Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Hits “Best Album Of 2012” Lists

First, Old Ideas Hits the Charts

Leonard Cohen found himself in unfamiliar territory when his Old Ideas album quickly and decisively garnered high rankings on the sales charts in countries around the world.1 The chart below, for example, show the Feb 2, 2012 iTunes Store Top 10 albums by country.

iTunes Top Albums By Country – Feb 2, 2012

Now, Old Ideas Hits The Best Of 2012 Lists

Now it’s the time of year when music journals and other institutions announce their choices for the best album of the year.  Here’s how Old Ideas is doing so far.

Old Ideas By Leonard Cohen – Uncut’s Album of the Year 2012

Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Is #5 On Spinner’s 50 Best Albums Of 2012

Posted Dec 7, 2012 at Spinner’s 50 Best Albums Of 2012. Spinner had also listed Old Ideas in its July 9, 2012 post, The Best Albums of 2012 So Far — And How to Enjoy Them!:

Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas: The 77-year-old legend’s voice has deepened so richly over the years that it would be a pity not to listen to this album by sipping a finely aged scotch and contemplating life.

Spinner’s Top 5 Albums for 2012 follow:

1. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
2. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
3. Japandroids, Celebration Rock
4. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A. d city
5. Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas

Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Is #4 On American Songwriter’s Top 50 Albums Of 2012

From American Songwriter’s Top 50 Albums Of 2012 (American Songwriter December 4th, 2012):

4. Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas

The album title is Leonard Cohen’s little joke, implying that his latest album will have more of the same explorations of love, sex, faith, death, and all the other weighty topics he has assayed over his long recording career. Old Ideas is far from derivative of past glories though. Cohen’s self-deprecating humor perfectly balances out the philosophical stuff. Take “Going Home,” in which the singer imagines himself as God and describes his servant Leonard as “a lazy bastard living in a suit.” As usual, the instrumentation is pretty spare, allowing Cohen’s fathoms-deep voice to take center stage. That instrument is still surprisingly potent, especially when it shows its vulnerability on the questing “Show Me The Place.” Leonard may feel that God has a harsh opinion of him, but we mortals can’t help but be swayed by these Old Ideas.

Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas #4 On MOJO’s Best LPs of 2012

Continue Reading →

  1. See Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Hits The Charts – And Why That Matters (Maybe) []

“I think this particular record invites one to be swept along with it, even if you happen to have written it yourself.” Leonard Cohen Old Ideas Album Released Jan 31, 2012

The Old Ideas album was released Jan 31, 2012, more than seven years after Leonard Cohen’s previous studio album. It was enthusiastically received by critics (see Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Hits “Best Album Of 2012” Lists) and by music lovers, whose purchases made Old Ideas #1 on the charts across the world (see Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Hits The Charts – And Why That Matters (Maybe))

Old Ideas Billboard – Times Square NYC

Leonard Cohen – Show Me The Place

The first Old Ideas track pre-released was Show Me The Place.

Titular quote is from The Wisdom Of Leonard Cohen by Kevin Perry. GQ: Jan 19, 2012. Billboard photo by Kezban Özcan. Originally posted Aug 7, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Water and the Wine: Tamar Hodes’ Novel About Leonard Cohen & Marianne On Hydra To Be Published May 1, 2018

The Water and the Wine

It is the 1960s and a group of young writers and artists gather on the Greek island of Hydra. Leonard Cohen is at the start of his career and in love with Marianne, who is also muse to her ex-husband, Axel. Australian authors George Johnston and Charmian Clift drink, write and fight. It is a hedonistic time of love, sex and new ideas. As the island hums with excitement, Jack and Frieda join the community, hoping to mend their broken marriage. However, Greece is overtaken by a military junta and the artistic idyll is threatened. In this fictionalised account of the time, Tamar Hodes explores the destructive side of creativity and the price that we pay for our dreams. Read the early chapters.

The Water and the Wine will be available as a paperback and an ebook.

Tamar Hodes

Growing up, Tamar Hodes’ neighbours were Leonard Cohen, his girlfriend Marianne, and other writers and artists on Hydra. Tamar was three when her parents took her to live on the Greek island, as they wanted to pursue their own art and writing. However, the bohemian nature of Hydra took its toll on their marriage. The Water and the Wine is a fictional account of those days.

Tamar Hodes’ first novel Raffy’s Shapes was published in 2006. She has had stories on Radio 4 and others in anthologies including Salt’s The Best British Short Stories 2015, The Pigeonhole, Your One Phone Call, the Ofi Press, MIR online and Fictive Dream. Tamar was born in Israel and lived on Hydra and in South Africa before settling in the UK. She read English and Education at Homerton College, Cambridge. For the past thirty-three years she has taught English in schools, universities and prisons.

Video: Songwriter Brad Barr On What He Learned From Leonard Cohen

  • The usefulness of a nylon string classical guitar in songwriting
  • A simple right-hand guitar pattern can free your mind
  • It’s OK to take years to write a song

Read the complete article at ‘A simple guitar pattern can free your mind’ and more things Leonard Cohen taught the Barr Brothers by Carrie Haber (CBC Arts: 29 January 2018)

Leonard Cohen & Greek Politics: The Regime of the Colonels 1967-1974

Greek Military Junta Of 1967–1974

After the April 21, 1967 Greek coup d’éta which signaled the start of the oppressive Regime of the Colonels, many foreigners, especially foreigners who were celebrities, who lived in or even visited Greece were criticized for implicitly supporting the military junta. Leonard Cohen was among those denounced because of his ownership of a home in Hydra.

From Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen by Ira Nadel:

At the 1970 Leonard Cohen Aix-en-Provence concert, some in the audience called Cohen a fascist, accusing him of condoning The Regime of the Colonels” in Greece because Cohen had lived and continued to own a residence on Hydra. Cohen’s reply follows:

I have not spent much time when The Colonels were there. Most of the time I spent there was in the 60’s, but I had friends there for it all, and I had a life. It is not a question of supporting the so and so or something like that!1

Earlier during the 1970 tour, however, at the May 12 Paris show, Cohen had included a “tribute to the opposition to the Greek colonels.” This excerpt is from Leonard Cohen Scores In Paris by Tim Creery (Montreal Gazette: May 14, 1970):

After the intermission he dedicated an anti-Nazi song aux etudiants assassines in the U.S. and the show ended with a tribute to the opposition to the Greek colonels.


  1. From Encyclopaedia Universalis – Leonard Cohen – Le Partisan via Google Translate []

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Advice To Basia Bulat On Writer’s Block

“If you stick with the song long enough, it will yield — but long enough may not be a reasonable duration.”

Leonard Cohen

From ‘Yes, I know the condition well’: Leonard Cohen’s advice to Basia Bulat on writer’s block by Carrie Haber (CBC Arts: January 24, 2018)