retrospective - altered perceptions?

September 21 - November 30, 2008. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
brokenhill
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retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby brokenhill » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:42 am

I'm interested to know if this tour has altered anyone else's perceptions of particular tracks. Has any song moved up (or down?) your particular hit parade of LC's works?

Sharons gorgeous full blooded rendition of Boogie Street alerted me to that track, I just hadn't heard it before. Played it, but never heard it. But that's not the biggest mover on my personal chart...........

As you can probably guess from my chosen name on this board I always regarded the "Various Positions" version of "If it be your will" as just about the highest moment of any art form ever (personal opinion, no lectures on art criticism please! :) ) But wait, what is this, washing over me in the Edinburgh evening, inciting massive sensations of joy and awe? I'd previously been quietly pleased with that track with the line about the crack in everything, but this version of Anthem, with it's soaring anthemic qualities was the very definition of the word "anthemic". How it failed to register over the years I'll never know. But from now on it's right up there. Simply brilliant!

So, has anybody else had their perceptions similarly adjusted - do tell. :?:
Still reliving every second of:1970 Isle of Wight, 1985 Birmingham, 2008 Manchester OH , Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Birmingham, 2009 Liverpool and ................ :o)
dzzz
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Re: retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby dzzz » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:23 am

Heart With No Companion - great "country" stomper, foolishly never paid too much attention to it before

Gypsy Wife - ditto, but after hearing an inspired version on this tour is one of my favorite Cohen's songs, later I saw in interview its Sharon's favorite too!

Take This Waltz - never liked it much before, I guess I prefer Cohen's own words, but they way they play it on Fall tour concerts sounds truly magical ("girls only" Ay Ay Ay part works much better)

Bird on a Wire - I knew it as a good song, but this time it made me cry (twice! an both times on the same spot , some around "if I have been unkind..."), and I almost never cry, especially not over music
crystal
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Re: retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby crystal » Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:47 pm

Democracy - even in Nice in summer it felt like a tribute to Obama and it grew stronger in Berlin in Hamburg.
Everybody knows - I never heard it that way before. Everybody knows - of course that's it. Very often they just don't talk about it.
I re-discovered old loves: Hey that's no way to say good bye was always very special to me but in the last years almost forgotten.
And there is always Famous Blue Raincoat. Always loved it, even heard it live during the 80s, but never like this.

Have a nice weekend, Christel
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hydriot
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Location: back in the UK

Re: retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby hydriot » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:46 pm

What a brilliant thread, brokenhill!

I was incredibly fortunate that the entire setlist consisted of favourites ... with one exception: The Gypsy's Wife, which I had always considered rather ordinary, reminding me of Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town.

But Leonard's plaint (and that is the right word, even if it does seem pompous to certain readers) opened my ears to the true power of this song with its sense of anxiety turning into resignation.

And there is a lot of Greek influence in this song:

"But whose head is this she's dancing with on the threshing floor
whose darkness deepens in her arms a little more?"

In the wilder parts of Hydra, alongside isolated farmsteads, you will find even today magnificent circular threshing floors, with diameters of about 8 metres. I wonder if Leonard walked into the hills in the sixties, beyond Episcopi, and remembered these threshing floors when he wrote the song so many years later.

Also:

"Ah the silver knives are flashing in the tired old cafe
A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligee
She says, 'My body is the light, my body is the way'
I raise my arm against it all and I catch the bride's bouquet"

At the reception following a Greek wedding, it is traditional for the bride to dance on a table while the guests raise their arms to pin banknotes to her dress.
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
John Etherington
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Re: retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby John Etherington » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:09 pm

Hi Hydriot,

How could you ever compare something as majestic as "The Gypsy's Wife" to "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town"?
Although I don't totally detest the latter song, I've always thought of it as the most extreme piece of whinging emotional manipulation.

"And If I could move I'd take my gun
And put her in the ground
Oh Ruby
Don't take your love to town

Oh Ruby for God's sake turn around "

Is this meant to convey, true love? I think not!

Meanwhile, "Recent Songs" continues to be Leonard's possibly greatest and most underrated work.

All the best, John E
John Etherington
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Re: retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby John Etherington » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:03 pm

Personally, I think that Leonard's choice of songs on this tour was faultless. My only regret is that I only heard "Sisters of Mercy" once, and didn't hear "Heart With No Companion". I'd have loved to have heard how the latter song comes across now.

For me, songs that at times even transcended the level of perfection that was evident in the originals were:

Anthem - Totally awesome...I found the background music extremely moving, as Leonard introduced the band.

Hallelujah - I never believed that this would sound so powerful, after having heard it so many times by so many different people.

Bird on a Wire - A song that on "Live Songs" had already been developed into something more than the original classic, now became something even greater ("It was you that the longing was made for").

Democracy - Captured a joyous time of celebration and rejoicing (and hopefully the end of a dark age) at The Royal Albert Hall.

The Partisan - I loved the bleak original version, but the new version with the band was a tour de force.

Take This Waltz - I always considered this a masterpiece, and it was in no way diminished (but I missed the mirror-ball!).

Meanwhile (to answer the original question!) hearing Sharon sing the opening to "Boogie Street" live was a revelation, and the Webb Sisters deserve full marks for their beautiful interpretation of "If it Be Your Will".

All good things, John E
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Minna
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Re: retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby Minna » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:09 pm

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Last edited by Minna on Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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tommylen
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Re: retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby tommylen » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:38 pm

I started listening to songs that I hadnt given much time to.

Right now I am listening to "Love Itself" and I played "Light as a Breeze" for about 2 weeks.Before that " The Gypsies Wife" and "The Window"

If I was on Dessert Island discs I would probably choose "Anthem "
brokenhill
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Re: retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby brokenhill » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:59 pm

hydriot wrote:What a brilliant thread, brokenhill!
Thanks hydriot, though I get 0/10 for posting in the section no-one comes to once they got tickets :(
And thanks for the fascinating insights into Greek life.
dzzz wrote: Bird on a Wire - made me cry ..........and I almost never cry, especially not over music
ditto that dzzz
crystal wrote: ...... Hey that's no way to say good bye - always very special ...........
And wasn't it just!
John Etherington wrote:.......... only regret is that I didn't hear "Heart With No Companion".............
What better reason to say we must see him again, John!
tommylen wrote:I started listening to songs that I hadnt given much time to.
Good plan, T, I'm making a list.

Hydriot's "Ruby" reference reminds me of a similarly inappropriate connection that I made. On Bournemouth pier in the glorious sunshine of the glorious morning after I had "Wither though goest" running around my mind. And I don't know the words. But that is no problem for the subconscious mind, just dig out any old bit that seems to fit. So I find myself following

"Wither Thou goest - I will go
Wither Thou goest - I will go
Thy people shall be - my people - my love" - ok (ish) so far but then............

"Once more, to tears of happiness" !!!!!!!!

Eh?!!! Those of us of a certain age will know this is a line from 60s hit "Tears" by none other than Ken Dodd!!!!!!! (The one that starts "Tears for souvenirs...... etc") and has obviously been occupying brain space for 40-odd years.

About time I handed my brain over for medical research I think :?

Any more risers or fallers on your personal hit parades, people?
Still reliving every second of:1970 Isle of Wight, 1985 Birmingham, 2008 Manchester OH , Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Birmingham, 2009 Liverpool and ................ :o)
balanced view
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Re: retrospective - altered perceptions?

Postby balanced view » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:59 am

On the summer tour my favourite was Gypsy Wife with it's wonderful bass line and the magic of Javier Mas .
On the autumn return to Manchester I was bowled over by the 3 'new' autumn inclusions-Famous Blue Raincoat with its shimmering backdrop ,Chelsea Hotel and particularly by the haunting insistent and driven band version of The Partisan

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