“To me, the critic is on trial at this point.” Leonard Cohen On Music Critics

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At this point, yes I am interested in the market journey of the product; but I’m very, very interested also in the mind of the reviewers, how they change over the decades, and how a man approaches new work. Whether he approaches it in a spirit of curiosity, charity, interest, or as a vehicle for his own self-aggrandizement, his own career. Whether he uses it as an opportunity to display humanism, or cruelty… I mean to me, the critic is on trial at this point.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: The Romantic in a Ragpicker’s Trade by Paul Williams (Crawdaddy, March 1975). Image is back cover of Energy Of Slaves. Originally posted October 19, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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“There are unseen hands that manipulate the marketplace. Hands that I never get to see…or crush.” Leonard Cohen On Change Of His Concert Venue From Hop Farm To Wembley Arena (2010)

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I want you to know I learned about it [the venue switch] the same time you did. There are unseen hands that manipulate the marketplace. Hands that I never get to see…or crush.  quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Spoken by Leonard Cohen during his Sept 8, 2012 Concert at Wembley Arena in London. Quoted in Leonard Cohen brings ‘Old Ideas’ to London’s Wembley Arena (NME, September 9, 2012)

Originally posted Sep 9, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“We don’t have to wring our hands about the corruption of beauty or the violation of purity. It just is the way things go…” Leonard Cohen On The Commercialization Of Music

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People stand up and say something with authority and with freshness – maybe somebody like Sid Vicious, you know, and then, seven years later it’s a Coke commercial. You know, there’s nothing to lament in this matter. We don’t have to wring our hands about the corruption of beauty or the violation of purity. It just is the way things go.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen’s The Future Interview by Bob Mackowitz. Transcript from a radio special produced by Interviews Unlimited for Sony Music, 1992. Originally posted June 20, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Note: Like many musical artists, Leonard Cohen had a complicated relationship with his record company that shifted over time. Posts about this issue are collected at .

Compare with “I’m no longer a free man; I’m an exploited man.” Leonard Cohen On His Conflicts With The Music Business (1973)

“Columbia thought I was some sensitive poet who can’t be exposed to a wide public, a rare flower that could not bloom in the American pop landscape.” Leonard Cohen On Death Of A Ladies’ Man Being Released By Warners Rather Than Columbia

From A Sitting With Leonard Cohen: Ladies’ Man Is Home, Not Dead by Juan Rodriguez. The Gazette (Montréal): Jan 7, 1978

For an alternative explanation of why Warner Bros handled this album, see “We Were Drunk And Stupid” – Leonard Cohen On Death of a Ladies’ Man

Note: Like many musical artists, Leonard Cohen had a complicated relationship with his record company that shifted over time. Posts about this issue are collected at .

Originally posted Sept 8, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“My record company and I have an agreeable relationship; I sell enough records to keep them happy but few enough so that they don’t worry about the next one.” Leonard Cohen (1993)

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I have never shunned success. I have always tried to write hits that people would find enjoyable. My record company and I have an agreeable relationship; I sell enough records to keep them happy but few enough so that they don’t worry about the next one. If anything, I would have liked for them to treat me more as a commodity than an artist because I worry about the artist part enough for both of us.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From The Prophet of Love Looks into the Abyss: A Conversation with Leonard Cohen by Thom Jurek (Los Angeles Reader, August 27, 1993).

Compare with “I’m no longer a free man; I’m an exploited man.” Leonard Cohen On His Conflicts With The Music Business (1973)

Note: Like many musical artists, Leonard Cohen had a complicated relationship with his record company that shifted over time. Posts about this issue are collected at .

“I’m no longer a free man; I’m an exploited man.” Leonard Cohen On His Conflicts With The Music Business (1973)

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I’m no longer a free man; I’m an exploited man. Once, long ago, my songs were not sold; they found their way to people anyway. Then people saw that profit could be made from them; then the profit interested me also. I have to fight too many people on too many levels to have to fight about money as well. There is much to regret in the system of placing songs at the disposal of others. Now the record companies pressure me to force my songs because the stores want them to sell. I will not force my songs for them.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Note: Like many musical artists, Leonard Cohen had a complicated relationship with his record company that shifted over time. Posts about this issue are collected at .

Cohen Regrets (1973) by Alastair Pirrie. Beat Patrol: December 30, 2008. [Originally written for the New Musical Express: March 10, 1973.] Photo Credit: Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174.

“I thought I had a little bread, enough to get by. I found I didn’t [because $5 million was embezzled from his retirement account] – for which I’m very grateful because it spurred a lot of activity.” Leonard Cohen

Is financial necessity good or bad for art?

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I think it levels the ground. I never had huge amounts of money when I was young. I had huge amounts of fame, and I always had the sense of labor and recompense. I always said I don’t want to work for pay, but I want to get paid for my work. Financial necessity of course arose in a very acute manner a few years ago. [His then-manager stole over $5 million from his retirement account.] I thought I had a little bread, enough to get by. I found I didn’t – for which I’m very grateful because it spurred a lot of activity.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen on Longevity, Money, Poetry and Sandwiches by Gavin Edwards (Rolling Stone: Sept 19, 2014). Photo by Lorca Cohen.

Hear Leonard Cohen Comment On “Have I myself been commercialized?”

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Each person here at this table is a victim of the commercialization of life. I’m sure I haven’t escaped. But I can say one thing – I have been tempted by the money. I have been tempted by the glory. I don’t think there is any man that can escape those temptations. But I feel that I have not put out any songs that were designed to exploit the commercial market.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Interview, Vienna 1976

Credit Due Department: Photo by Pete Purnell.

Note: Originally posted August 29, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric