"first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Recollections from Leonard Cohen's pre-2008 tours, YouTube clips
CarolineM
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"first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Postby CarolineM » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:27 am

I've just uploaded this video on youtube:

First we take Manhattan
17 February 1988
Na-Siensie - German TV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnCR8kSSmqw

The first time I saw it, I was just swooning over how gorgeous/handsome he looks in that video :razz: and I was also distracted by the 2 singers/dancers :lol:

When I watched it again, I realised that he's crying during the performance :shock:
I was really impressed, I mean he's singing playback for a tv show with those 2 singers (dancing like if it was a pop song), but despite of that, he's so into the song, he really "feels" it, and he becomes overwhelmed by it. Waow... :o
When he sings "you loved me as a looser, but now you're worried that I just might win" with tears in his eyes... :o
He's so underrated as a singer/performer, I mean when he sings there's much more emotion in his voice that with any of those "pop" singers when they performed as if they were doing singing exercices :roll:
During the chorus, when the singers dance, you can see him discreetly wiping away his tears, and then he sings "and I thank you for those items that you sent me", with his famous chuckle, and then you can see a tear rolling down his cheek as he sings "the monkey and the plywood violin..."
Since I saw that I can't listen to this song the same way again. :shock: I'm completely in awe of this amazing and intense performance, but also a little saddened and "shocked" by it.

I had read that very interesting thread about the meaning of the lyrics
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=15220
and now I'm thinking maybe that's one "point" of the song, to get our attention with a catchy melody in the chorus, and then throw those bitter/revengeful lyrics in our face. :?: that's how I see it anyway, because this song seems to be very personnal, but it's "hidden" behind this catchy melody, and I know I didn't get the real meaning of the song until I really paid attention to the lyrics.

I hope this post is not disrespectful :? , I'm just fascinated by this song (and now by this performance too) and I'd like to have your opinion on it.


PS: sorry, the video is blocked in some countries because of the copyright, but anyway you can download it in high quality here:
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=VMDBUQJ2
(VOB video, 105mb)
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MaryB
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Re: "first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Postby MaryB » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 am

CarolineM,

Thank you for posting this and the link. I have never seen this before and the tear rolling down his cheek caused me discomfort, although why, I cannot say.

Kindest regards,
Mary
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tinderella
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Re: "first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Postby tinderella » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:57 pm

Thank you Caroline, I never saw this video before. I was struck by how still he is as he was singing, in fact he barely blinked at all. I would not have noticed the tear only for you pointed it out. It was very moving to watch it.

it is one of my favourite songs and I will never ever forget being right up at the front of the stage in Berlin when he sang it.


Thank you
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LisaLCFan
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Re: "first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Postby LisaLCFan » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:14 am

That's an interesting video (as in, kind of wierd), but I can't help but think that he's lip-syncing, as it sounds identical to the studio version from I'm Your Man (which I have probably listened to about one million times). He may be crying, or he may have got something in his eye (I'm leaning towards the latter, based on his eye twitching beforehand. And his handkerchief wipe (after digging it out of his pocket) was not exactly discreet). However, if you are moved by the video, that is wonderful, but I don't see it like you do, I'm afraid. Leonard does often sing with amazing emotional intensity, but I just don't see this as one of those times (especially, as noted, because I am certain that this is the studio version of the song, and therefore I don't think he's really singing in the video). You did ask for opinions, so there's mine, for what it's worth (which, hopefully, is very little!). Great song, though, always a favourite of mine! (And, you're absolutely right about Leonard looking gorgeous in the video!)
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bridger15
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Re: "first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Postby bridger15 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:28 am

This video looks very familiar although I might be mistaken. I think Dr HGuy did a piece about this a little while ago on his http://1heckofaguy.com/ blog. Perhaps someone could check with him for more information.

edit: Here is the link to Dr HGuy's piece
http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/08/17/leona ... manhattan/
originally shown on French TV in or shortly after 1988
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sturgess66
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Re: "first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Postby sturgess66 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:05 am

LisaLCfan - I agree with you. It is a strange video and actually makes me laugh. It is remarkable that Leonard does not blink. And I do not believe he is crying either. I think he has something in his eye that causes it to tear - and first you see the twitch. :lol: Maybe he used eye drops at the beginning so that he would not blink and they turned rogue on him (although I think he is a good non-blinker naturally)? Also, I think the video is dubbed over - not made in one piece.

Dr. Heck did a post about it - "International Showdown – Title Match For Goofiest Leonard Cohen Music Video* starring the "Pillars Peeker Hallelujah" - based on a post here at the forum by Mnkyface - and this "First We Take Manhattan" video featuring the women with the big hair and their arm wrestling match with Leonard. I discovered that there were ghosts in the video, visible if you hold your mouse on the little scroll button and move it slowly. The women appear and disappear like ghosts. :lol: :lol: :lol: (I think this is an indication that it was put together "piece meal" as LisaLCfan suggests - probably with lip-syncing involved). But I like the ghost idea as well. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Here is the link for Dr. Heck's presentation -

http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/09/18/inter ... sic-video/

CarolineM - if you have not already seen them, there are some wonderful videos on YouTube of live performances of this song from the recent tours. I think he performed it at every show. A terrific song.


*Was the winner ever announced? LOL
CarolineM
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Re: "first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Postby CarolineM » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:52 am

bridger15 wrote:This video looks very familiar although I might be mistaken. I think Dr HGuy did a piece about this a little while ago on his http://1heckofaguy.com/ blog. Perhaps someone could check with him for more information.

edit: Here is the link to Dr HGuy's piece
http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/08/17/leona ... manhattan/
originally shown on French TV in or shortly after 1988
It's not the same video. I think he performed it maybe 4 or 5 times on tv. I've seen several different tv performances of that song. There's another one, also on french tv but not the one you mentioned, where he seems to have tears in his eyes too. But maybe I'm misinterpreted it, maybe he just had something in his eyes again, I don't know :? I could upload it too if anyone's interested.
Anyway, I agree, his live performances have much more emotional intensity. This video moved me when I watched it, but of course that's nothing compared to watch him sing in concert :)
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sturgess66
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Re: "first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Postby sturgess66 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:30 pm

CarolineM - you are absolutely right - there are two different videos. I think he is wearing a different suit in each - and while there are a lot of similarities and the characters are the same - there are also a lot of differences. But I think what is exactly the same is the soundtrack - probably as LisaLFfan says - the original soundtrack. You can see a big difference at the end of each of these videos where he sings "Remember me, I used to live for music." In the French TV version he has his right arm raised across his chest and his hand is in a fist. In the German TV version, once again, his right arm across his chest but his hand is open. Missing from the German version is the strange mic straightening incident (4:05 in the Fr. version) - one minute it is straight and then he is shown to be straightening it. The German version you posted cuts off prematurely at the end, but there is no indication of a live audience as there is with the French version. But - both the videos are strange - and it seems to me that there was a lot of splicing done. Far be for me to know if that really was a "crying" tear - but I just suspect otherwise - that he had something in his eye. There was the little twitch beforehand. :lol: I have no idea - maybe someone else here knows more about the videos. The YouTube descriptions provide little information and sometimes you cannot believe descriptions you read there anyway - like Wikipedia. :roll: Also, we see no band or accompanying musicians in either. I am suspecting that these are more likely "live appearances" in promotion of the album - rather than "live performances." One thing I do think - that he was/is very proud about this song - I watched a video recently - I think from 1985 - were he was talking about it - and he recited it. And he has given very rousing performances of it at every show in the past few years.
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Goldin
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Re: "first we take manhattan" on german tv in 1988

Postby Goldin » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:25 pm

Dear Ladies,

Can you upload the French version, please?

By the way,
sturgess66 wrote:The German version you posted cuts off prematurely at the end, but there is no indication of a live audience as there is with the French version.
- here is recently uploaded complete video (5:42):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld12ZCA5HGw
- and you're right, there are no signs of audience even in the end.

This is the same file, that was published by Caroline (VOB, 104 MB).
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