“I think this particular record invites one to be swept along with it, even if you happen to have written it yourself.” Leonard Cohen Old Ideas Album Released Jan 31, 2012

The Old Ideas album was released Jan 31, 2012, more than seven years after Leonard Cohen’s previous studio album. It was enthusiastically received by critics (see Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Hits “Best Album Of 2012” Lists) and by music lovers, whose purchases made Old Ideas #1 on the charts across the world (see Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Hits The Charts – And Why That Matters (Maybe))

Old Ideas Billboard – Times Square NYC

Leonard Cohen – Show Me The Place

The first Old Ideas track pre-released was Show Me The Place.

Titular quote is from The Wisdom Of Leonard Cohen by Kevin Perry. GQ: Jan 19, 2012. Billboard photo by Kezban Özcan. Originally posted Aug 7, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen, On Being Asked Why He Used Shaar Hashomayim Choir On You Want It Darker – The Long Question & The Short Answer

In one sense, the sound of the Shaar Hashomayim choir on the record is that, a turning the corner: picking up a thread stretching back to your childhood. I wonder why human beings spend so much energy fighting the links and chains and threads, and instead constantly quest for renewal, change, answers. We live, and we die. The links and chains and threads are life, and they are not rendered any less precious or meaningful by death. Were you consciously aware of the pull of the past when you thought of using the choir? Or did it simply suggest itself?

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It was just an answer to the needs of the songquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Note: Leonard Cohen was asked why he chose the choir of the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue of Montreal for the You Want It Darker recording in another interview. Read his more thorough answer here.

From the Dan Cairns – Sunday Times Culture questionnaire Leonard Cohen sent me Oct 17, 2016. While portions of that questionnaire were incorporated into Leonard Cohen: Hey, that’s some way to say goodbye by Dan Cairns (The Sunday Times: October 23 2016), this specific response was not used.

“[Death Of A Lady’s Man is] one long poem concentrated on as accurate an expression as I could get of the inner predicament of my marriage and many other marriages.” Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen: Thoughts Of A Ladies’ Man by Elizabeth M. Thomson. 1979 interview reposted to FolkTracks: Jan 12, 2017.

Leonard Cohen Differentiates Between Songs and Poems

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There is a form of expression I call verse, which I do on the page, and it bears no relationship to my guitar. There’s another form that I call song, that I write on the guitar because the words are usually suggested by a modulation of chords.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen: Thoughts Of A Ladies’ Man by Elizabeth M. Thomson. 1979 interview reposted to FolkTracks: Jan 12, 2017.  The illustrative photo atop this post was taken by Sam Gray at the Sept 10, 1974 Leonard Cohen Edinburgh show and is posted with his permission. All images provided by Sam Gray are copyrighted by Sam Gray with all rights reserved.

“People say my vision of the future is bleak. The future is here. I think the landscape that I describe in all the songs is here.” Leonard Cohen (1993)

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People say my vision of the future is bleak. The future is here. I think the landscape that I describe in all the songs is here. It is that landscape which provokes these cries. Those are not my personal politics, these are the kinds of cries that arise in response to the catastrophe in which we find ourselves. Human beings have always found themselves in a catastrophe. The human predicament is catastrophic, but these are the cries: ‘Give me back the Berlin Wall, give me Stalin and St. Paul…lie beside me baby, that’s an order’. This is the mind shattered by the predicament. So that mind which says ‘give me crack and anal sex’, also says ‘I’ll be loving you always’. In other words, all kinds of expression, irresponsible, shattered, broken, fragmented, passionate, indifferent; all these cries arise from this shattered heart, that is the heart that I confess I have, and in bars, guys occasionally confess they have.
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Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen…What’s Your Problem? Doom and Gloom by Patrick Humphries (Vox: February, 1993),