the webb sisters

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
songwriter
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:58 pm

the webb sisters

Postby songwriter » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:31 pm

does anyone else get infuriated by the fact that some of leonards most fabulous songs have been effectively given to the webb sisters.

Oh how I loved leonard singing if it be you will in the past. Sadly it seems we will never ever get to witness this again.

I think the webb sisters are fine singers, but if I wanted to hear them cover leonard's work I would pay to attend one of their concerts.

Time with leonard is now so precious I wish minutes of the concert were not wasted on the whim of these ladies
User avatar
Goldin
Posts: 2413
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:57 pm
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: the webb sisters

Postby Goldin » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:52 pm

I may be wrong, but for me it looks like that: The Webb Sisters' songs from Various Positions (If It Be Your Will, Coming Back to You) and Sharon Robinson's - from Ten New Songs (Boogie Street in the past, Alexandra Leaving nowadays) are
1. a fair homage to superb backing singers, collaborators, friends...
2. minutes of rest for a 70-plus year-old singer (although LC looks entirely concentrated even when he's just listening to instrumental solos or these ladies' songs).
Sorry for being obvious/pathetic.
Roman aka Hermitage Prisoner
songwriter
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:58 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby songwriter » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:08 pm

yes I am sure it is more a "thank you" to them rather than the fact leonard is in need of a rest! but I think is it such a great shame that it is always those songs you mention that leonard gives away.

If they must have their solo slot, if only they could sing some different songs...

once again I must stress these ladies are fabulous singers! But no one can sing a leonard cohen song like leonard. Particularly if it be your will. It just makes me so sad that he's given this song away

I wonder if anyone else inwardly groans when the webbs take to the microphone.

Perhaps I am selfish but I want a leonard cohen show to be just leonard cohen!

I am going to see roger waters next year and I dont expect to see his backing singers singing comfortably numb...
Tchocolatl
Posts: 3805
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby Tchocolatl » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:15 pm

I'm not here to deny your feelings or anything like that. Just expressing mines.

So strange to me that someone can be infuriated by the rendition of If It Be Your Will by the angels.

In general, female voices are companions of Leonard Cohen work - all his work, not just music. In music in general, the silky rendition is a perfect complement and surrounding for the art of Leonard Cohen, it enhances his golden voice better than anything else could do. It is what creates a magic like no other.

In this particular case, he carves deeper in that matter, that dramatized the shadows and the lights. Or so it is how I felt it.





And even if this was just an affair of having the Webb Sisters take all the stage for themselves, I would still not understand how thiscould be infuriating.

Furthermore given the generosity of Leonard Cohen on stage for longer and better than so many.

Speaking of Leonard Cohen's generosity, he gives the stage to let shine the gifts of all his band. For their pleasure, and personnally, for mine.

This is not one man and a guitar tour.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Tchocolatl
Posts: 3805
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby Tchocolatl » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:39 pm

When his voice will no longer sing his songs, I will be saaaaaaaaaaaad too, Songwriter.

But for now I am enjoying the perfect offering.

Would be a waste if not.

"(...) s'il est une samba sans tristesse
C'est un vin qui ne donne pas l'ivresse"

Thanks to have stress this particular poignant momentum.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
songwriter
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:58 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby songwriter » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:48 pm

I read your replies with keen interest so of course please continue to express your feelings with complete freedom!

I know I am blessed to have seen leonard perform these songs, and also to see the webbs perform the songs, but it just seems to me the possibility of seeing leonard perform these songs again has now gone.

I agree so much with you when you say:

"In general, female voices are companions of Leonard Cohen work - all his work, not just music. In music in general, the silky rendition is a perfect complement and surrounding for the art of Leonard Cohen, it enhances his golden voice better than anything else could do. It is what creates a magic like no other."

and this is why I just wish with all my heart that leonard could perform these songs WITH the ladies, rather than giving them the song in it's entirity.

Of course this is just a very minor quibble in the grand scheme of things.

May peace be with you
Tchocolatl
Posts: 3805
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby Tchocolatl » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:41 pm

Right now, I am just pleased that you initiated this thread with such a subject. I remember having thought "Oh my God, he begins to fade out" and I just pushed all this into my subconscious.

And I was also thinking, looking at him so deeply concentrated on the very moment, how he occupies the entire stage even being silent in the the middle, by his unique soulfull presence. It was an all Leonard Cohen acts to me. Not at any second do I felt he was not in the moment.

And I was also thinking how gracious he was, while facing this inevitable fading out of life that awaiting all of us, how wise, and full of life it is to do face this fact with such grace. How sacred is this moment. And how life is grand.

And you, my dear, you, are giving me back all this right now, as warm as it was felt.

And I must say that I was impressed by the ability you have to see that under any colerous feelings there is a sad one wanting desperately to be ackowledged for what it is.

All this are not solving your main "problem" I know. :D I understand, but have nothing more to say about that.

Goldin, why pathetic? Don't answer, it's not a real question. :) It was not obvious to me, the relation between the opus and the sisters, so I'm grateful for the info, too. :D
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
User avatar
LisaLCFan
Posts: 1737
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Canada

Re: the webb sisters

Postby LisaLCFan » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:10 am

I have mixed feelings about Leonard not singing these few songs. I also feel similarly about Leonard singing Save The Last Dance For Me, or anything else that he did not write. A part of me cannot help but think: "instead of this, we could have Leonard himself singing more songs, preferably ones he wrote!" However, that could be a false assumption. I mean, who is to say that Leonard would sing those songs at all if the Webbs and/or Sharon did not sing them, or if he would play another song of his own if he did not sing a cover? Maybe the concert would simply be shorter, and we'd have even less time to savour the magic of it all.
Tchocolatl
Posts: 3805
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby Tchocolatl » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:49 am

If you ask me, it is a loss any time he does not open the mouth. 8)

And if he has to sing all the favourite songs of every fan in the entire world, a concert would have to go for weeks. :D

But seriously.

I supposed that my particular point of view, here, came from the fact that for me he is not just another singer. Even not just another singer-songwriter. Not just a gifted writer that turns to music at some point in his life. It is the whole creative artist, the poet that is in touch with Beauty, at the root of all this, that moves me so deeply in Leonard Cohen's work. So when I attend a show I am not there just to hear him singing, I am there for the whole artistic performance.

Well, having enjoyed tremendously - oh! I would have no words to tell, or worst, too much - what I have attented to, and guessing that next tour will be unique, like each one was, and if this thread is meant to be a sort of special demand for the next tour...

Why not...

Hum....

(think-think-think-think-think-think)

For me I prefer to let the Master procuded the masterpiece, and enjoy it.

But this is just me. He? 8)
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
TonVH
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:48 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby TonVH » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:17 pm

songwriter wrote:does anyone else get infuriated by the fact that some of leonards most fabulous songs have been effectively given to the webb sisters.

Oh how I loved leonard singing if it be you will in the past. Sadly it seems we will never ever get to witness this again.

I think the webb sisters are fine singers, but if I wanted to hear them cover leonard's work I would pay to attend one of their concerts.

Time with leonard is now so precious I wish minutes of the concert were not wasted on the whim of these ladies
Are you serious or did you write this just to start a flame like the Dino thread?

It is Leonard who ultimately decides who sings/plays how and what. So if that is his choice then get 'infuriated' (a word completely off the charts) with him and not the Webb sisters. Because it is He who makes you "waste" time on the Sublime (his word) Webb Sisters.


Also during this tour they are not covering his work. They are part of the orchestration that he has done. And i.m.o. they do a very good job just like all the others singer/musicians. Without them there would be no tour at all.
songwriter
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:58 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby songwriter » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:37 pm

of course I am serious! why would I have any interest in passing on untruths on this forum?

I think LisaLCfan has more succinctly put in to words my feelings about this.

I am so sorry to be morbid but we must accept Leonard is in the twilight of life. Every single second is so precious I want every one to be spent with him singing!

The webb sisters/sharon are amazing artists and of course when they duet with leonard it is wonderful, and many of his songs demand a feminine voice alongside leonard's own. However, no one but leonard fully understands the depths of emotion attached to his songs - of course! because he wrote them - and if it be your will is SUCH a personal, emotional song he MUST sing it (with a female accompiament of course).

I recall with a lump in my throat and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up his performances of this song in the 80s....It makes me so sad that he has given the song away. Of course I have the memories but many people do not.

I am NOT saying I hate the webb sisters! They are wonderful, fantastic, sublime!

But no one should sing a leonard cohen song solo when the man himself is stood on the stage!
TonVH
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:48 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby TonVH » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:55 pm

songwriter wrote: But no one should sing a leonard cohen song solo when the man himself is stood on the stage!
2 things:

1. Many of his songs have been cowritten with Sharon.
2. It is Leonard and Leonard only who ultimately decides who sings what, who plays what. So it is his decision.

If you object then you must object to Leonard and tell him he does it wrong (in your opinion). Write to him.
songwriter
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:58 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby songwriter » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:25 pm

I have no problem with duets - indeed many of his songs would be far poorer were it not for the female voice. In my secret life for example DEMANDS sharon. My gripe is when songs in their entirety are handed over.

But regardless of this, I am certainly not going to contact leonard directly about this issue! I am not a complete crank!

I am just discussing this matter with like minded friends
John Etherington
Posts: 2580
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby John Etherington » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:18 pm

Two of the most sublime inclusions in Leonard's recent concerts have been The Webb Sister's "If It Be Your Will" and Sharon Robinson's "Alexandra Leaving". It varies the show and gives Leonard a break, plus one can hardly complain when the concerts have averaged three hours. Furthermore, it's good to hear the Webb and Robinson interptetations in a full concert setting, with the whole band and Leonard present. I suppose Leonard and the Webbs could sing "If It Be Your Will" and "Coming Back To You" on alternate nights (ditto "Alexandra Leaving" and "Boogie Street" with Sharon Robinson) but people would probably still complain if they didn't hear the song they prefer. I didn't hear the Webb Sisters before 2008, and I'll probably die long before they do, so it's all relative! By the way, when I heard Anjani's "Blue Alert" which I class with Leonard's own albums, I thought that Leonard might be handing the vocals over to the ladies altogether.
Tony Crosbie
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: the webb sisters

Postby Tony Crosbie » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:24 pm

I have no problem at all with the Webb Sisters singing 'If It Be your Will' - It is, presumably, what Leonard wishes. Leonard's recent concerts vary - Dino has been left out of the recent one and I assume that he will not be in the 2013 one - Sharon has given us an unforgettable 'Alexandra Leaving' and if Leonard had gone straight into 'Who By Fire' we would have 6 minutes of javier's marvelous intro - Three and three quarter hours of a Leonard Cohen concert, as presented now, is sublime, as you might say.
and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high

Return to “Comments & Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests