Otis Redding’s “These Arms Of Mine” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

It’s Coming From The Silence On The Dock Of The Bay

1024px-Otis_Redding_(2)

In addition to that allusion in the above heading to Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” in the lyrics of “Democracy,” Leonard Cohen noted his fondness for a specific song by Redding in a 1993 interview1 when he responded to the query, “Who currently blows you away as a songwriter?”

This isn’t quite the moment to ask me, because I’ve been on the road for a long time and one’s disinterest in music becomes Himalayan in proportion. But, you know, if I hear George Jones singing “Grand Tour,” it can blow me away. If I hear Otis Redding singing “These Arms.” 

“These Arms of Mine” was Otis Redding’s first single on Stax, released on his debut album, Pain in My Heart, in 1964.

Otis Redding – These Arms Of Mine

If this video does not play within the embedded player, it can be watched at YouTube.

Credit Due Department: Photo of Otis Redding By Volt Records (Billboard, page 7, 7 January 1967) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Note: Originally posted May 10, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Leonard Cohen by Dev Sherlock. Musician Magazine: November, 1993 []

Bob Dylan’s “I And I” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Bob Dylan And Leonard Cohen Talk Shop

infiedels

One of the anecdotes in the standard catechism all good Leonard Cohen acolytes learn has to do with the contrast in the time required by Bob Dylan and Cohen to compose a song. The story appears in several Cohen interviews. The following iteration is from Leonard Cohen, Los Angeles 1992, a section of “Songwriters On Songwriting” by Paul Zollo:

That [“Hallelujah”] was a song that took me [Leonard Cohen] a long time to write. Dylan and I were having coffee the day after his concert in Paris a few years ago and he was doing that song in concert. And he asked me how long it took to write it. And I told him a couple of years. I lied actually. It was more than a couple of years.

Then I praise a song of his, “I and I,” and asked him how long it had taken and he said, “Fifteen minutes.” [Laughter]

Bob Dylan – I And I
From Infidels

Bob Dylan Songs On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Leonard Cohen-Bob 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

Note: Originally posted April 2, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Billy Joel’s “Light As The Breeze” Cover Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Billy Joel Covers Leonard Cohen’s “Light As The Breeze”

tower of song tribBilly Joel’s take on “Light As The Breeze” is his contribution to Tower Of Song, a 1995 collection of Cohen’s tunes covered by artists such as Willie Nelson, Sting, Bono, and Peter Gabriel. It also appears on Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Volume III.

bj3

Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen Covers

Leonard Cohen is notoriously positive toward versions of his songs performed by others. As Cohen himself points out,

But as for myself, whenever I hear anybody do one of my songs my critical judgments go into immediate suspended animation. I’m just knocked out when anybody does a cover of mine.

This blanket endorsement is hardly equivalent to his specific praise for songs such as  “Unchained Melody” or “Blueberry Hill,” the tunes featured in the first two Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox posts; consequently not every cover of “Hallelujah,” for example, will appear in this series.

In those instances in which Cohen unmistakably lauds a specific cover, however, the admittedly subjective criterion for inclusion of a song on this list would seem to be met.

With that in mind, consider …

Leonard Cohen On Billy Joel’s “Light As The Breeze”

From KCRW Interview With Leonard Cohen1

I think there are songs that are better done than I have done them. Just more successful versions of the songs that I have done. For instance, We were talking about “Billy Joel’s Light As A Breeze.” I think it’s a much much better version of the one I came up with.

Billy Joel – Light As The Breeze

Leonard Cohen – Light As The Breeze
From The Future Album

fedoradivider

Credit Due Department
I was first alerted to the Lenny likes Billy’s cover phenomenon by UrPal at LeonardCohenForum.

Note: Originally posted April 29, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

_________________________

  1. Interview by Chris Doritos, KCRW-FM, Los Angeles, February 18, 1997 []

Tim Hardin’s “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

Note: Originally posted June 6, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

fedoradivider

thardin

I did get a chance to tell him [Tim Hardin] how much I loved his songs – “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep” …  is a great, great song. I asked him to play it for me, and he did.

 – Leonard Cohen1

Tim Hardin is best known for writing “If I Were a Carpenter” and “Reason to Believe,” but “Don’t Make Promises” was the first track on Tim Hardin’s debut album Tim Hardin 1, released in 1966. While overshadowed by the hit, “Reason to Believe,” “Don’t Make Promises” did receive some air play and was covered by, among others, Bobby Darin, Marianne Faithfull, Three Dog Night, Helen Reddy, Joan Baez, and The Kingston Trio.

Tim Hardin – Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

____________________________

  1. From Nov 18, 1992 CBC Radio Morningside interview with Peter Gzowski []

Van Morrison’s “Veedon Fleece” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Van Morrison – Veedon Fleece

verdonUnsurprisingly, Leonard Cohen is a fan of Van Morrison.1 When asked to name those he admired on the “contemporary music scene today [1975],” the Canadian singer-songwriter’s responded

I also like Van Morrison very much, including his superb ‘Veedon Fleece’ effort.2

Recorded shortly after Van Morrison’s sudden divorce from wife Janet Rigsbee, Veedon Fleece was released in October, 1974, only a month after his acclaimed double live album, It’s Too Late to Stop Now. Perhaps as a result of the timing, Veedon Fleece is typically included in the “lost masterpiece” category. This album marks a return to the style of songwriting found in Van Morrison Astral Weeks.

Since Leonard Cohen’s accolade covers the entire album, I’ve take the prerogative of selecting as a representative track my own favorite song from Veedon Fleece:3 Streets of Arklow.

Van Morrison – Streets of Arklow

Note: Originally posted July 22, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
_________________

  1. See Into The Mystic Leonard Cohen – Van Morrison Connection []
  2. Cohen’s New Skin by Harvey Kubernik & Justin Pierce (Melody Maker, March 1, 1975) []
  3. The entire album is on a single YouTube playlist: Van Morrison – Veedon Fleece []

Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

Note: Originally posted Aug 19, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

The “Sweet Little Sound” Of Janis Joplin

Janis_Joplin_performing

Today’s selection was found by  Florian1  in “Leonard Cohen – In Eigenen Worten”  (In His Own Words) by Jim Devlin, a volume that includes a list of Leonard Cohen’s Top Five songs of 1985.  Fourth on that list is “Piece Of My Heart” by Janis Joplin.

The Chelsea Hotel Connection

In case someone looking for the Lynyrd Skynyrd fan site accidentally  wandered onto Cohencentric, I’ll point out what most readers know already – Leonard Cohen has repeatedly attested that his song, “Chelsea Hotel #2,” is about his liaison with Janis Joplin at that very hotel.

On A Personal Note

I’ve personally liked each of the songs featured on Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox, a fact which will no doubt alleviate much angst for Leonard. But, Janis Joplin singing “Piece Of Heart” knocks me out.

This is so damn great ….

 

Janis Joplin – Piece Of My Heart

Video from bakabana1966

Credit Due Department: Photo of Janis Joplin by Columbia Records (Billboard page 5) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
________________________

  1. Of the several members of LeonardCohenForum who responded to my request for help in finding documented instances of Leonard Cohen favoring a specific song performed by another artist, Florian was far and away the most prolific. He will account for several Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox posts in the future. []