Leonard Cohen On Bob Dylan: “He’s probably the most sophisticated singer we’ve had in a generation”

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Most music criticism is in the nineteenth century. It’s so far behind, say, the criticism of painting. It’s still based on nineteenth-century art – cows beside a stream and trees and ‘I know what I like.’ There’s no concession to the fact that Dylan might be a more sophisticated singer than Whitney Houston, that he’s probably the most sophisticated singer we’ve had in a generation.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988

Leonard Cohen-Bob Dylan Interface

A collection of posts about the interface between Leonard Cohen & Bob Dylan, including their opinions of each other, their interactions, and their occasional differences can be found at

Leonard Cohen On Being Called “A Romantic”


Is it a misconception that all your songs are overly romantic?

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Well, if you examine the work I think you’ll find quite a realistic take on the whole matter. The notion I get of ‘romantic’ is someone who cherishes illusions. I think just a partial study of my songs — if anyone was actually bored enough to undertake such an enterprise — will discern that the illusions are few and far between. But if people want to call me romantic . . . there are worse things to be called.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? by Adrian Deevoy. Q, 1991. Photo “Leonard Cohen, 1988 01” by GorupdebesanezOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

“I think if I had one of those good voices, I would have done it completely differently. I probably would have sung the songs I really like rather than be a writer.” Leonard Cohen


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I think if I had one of those good voices, I would have done it completely differently. I probably would have sung the songs I really like rather than be a writer. When I was a kid I always had this fantasy of singing with a band. We’d have get-togethers and I’d sing ‘Racing with the Moon,’ stuff like that. I just don’t think one would have bothered to write if one could have really lifted one’s voice in song. But that wasn’t my voice. This is my voice.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

“Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough” By Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988. Photo by Johann Agust Hansen.

Leonard Cohen Responds To “Why I Write the Same Old Song”

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I think any artist — writer, singer, or painter — has only one or two paintings that he does over and over. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From “Yakety Yak” by Scott Cohen (1994). Ad image atop this post contributed by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted May 21, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On His Inspiration For The Original “Band Aid” Opening Lines Of Ain’t No Cure For Love

[Did Ain’t No Cure For Love start out] about the SALT Treaty?

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Actually, one of the things on my mind was that I was very pissed off at Band Aid, this moment in musical history where everyone took care of ‘we gave at the office.’ It was very nice, but first of all, I hadn’t been asked by anybody to sing. [smiles] So the song started off ‘From the heart of man to the heart of God the ladder’s been removed / And there ain’t no band-aid big enough to cover up this wound.’ That idea.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

“From the heart of man to the heart of God the ladder’s been removed / And there ain’t no band-aid big enough to cover up this wound” is an early version of the opening lines of Ain’t No Cure For Love. The excerpt if from Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland. Musician: July 1988.

“Some moments in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle were as fine as anything I’ve seen by you [Rebecca De Mornay] or anyone else” Leonard Cohen

In 1993, Leonard Cohen, the singer-songwriter and poet who was perhaps the world’s greatest interviewee, switched roles to interview Rebecca De Mornay, the gorgeous movie actress who was, for a time, Mr. Cohen’s fiancée. The following excerpt is from From Knowing Rebecca de Mornay Like Only Leonard Cohen Can by Leonard Cohen with William Claxton. Interview magazine. June 1, 1993:

Leonard Cohen: What would you say was your finest moment on the screen?

Rebecca De Mornay: What would you say?

Leonard Cohen: I thought some moments in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle were as fine as anything I’ve seen by you or anyone else, such as the moment where you beat up the bathroom with a shovel. Or was it a plunger?

Rebecca De Mornay: It was a plunger.

Leonard Cohen: I thought that was a rare moment of a woman’s anger onscreen.

Rebecca De Mornay: It’s a very difficult thing for people to accept, seeing women act out anger on the screen. We’re more accustomed to seeing men expressing rage and women crying.