This engaging photo of a street scene in Dublin featuring a number of advertisements, including one poster promoting The Essential Leonard Cohen was taken and licensed by shaggy359.
Note: Originally posted 2008 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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.
With some squinting, the concert date on this commemorative plaque, posted by Joey Carenza, appears to be either April 10, 1972 or April 10, 1977. Given that Leonard Cohen did not tour in 1977, 1972 appears more likely.
The problem then becomes that while Cohen did perform a concert on April 10, 1972, it wasn’t in Munich. CohenLive (no longer online) informs us of these pertinent Cohen concerts:
- 1972/04/10 Wien, Österreich – (Konzerthaus)
- 1972/04/11 München, Deutschland – (Cirkus Krone)
It gets better (or, if one tends more toward the obsessive than the histrionic, it gets worse). There is another poster advertising the 1972 Leonard Cohen concert at Circus Krone in Munich. Note the dates at the left top corner.
It’s all part of The Leonard Cohen Munich Concert Poster Mystery.
Note: Originally posted July 3, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Photos by L Willis
— L'Ville MUSICulture (@LouMUSICulture) January 9, 2013
Promotion for March 30, 2013 Leonard Cohen concert in Louisville. Originally posted January 10, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Leonard Cohen Ad Reflects Competing Recording Formats & Diffuse Promotion Strategy
When I couldn’t determine the product that was being promoted by the advertisement from New Musical Express (January 30, 1988) shown below, I asked Dominique BOILE, who had contributed the ad. What I learned comprises today’s post.
My confusion arose from the mix of recordings listed on the ad: “First We Take Manhattan,” “Bird On The Wire,” “Sisters Of Mercy,” and “Suzanne.” The only commonality I could see was that all those were tracks on the Best of Leonard Cohen album, but that came out in 1975 so New Musical Express wouldn’t be carrying an ad for that in 1988. And I had no clue about the multiplicity of formats listed.
In his response, Dominique directed me to two reference numbers, one of either side of “CBS” at the bottom of the ad:651352 7 and 65132 6 (note: this second number is a misprint on the original ad; the correct reference number is 651352 6).
Then, he explained that the ad was promoting Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man” album that would be released in February 1988 by pushing CBS 651352 7, aka the 7″ vinyl version of “First We Take Manhattan” taken from the forthcoming LP / Cassette / CD “I’m Your Man.”