This new release in Ace Records’ long-running and highly
regarded Songwriters series comprises hand-picked
recordings of works by Canada’s much-missed poet
laureate Leonard Cohen, including two songs the great
man himself never recorded.
'I’ve never gotten over the pleasure of someone covering
one of my songs. I don’t have a sense of proprietorship,
which probably stems from coming up as a folksinger
where it was understood that songs develop a patina
through interpretation. I feel that’s the mark of excellence,'
Cohen once said.
Here’s your chance to experience that excellence via 18
eclectic recordings of Cohen compositions by a diverse
array of performers from a five-decade time span. ‘Hey,
That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’ is heard in a 1967 version
by folk queen Judy Collins, the first-ever artist to record a
Cohen song, while Marissa Nadler’s spellbinding
interpretation of ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ dates from 2007.
The collection opens with the full-length album version of
‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley, one of the most sublime
pieces of recorded music one could wish to hear, and
closes with Cohen disciple Nick Cave’s radical reworking
of ‘Avalanche’. Other highlights include k.d. lang’s reading
of ‘Bird On A Wire’, Ron Sexsmith’s ‘Heart With No
Companion’, Nina Simone’s personalised arrangement of
‘Suzanne’, and a live version of ‘Chelsea Hotel No.2’ by
The accompanying 24-page booklet includes a Cohen
biography by Ian Johnston and an in-depth track
commentary by compiler Mick Patrick featuring
illuminating quotes from Cohen on many of the songs.