best audience recordings

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liverpoolken
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best audience recordings

Post by liverpoolken » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:13 pm

I'm still working my thru the audience recordings of the summer tour.

With Leonard giving a perfect show each evening and with virtually the same setlist I'm starting to suffer from a very bad case of deja vue (where have I heard that before?)
So with Leonard and the band giving up a perfect performance every night it's down to the audience's behaviour and the taper's position in that audience as to what makes the perfect recording. I would say forget about the Orish recordings, the crowd noise is quite unbearable on all the recordings I have heard.

From the European leg of the tour my preference so far is for the Copenhagen and the Manchester 20th recordings.
The best Manchester 20th. recording is the 3cd set. This has Famous Blue Raincoat in the setlist just like the 18th. but without the flaws and cuts of that recording.

Anybody else have any recommendations?

Ta Ken
Solitudine non é essere soli, é amare gli altri inutilmente - Mario Stefani
Robin
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by Robin » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:28 am

I agree very much about Copenhagen and Manchester 20th June. Both by Banalny. The Manchester 20th is a great recording but audience applause is louder on that. The volume of audience depends on how near the front the taper was. Microphones are directional and will pick up any applause between the taper and the stage. It's a problem on some recordings, even the exceptional Moncton one. Copenhagen, Manchester 17th, Amsterdam and my own recording of Big Chill are taped from the very front row and avoid the problem. I really like Amsterdam by the way. All the shows are wonderful performances, but there are some that go that extra inch if you know what I mean. Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Manchester 20th have that extra little something in my opinion.
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liverpoolken
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by liverpoolken » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:36 am

Robin

The only Amsterdam recording I have received to date has Dance Me To The End Of Love missing plus half of Anthem is also missing. The taper explains that he had a SD card error. No doubt a complete version will eventually make it's way to me.

I've just received the 3cd version of Lorrach and I think this maybe the best recording of the whole tour. This 3 cd version of the concert was taped and transferred by hhtfp. The heart of soul of the band for me has always been the playing of Javier Mas and on this 3cd recording his genius, especially his solos and intros, is well to the fore.

Ta Ken
Solitudine non é essere soli, é amare gli altri inutilmente - Mario Stefani
Robin
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by Robin » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:52 am

Hi Ken,

Yes, the Banalny recording of Amsterdam misses the first song and a half, but I don't think that detracts from the experience of listening. The first 3 songs of these shows are something of a warm-up IMO. It's not as if it is Hallelujah that is missing after all.

I have 2 versions of Loerrach and listened to both. I don't think it is as intense a performance as some though. Have you seen the photos from this show? Leonard and the band were in shirtsleeves for some reason - the heat I imagine. Or maybe a mislaid wardrobe chest.
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liverpoolken
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by liverpoolken » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:25 pm

Robin
To be honest once I found out that there were songs missing from the Amsterdam recording I didn't give it much attention. I shall sit down properly and give it another listen.

Brilliant musican that he is I'm not a fan Neil Larsen's Hammond organ so Hallejuah for me doesn't quite have the impact that I would have wanted it to have. For me the intrusive swirling sounds throughout the song of the Hammond are at odds with Leonard's performance. I know I'm out on a limb on this - but I'm a Bob Dylan fan so what do I know about music:-)

Reading about Leonard's intention to record his next album with this current band doesn't ring my bell at all.
I wouldn't go as far as some folk who have written up here on the forum and call the sound cheesey but it certainly could end up on the margins of cheese in the studio.
I fear that a vastly over produced loose and lazy jazz sound could well be the end product, which just doesn't appeal to me at all.
My line up would be Javier Mas on whatever he wants play, Dino Soldo on gob organ only, one violin and Leonard gently strumming rhythm on guitar, certainly no instruments of wind or Hammond organs.

Ta Ken
Solitudine non é essere soli, é amare gli altri inutilmente - Mario Stefani
Robin
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by Robin » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:56 pm

Hallelujah is the heart of every show Ken. Leonard's vocal performance reaches a crescendo of intensity during this song most - if not all - nights. At The Big Chill I couldn't help noticing Leonard's thin little legs shaking like matchsticks in a hurricane.

Personally, I like the Hammond B3 sound a lot, and this 5 verse escalating arrangement of Hallelujah is precisely how to do it for my money. I'm a Dylan fan too, although I fear that Bob has lost his way on stage since 2004. First saw Dylan in 78 and Leonard in 74. Been a long strange trip.
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by UrPal » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:17 pm

Robin wrote: I like the Hammond B3 sound a lot, and this 5 verse escalating arrangement of Hallelujah is precisely how to do it for my money. I'm a Dylan fan too, although I fear that Bob has lost his way on stage since 2004. First saw Dylan in 78 and Leonard in 74. Been a long strange trip.
I agree about the Hammond B3 organ:The Jerry Lee-like lead part on Hallelujah (when Larsen pulled it off to full rippling effect - e.g at Manchester 18.06 and the Big Chill in my hearing) was one of the grin-inducing sonic thrills of the whole shebang for me.

This talk of the current band sounding "a bit cheesy" doesn't wash with me. Every album from Various Positions has had a similar "muzaky" quality to it. It's a form that works very well with Leonard's particular brand of dark ironic humour (the plodding instrumental and bontempi organ backing on Tower of Song being a particularly striking case in point). If you are criticising the sound of the present live line-up on this basis then that would involve implicitly criticising all Cohen's records from the 80s onwards. In general the current live performances are "faithful" to the original recorded sounds.

If the objection is to the "old '60s classics" being given the "K-Tel update" then that's the foggy purist in the listener pretending that time hasn't moved on. Lenny might now feel more comfortable letting a backing band ease some of the spade work from his no longer so supple and dexterous fingers as well as preferring a more orchestrated sound himself. After all, there's no point having a dog and barking yourself. And anyway, the audience have become so familiar with the old dog on record its refreshing to see it up to new tricks.

I did worry at times that the additional Sax parts on Famous Blue Raincoat sailed a bit too close to Hazel O'Connor's Will You for comfort and the harmonica interludes on So Long Marianne reminded me uncomfortably of the sonic landscape of the theme music to Last Of The Summer Wine, but both instrumentals still managed to stay on the right side of the track they embelished.
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tomsakic
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by tomsakic » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:49 pm

One question - I have 2 recordings from Toronto, one should be Ken's (via Margaret), other is from Jarkko. Well, Jarkko's copy is missing half of In My Secret Life, but it's sound level & quality is VERY LOUD (maybe some distortion because of that). Others I got - Hamilton, Manchester, Moncton, and that version of Toronto - are very low-quality recording (I have to pump up the volume more than double than usual, and then audience is too loud - while I'm listening to Jarkko's copy of Toronto on lower volume than usual on my iPod (!!!). Everybody are talking how Moncton and some other recs are great, but I can't see how, it's quality is like 1985 audience recordings, what's awful for 2008 A.D. Maybe I am missing something?

Of course, I must say it's obvious that L & band are better as the tour goes on - Manchester rec is few times better than Toronto (which is powerful show), in Leonard's phrasing and band's speed & mood. Particularly Dino Soldo is making amazing progress, losing the non-Cohen off-topicing with his solos.

Now, where can I get other recordings? I hear that almost all concerts are recorded... In Lucca, total number of 22 was mentioned, now it seems that (almost?) all shows were recorded from audience. I'd like to hear The Big Chill, according to YouTube, it was one of the most powerful shows.

For myself, I did best-of from Toronto rec, with fade ins and outs, 1 CDR. Of course, dozen of people already has it in this town :)

I afree about Hammond B3, Larsen and Javier Mas are the core of the 2008 sound. Pure ecstasy.
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by Robin » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:17 am

Tom,

You're right, there are about 22 of the 2008 concerts in general circulation now, with alternate recordings available for about half a dozen of those. I know of at least 3 or 4 more that were definitely recorded but not in general circulation as yet. I would think approximately 30 of the 51 concerts from the summer tour will be generally available before the start of the Fall tour. The easiest place to get these is from the Dimeadozen site. I can't post a link because Jarrko doesn't want links to audio recordings posted here, although Youtube links seem to be acceptable for some reason. Anyway, Google is your friend my friend. :idea:

Robin
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Laura
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by Laura » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:40 am

If anyone sees the recording from the Athens concert around, give me a sign, please. Having been to that one, I'd love to have it; and my faithfull dimeadozen (which unfortunately has locked me out, anyway) doesn't seem to have it.
Laura
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tomsakic
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by tomsakic » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:01 pm

Thank you, Robin, I'll keep trying dimeadozen then - it keeps me off, but I know that the non-active members are being erased every moment, so I will catch a moment to get the account.
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Diane
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by Diane » Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:59 pm

liverpoolken wrote: I would say forget about the Orish recordings, the crowd noise is quite unbearable on all the recordings I have heard.

(...)

Hallejuah for me doesn't quite have the impact that I would have wanted it to have.

Ta Ken
Ken, I have been meaning to tell you that you missed the most wonderful experience of Hallelujah possible, as we were anointed by the heavy rain in Dublin on June 15th. There is no superlative big enough to describe how it was.

Anyhow, thanks to you and all others for the work you've done getting some great quality bootlegs into circulation.

I too am not a fan of the 'swirly, incidental' Larsen organ parts on the Tour, but then again the surging organ parts in Hallelujah, especially in the last chorus, work brilliantly. Also, the subtle Larsen background on Thousand Kisses Deep recitation is perfect. Most of the music I didn't pay much conscious attention to, at the concerts, except for the Webb sisters/ Sharon, who have been excellent, and Javier Mas' truly lovely playing of the stringed instruments; I was aware only of the gorgeous rumble of Leonard's voice, his words, his presence, and the ambience of the gigs.

So the next album might again have a bit of the elevator music sound about it. I've never thought Leonard needs all that extraneous binging and bonging. But he has chosen it, so who am I to say. After this mindblowingly excellent Tour, who can complain about stuff? More to come 8) .
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liverpoolken
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by liverpoolken » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:53 pm

Diane

I too have enjoyed Leonard's Hallelujah on this tour. I've attended 5 concerts to date and have been lucky to have had excellent seats for all 5, including front row centre at one of the Manchester shows. I've sat spitting distance (not that I would of course) from him and watched his whole body shake with emotion as he sang Hallejuah. As you say when one is up so close to the man one can easily become so mesmerised by his presence and his performance that it is so very easy to completely forget about the band behind him. However I still don't like the Hammond organ and never have done.
Maybe my mother was frightened by one when she was pregnant with me or maybe it's the churchy sound that puts be off the damn thing. However I think it is more likely the memory of all those awful 1970's Prog Rock groups that always had one swirling in the background.
Emerson Lake and Palmer, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Yes, Iron Butterfly, Camel, Procol Harum the list is endless.
Thank goodness punk rock came along when it did and blew away all these bullsh*tters and their 'orrible Hammond organs.
Rant over.
Now Diane please don't tell me you are a progressive rock fan:-(

Ta Ken
Solitudine non é essere soli, é amare gli altri inutilmente - Mario Stefani
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Diane
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by Diane » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:29 am

Hello Ken,

I am glad that you have enjoyed your Hallelujahs. It has been deeply inspiring to witness Leonard put so much of himself into the songs, hasn't it. I too have attended five concerts and I had good seats for two of them, a "bad" seat for one of them (I found the different perspective interesting though), and no seats at all for two of them (Benicassim, the Big Chill), which is fine by me. I will attend my first indoor concert in November.

I just had to mention about the rain in Ireland, as I recall you predicting that it would rain, and it did, and it was wonderful. As someone said, rain is the sky condescending to the earth, so what better song for it to rain during, than Hallelujah. Mind you, it rained for another half dozen or so songs too. Henning was the only person in the audience to run for shelter.

Prog rock? I didn't mind a bit, especially Marilion and Genesis back in the day (Tony Banks was never in danger of sounding musaky) and a bit of Yes, but I'm more of a classic rock fan, me. You mention Deep Purple. I wouldn't call them prog rock. I went to see them at Knebworth in 1985, pretty good, but heavens I probably shouldn't confess such things on here. It rained that day, too.

In general though, I think that if in doubt the organ should stick to Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in D minor. Someone has mentioned there may be a violinist on the next leg of the tour. Now that would be great and then there would be no further need for the Hammond.
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Re: best audience recordings

Post by Gerry » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:26 pm

Diane, i just have to agree with you about the Dublin 15th concert. It was really superb and the pouring rain just added to it. My highlight was' Marianne' and when i listened to the bootleg again it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand. Magnificent .The man's voice is now incredible. I've seen him each time he has appeared in Ireland since 1976 and this has to be one the best.A true legend.
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