the sad event of September 2009 in Valencia. All the people who were there had his heart in a fist. That day,despite being ill, Leonard went out as usual to give everything.Like all times in three years as evidenced by this small example,with this record. Of course we could have filled three CDs of good songs, memorable performances (because in three years Cohen has not taken a bad gig), but we wanted to condense only a small bunch of songs, all of exceptional intensity, sound and emotion.Despite containing only twelve tracks, there are sound examples of virtuosity, value and art improvising that Leonard Cohen has expended between 2008 and 2011. Here is the only “Chelsea Hotel” acoustic tour, “The Stranger Song” published in a sound check, the new and unique “Born in chains”, or “So Long-Marianne” with unusual lines. We do not expect to compete with the official selection of Ed Sanders and the magnificent official record, of course. We only hope that Leonard will return in 2012, and meanwhile I humbly invite you to share this album. We want to dedicate it to the wonderful Allan Showalter, and the great Banalny for joining us and making us pass so great moments. ”

1. Born in chains Wiesbaden-3.9.2010
2. Who by fire Las Vegas-10.12.2010
3. That don´t make it junk Dublin-15.6.2008
4. So long Marianne Cap Roig-15.8.2009
5. Avalanche Montreal-26.6.2008
6. Chelsea hotel Rotterdam-3.11.2008
7. A singer must die Melbourne-12.11.2010
8. The Darkness Hannover-27.9.2010
9. The night comes on Auckland-29.10.2010
10. Feels so good Grenoble-17.9.2010
11. Lullaby Dublin-22.7.2009

Bonus track
12. The stranger song-Soundcheck Gante-21.8.2010

Hear Complete 1979 Leonard Cohen Bonn Concert

This audio-only recording is a bootleg sometimes labeled Leonard Cohen: Upon A Smokey Evening, a very good FM broadcast recorded live at the Großer Saal, Beethovenhalle, Bonn, West Germany: December 3, 1979.

It is available for download at the ROIO site, which offers this information:

Cohen surrounded himself with a coterie of superb musicians. As a nucleus, he co-opted the Austin, Texas-based jazz band, Passenger (Steve Meador on drums, Roscoe Beck on bass, Mitch Watkins on guitar, Bill Ginn on keyboards and Paul Ostermayer on sax and flute). Further extending the core group’s capabilities were violinist Raffi Hakopian and John Bilezikjian on the oud – an 11-string pear-shaped instrument, visually similar to a mandolin -all of whom had also contributed to ‘Recent Songs’. Completing the ensemble, Leonard’s brace of backing singers on the jaunt were long-time friend and colleague Jennifer Warnes (who later released her own Cohen tribute album, ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ in 1987) and another Cohen collaborator and future song-writing partner, Sharon Robinson.

This concert, from Bonn’s prestigious 2,000-capacity Beethovenhalle, was recorded towards the end of the European extravaganza on December 3, and, as is evident, the cast were performing superbly by this juncture. ‘Recent Songs’ was, and remained, a personal favourite of Leonard’s: “I think I like ‘Recent Songs’ the best. The producer was Henry Levy – I was studying with Roshi at the time in Los Angeles and it was appropriate that I worked with a Los Angeles producer. He had that great quality that Bob Johnston (Bob Dylan’s producer) had: a lot of faith in the singer and he just let it happen. He introduced me to the group Passenger. I’d always wanted to combine those Middle Eastern or Eastern European sounds with the rhythmic possibilities of a jazz or rock’n’roll rhythm section,” he later stated.


Disc 1 (57 mins)
Track 101. Bird On The Wire 5:37
Track 102. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye 4:19
Track 103. Who By Fire 7:18
Track 104. Passing Through 5:14
Track 105. The Window 5:34
Track 106. Lover Lover Lover 8:20
Track 107. So Long, Marianne 6:31
Track 108. The Stranger Song 6:18
Track 109. Chelsea Hotel 2 4:24
Track 110. A Singer Must Die 2:43

Disc 2 (56 mins)
Track 201. The Partisan 3:23
Track 202. Famous Blue Raincoat 5:29
Track 203. There Is A War 4:44
Track 204. The Gypsy’s Wife 5:43
Track 205. The Guests 5:35
Track 206. Suzanne 6:33
Track 207. Memories 5:39
Track 208. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong 4:48
Track 209. Tonight Will Be Fine 6:34
Track 210. I Tried To Leave You 7:32

From ROIO site: As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Download Information

The files are already in MP3 format (320 kbps). available for download directly from the site, thus avoiding the need to enter codes, decompress the files, or deal with the hassles of download services. The cover art shown above is available on site.

This bootleg can be downloaded at Roio – Leonard Cohen – Bonn 1979