“The ‘secret chord’ and the point-blank I-know-you-better-than-you-know-yourself aspect of the song has plenty of resonance for me” Bob Dylan On Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

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That song ‘Hallelujah’ has resonance for me. There again, it’s a beautifully constructed melody that steps up, evolves, and slips back, all in quick time. But this song has a connective chorus, which when it comes in has a power all of its own. The ‘secret chord’ and the point-blank I-know-you-better-than-you-know-yourself aspect of the song has plenty of resonance for me.quotedown2

Bob Dylan

 

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

Leonard Cohen Theorizes That Dylan Pilfered His Missing Tape

[Leonard Cohen] hunts around for a tape of another track. He searches through his desk. Makes a phone call. Looks around the tape machine.

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Can’t find it anywhere. Maybe Dylan came by and stole it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

OK, I’m pretty sure Leonard is joking – but this would explain a lot.

Fom Leonard Cohen: Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? by Adrian Deevoy. Q, 1991.

“Dylan’s a Picasso – that exuberance, range, an assimilation of the whole history of music.” Leonard Cohen

From 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 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

Video: “Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen At Closing Time” In “Great Moments in Rock & Roll History (That Never Happened)”

grtmomentsThe delightful Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen At Closing Time is the third of this video’s three parts, beginning at 2:18; on the other hand, the first two parts are themselves worthwhile viewing – even without Leonard.

Great Moments in Rock & Roll History (That Never Happened)
Written & Directed by José Luis González
Video from Ojo Flojo

Note: Originally posted March 17, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I always felt I invented Dylan” Hear 1988 Leonard Cohen Ritz Concert + Pete Fornatale Interview

“I’ve studied all the theologies and all the philosophies, but cheerfulness keeps breaking through.”

This recording includes the July 5, 1988 Leonard Cohen concert at the Ritz in New York and, beginning at 1:39:23, an interview by Pete Fornatale broadcast on Mixed Bag on July 31, 1988 (WNEW FM New York).

Mr. Cohen sang songs that ranged across the breadth of his career, from ”Suzanne” to ”Everybody Knows,” to two versions of his recent song, ”First We Take Manhattan,” in which the fashion world and drugs are held up as symbols of the terminal decay of New York. But the turning point of the evening was Mr. Cohen’s spare voice-and-guitar rendition of ”If It Be Your Will,” one of his two or three finest meditations. A prayer for mercy murmured to the void by a world wearing ”rags of light all dressed to kill,” it received a haunting interpretation in Mr. Cohen’s sepulchral bass-baritone growl.1

The interview includes Leonard Cohen discussing the influence of Bob Dylan and the assistance lent by Judy Collins and Jennifer Warnes, his “cheerfulness keeps breaking through” reference (erroneously attributed to Jonson), his multiple revisions that dramatically changed I Can’t Forget, his first public appearance as a singer, his “If I knew where good songs came from, I go there more often” comment, his religious symbolism and the notion of being punished for sin, the difference between a Ladies’ Man and a Romantic, and saying goodbye.

Update: This video has been removed

Setlist
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  1. Review/Pop; Leonard Cohen Reflects Darkly On the World by Stephen Holden. New York Times: July 9, 1988 []

Leonard Cohen On His Image (And Bob Dylan’s)


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People have this image of you. If somebody says ‘Bob Dylan’, you think ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’. I don’t resist it, I tell you, I feel lucky to have any kind of image, because the scene is ferociously competitive; there is so much good stuff around. To be able to have any kind of identity at all, and one which enables you to make a living–that’s always been a concern of mine. My records have never sold in those vast quantities; until very recently, they sold very modestly, and they still sell modestly in relationship to the people who are considered pop icons. So, yes, ‘Suzanne’, ‘melancholy’, whatever the designations are, I’m ready to live with them, even embrace them.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen…What’s Your Problem? Doom and Gloom by Patrick Humphries (Vox: February, 1993), Originally posted Nov 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Bob Dylan And Bob Dylan On Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen’s comment about Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize, “It’s like pinning a medal on Mount Everest for being the highest mountain,” is a notable but hardly exclusive manifestation of the interface between the preeminent bards of contemporary music. Since the 1960s, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan shared what Larry “Ratso” Sloman has called “a relationship of tremendous mutual respect.”

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

Credits: Leonard’s evaluation of Bob Dylan is from a 1994 Q Magazine interview (photo courtesy of Leonard Cohen); Bob Dylan’s assessment of Leonard is from the 2016 New Yorker Leonard Cohen profile by David Remnick (photo by Alberto Cabello via Wikipedia Commons).