Listen To Spring 1968 Leonard Cohen Paris Theatre (London) Show


01 – You Know Who I Am
02 – Bird On The Wire
03 – The Stranger Song
04 – So Long, Marianne
05 – Master Song
06 – There’s No Reason Why You Should Remember Me
07 – Sisters Of Mercy
08 – Teachers
09 – Dress Rehearsal Rag
10 – Suzanne
11 – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
12 – Story Of Isaac
13 – One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong

Notes from roio download site:

A very important bootleg, IMO, that begs for an official release. Reportedly, it was sourced from a cassette copy that a fan got directly from an BBC employee after writing a letter to inquire after the status of this recording. The BBC employee also mentioned that this came from his private copy and that video sources no longer existed in the archives.

The audio recording was first heard by the public in 1993 when it came out on a pressed CD bootleg in inferior quality. Then later in the mid-2000s it started to circulate in better quality. I first heard this in 2006 when someone uploaded it on Dime’s tracker. Although pretty clean, that source was marred heavily by noise reduction artefacts. For this new version, I have used another source that I found on another tracker. It had more noises and also some signs of NR, but substantially less than the 2006 Dime source. I fear this is probably as good as it’s gonna get, unless someone manages to obtain a clean digital copy of the BBC cassette which, to my knowledge, is not in circulation.

Despite the obvious deterioration of the source material, the sound quality here has still turned out quite good. I have carefully restored and remastered this at my mastering studio. The original source sounded a bit dull. By bringing up the high-end a bit, the NR problem and hiss also became more apparent, but I think I found an acceptable balance (to my taste, anyway). I also corrected the speed of the two original parts (one ran a bit too fast, the other a bit too slow).

To me, the historical importance outweighs the sonic flaws by far. Four songs performed here (not counting There’s No Reason Why You Should Remember Me, which is more a joke than a song) were unreleased at the time, though already fully realized. Some of the arrangements are quite different from the studio versions and there’s an extra unheard verse on So Long, Marianne.

Artery commented at Dime:

It was me that transferred the BBC engineer’s tape to WAV then CD. I can’t actually remember the year, but some time after 1998, I think. The tape was sent to me by well known Cohen expert Jim Devlin. I do remember that Jim had borrowed the original cassette from the BBC gentleman and we returned it to him after digitising the contents.

I certainly added no NR of any kind. My transfer was a raw Cassette deck to CD Wave with only track markers inserted. I own the original At The Beeb bootleg CD and not only was quality much better on our cassette but the final track One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong was missing from that bootleg.

Someone torrented a version of my original transfer under the title BBC Broadcasts 1968 (including four additional songs from John Peel and Julie Felix shows). Maybe that is where the noise reduction came in.

It’s a very interesting performance in several ways. I believe it’s the only known performance of Dress Rehearsal Rag, pre-dating its appearance on record by three years, and One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong is very rare too. I believe that members of The Strawbs were the backing musicians, certainly including Dave Cousins.

The odd thing for me is that I don’t recall ever meeting anyone who saw the original TV transmission. The Paris Theatre was the venue of many BBC Radio In Concerts and an odd choice for TV I think.

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs Stranger Song, Demonstrates His Chop On BBC’s Julie Felix Show – 1968


Single Tear Marks 1st Leonard Cohen British TV Performance – Once More With Felix 1968

While the YouTube titles and burbs report the date of this broadcast as 1967, the reliable Diamonds In The Mine and Cohen Live sites as well as the arguably less legitimate but nonetheless typically accurate bootleg listings date the recording and the broadcast as having taken place 27 January 1968.

The description from Diamonds In The Mine is especially informative:

Julie Felix, who met Leonard Cohen in Greece introduces him singing The Stranger Song. He also covers Hey that’s No Way To Say Goodbye with Julie. Leonard’s first UK TV appearance and memorable for the tear he sheds at the end of Stranger. When shown this clip in 1993 by Jools Holland, Leonard commented “I never saw it, you know. I remember the evening, it was the first television show that I ever did in England, and one of the first I ever did anywhere. And Julie Felix invited me over to do it. So I have never seen that clip…. there’s an expression of “chops”, which musicians have to designate their excellence, their skill, and you say, like, “a musician has great chops”. Well, I have one “chop”. So you know, er, I’m demonstrating my “chop” there.

Leonard Cohen – The Stranger Song
Once More With Felix-BBC: 1968
Uploaded by absentreferent

Note: Originally posted Sep 5, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Marianne Variations: Leonard Cohen’s “If You Leave Where Will I Keep You Then?” Version Of So Long, Marianne


Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne

The Marianne Variations is a series of posts devoted to the major recurring variations of Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne” that significantly differ from the versions found on the Songs Of Leonard Cohen and Field Commander Cohen albums. An introduction and links to all published posts in this series as well as the inclusion criteria and the original version of “So Long, Marianne” from the Songs Of Leonard Cohen album can be found at The Marianne Variations Summary Page.

The “If You Leave Where Will I Keep You Then?” Version Of So Long, Marianne

The following stanza, not heard on the “So Long, Marianne” track of the Songs Of Leonard Cohen album (released Dec 27, 1967) but printed in the Songs Of Leonard Cohen Songbook and booklet from the Leonard Cohen Greatest Hits (aka The Best Of Leonard Cohen) album, is the final stanza of the rendition recorded in Paris in Spring 1968 and broadcast on BBC2 TV in 1968 (for information about Leonard Cohen’s 1968 BBC Sessions, see Best Bootlegs: Leonard Cohen Live At The BBC):

If you leave where will I keep you then?
In my heart, as some men say.
And I, who was born to love everyone,
Why should I keep you so far away?

Leonard Cohen – So Long, Marianne
London BBC: 1968
The pertinent verse begins at 6:40
Video from messalina79

Note: Originally posted July 16, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Guide To Leonard Cohen’s 1967-1968 BBC Broadcasts: Top Gear With John Peel, Once More With Felix, & Leonard Cohen Sings Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen At The BBC – Paying Rent In The Tower Of Babel

In 1968, just one year after Songs Of Leonard Cohen, the artist’s first album, was released, four BBC broadcasts carried Leonard Cohen performances taped live for those programs. Since then, these important and relatively high quality recordings have been periodically rediscovered to the delight of new fans.

In the ensuing 45 years, however, the zeal of Cohen fans, technological advances, and irresistible commercial dynamics have combined to produce numerous versions of these songs in various combinations and permutations, subjected to a number of editing and engineering tweaks, and distributed on multiple media, inevitably leading to confusion.

Today’s post is an effort to bring some clarity to the situation.

Leonard Cohen’s 1968 BBC Broadcasts

The 1968 Leonard Cohen BBC broadcasts follow:

1. Two songs recorded and broadcast on BBC2 TV’s Once More With Felix in Dec 1967

1. The Stranger Song
2. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye (Duet with Julie Felix)

2. Four Leonard Cohen songs recorded at BBC Piccadilly Studio 1 and broadcast on the July 9, 1968 BBC Radio 1 program, Top Gear with John Peel:

1. You Know Who I Am
2. Bird On The Wire
3. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
4. Dress Rehearsal Rag

3. Thirteen songs were recorded Spring 1968 at the Paris Theatre, London and broadcast by BBC2 TV under the title ”Leonard Cohen Sings Leonard Cohen.”

Five of these were broadcast on August 31, 1968:

1. You Know Who I Am
2. Bird On The Wire
3. The Stranger Song
4. So Long Marianne
5. Master Song

Eight others were broadcast September 7, 1968:

1. There’s No Reason Why You Should Remember Me [improvisation]
2. Sisters Of Mercy
3. Teachers
4. Dress Rehearsal Rag
5. Suzanne
6. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
7. Story Of Isaac
8. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong

The Standard Distributions

Many of these songs an be found alone. The duet with Julie Felix, for example, is a fairly popular standalone YouTube video,1 no doubt because the visual as well as audio components of the recording are available.

lc-felix Continue Reading →

  1. Available at Julie Felix & Leonard Cohen ‘Hey,That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’ 1968 []

1968 Leonard Cohen BBC Recordings On Vinyl

Peter Torbijn of The Netherlands offers these photos of the vinyl version of the well known 1968 Leonard Cohen BBC Session along with this information:

… as far as I know this is the first release on vinyl. On the albums it says “These recordings are from the Master audio reels”. I cannot check the audio quality of the vinyl because I do not want to open the shrink wrap

The Ever Expanding Leonard Cohen Collectibles Universe

Dominique BOILE offers a variant of the above specimen, which appears to be identical in all aspects except it is part of a limited edition (100 copies) featuring a colored disc.

Note: My Radio Sweetheart and Don’t Touch That Dial have identical playlists from the 1968 Leonard Cohen BBC Session but differ in the bonus tracks each contains.

In addition, Dominique writes, “I opened 2 of 3 albums and I listened the disc: the quality is excellent, as good as an official vinyl record.”

Don’t Touch That Dial


Blue Disc



My Radio Sweetheart


Note: This material was originally published in posts dated October 7, 2012 and February 13, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric