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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:49 am
by its4inthemorning

There is a new post in the Comments section titled "Lyrics or Music First?" It struck me that, with your knowledge and vast archives, you could shed some light on this interesting question. I know some poems were put to music on his earlier albums, but I am not sure which came first for the majority of his songs.

I am missing our discussions here and hoping that a release of some new old songs as promised by Adam will rejuvenate this thread.


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:20 am
by B4real
Hi 4, Thanks for the vote of confidence but I saw that post and thought there’s no easy answer to that question. I’ll post our words in that relative thread. Leonard has said that he regularly used a blend of music and words – melodies with poetry and vice versa in varying order to obtain the desired result - one informs the other. In most cases, it’s like saying which came first, the chicken or the egg - probably the egg ;-)
But there are no rules here and a particular example springs directly to mind. You may remember on page 18 here on this thread I said that your avatar line/song was actually begun with a melody and the words were finally written about four (in the morning, ha!) years later :)

Yes, bring on the new songs which I know are on the way!
Actually, in this particular instance it’s a fairly safe bet to say the words came first and the music later, but some of them will be melodies only :razz:

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:22 am
by AlanM
I'm not sure if this is the correct place, but ...

Karin and I hope you have a great day and we are disappointed not to be able to catch up on Hydra.

Thinking of you today and next week.


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:21 am
by vlcoats
Happy Birthday Bev! :D
Alan is right, we will all be thinking of you next week! You will be there with us as far as I am concerned.

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:23 pm
by its4inthemorning
Bev, we have all reached the age when birthdays are no longer special. But let yours be special anyway!


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:34 pm
by Jean Fournell
Agreed, 4.

And then Yin and Yang are inseparable, aren't they as it happens, the contrary applies to the phrase "Many happy returns!"

Many happy returns, Bev!

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:56 am
by B4real
Many thanks to you all! :D

In the grand scheme of things, it's just great to see another birthday no matter the number :)

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:30 am
by vlcoats
B4real wrote:In the grand scheme of things, it's just great to see another birthday no matter the number :)
Bingo! ;-) Celebrate being alive Bev!

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:02 am
by anny
HAPPY BIRTHDAY from me too Bev and many years to come, no matter our age but still glad to be
able to celebrate !!!


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:21 am
by B4real
Absolutely agree anny!
Thank you for your best wishes :D

EDIT: 07 June 2019
I am reminded that 10 years ago today I decided to give myself a slightly belated birthday present by becoming an active member of this forum. For over 3 years before that I was a guest just reading here. I'm so glad to have this endlessly giving and receiving birthday gift!

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:38 am
by its4inthemorning
Perhaps it is time that we consider speculating about the new album that is supposed to be coming out in November (Vickie's post elsewhere on the forum just reminded me of that welcome event). Also, it might be interesting to discuss what unreleased material might exist from past recording sessions and the possibility of it also being released at some point.

Regarding unreleased material, I always like to believe that there are other songs that were completed to an acceptable point that still have not seen the light of day. This belief stems from the bonus track "Store Room," which was included in the re-mastered version of one of the early albums (SOLAH, I believe). I personally do not understand why "Store Room" was never included on any album.

Bev, you are the go-to person when it comes to questions like this, are there any tidbits from your "archives" about unreleased songs from Leonard's recording sessions?


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:16 am
by B4real
Hi Curt,
I'm tied up with things I'd rather not be at the moment and don't have much free time. Ha! coincidentally, as I'm typing this on the radio Freddie Mercury is singing a new undiscovered song just released today called "Time Waits For No One". A quick check of the web says - ... recording/
You asked about unreleased songs for Leonard and there is mention somewhere on the forum about them. I'll see what I can find later. Maybe Freddie's new/old song could be a sign of the same situation for Leonard ;-)

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:14 am
by vlcoats
Hi 4!

For me, I don't care what songs are on it, as long as they are Leonard's. :) If Adam is in charge of it, I am sure it will be great. I like him a lot and Leonard trusted him.

So, I want to go back to Hydra for a moment (actually I want to go back to Hydra for forever, lol!), but I want to talk about the experience of being there for the concert showing... I was torn between relishing the fact that I was for once among so many people seeing a Leonard performance for the first time and wishing I was watching it with just you and Alan and Bev and Jean, and nobody else. I know I have complained about not knowing hardly anyone in my life who loves Leonard or even knows who he is except for you guys, but at the same time, I felt a little uncomfortable surrounded by all those people, strangers actually, who supposedly love him as much as I do! Preposterous! I found myself feeling that all those people could not possibly be worthy, and wishing again that it was just us. But then, I got home, and yesterday while listening to Leonard (as usual), I heard anew the words, "It is you my love, you who are the stranger", and I thought, yeah, maybe I am.

As for the experience of being in Hydra as a whole, we LOVED it! We stayed in an older vacation rental that was very rustic. It had 3 levels, intermittent hot water, the wifi didn't work, and there was no TV. We were unable to access 4G or any smartphone service unless we went down to the port. The bathroom was outside in a separate tiny building. The walls seemed about 2 feet thick and the windows had cool wooden shutters. The floors creaked, the steps were treacherous, but everything smelled like jasmine, and the view of that tiny harbor was awesome! I imagined Leonard's spirit winking at us the whole time. We pretended we lived there and didn't eat a restaurant meal more than 3 times in 5 days. We went swimming as often as we could and walked around the neighborhoods. I wish I was back there this second! I can see why Leonard loved it so much, and at last, I appreciate Marianne instead of questioning her in my mind.

Sorry for getting off track there....

Yes, regarding the November release, what is everyone speculating will be on that album?


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:09 am
by B4real
Hi 4 and Vickie and all,
I'm trying to answer your questions in conjunction with also relating to the title of this thread. There actually is an LC album we haven’t discussed here yet – the abandoned Songs For Rebecca recorded at Columbia Studio A or Sound Ideas Studio, New York, USA in 1974-5. It has been stated here in 2006 that both LC and John Lissauer confirmed a few times to this Forum that the Songs For Rebecca tape had been destroyed in an accident, but read on :)

Track List and old info as per Store Room:
Anthem of The Broken Hearted (1)
Came So Far For Her Beauty (2)
Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On (3)
Guerrero [early Iodine] (3)
I Guess It's Time [early The Smokey Life] (2)
The Traitor Song (2)

Jim Devlin, In Every Style of Passion, 1996: 65.
David Sheppard, Music Makers: Leonard Cohen, 2000.
Maurice Ratcliff, The Complete Guide to the Music of Leonard Cohen, 1999: 41.
(1) performed in Bryn Mawr 1975/11/23 but belongs to the missing part of the known audience recording (only a partial recording of the concert is in circulation). Exact title of the song is unknown. [Thanks to Dave M. for the info].
(2) re-worked & recorded later with Henry Lewy for Recent Songs (1979).
(3) re-worked & recorded later with Phil Spector for Death Of A Ladies' Man (1977).

Songs for Rebecca is an abandoned album produced and co-written by John Lissauer, recorded in late 1974 - early 1975, after New Skin For The Old Ceremony, but tapes were possibly destroyed. All songs were performed & recorded (except "Anthem of the Broken Hearted") at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr (November 23, 1975)
One and a half hours of the concert here -

Interview with John Lissauer by Cohencentric 2018:
The list of songs planned for the project, as per John Lissauer follows:
1. Beauty Salon (became Don’t Go Home With Your Hard On, released on Death Of A Ladies’ Man)
2. Guerrero (became Iodine, released on Death Of A Ladies’ Man)
3. I Guess It’s Time (became The Smokey Life, released on Recent Songs)
4. The Traitor Song ( became The Traitor, released on Recent Songs)
5. Came So Far For Her Beauty (became Came So Far For Beauty, released on Recent Songs)
6. Lover, Lover, Lover (Reworked from New Skin for the Old Ceremony)
7. Diamonds In The Mine (Reworked from Songs of Love and Hate)

Of course, this leaves at least one question unanswered - what about that song Leonard mentioned but is unknown to John Lissauer?
JL: There was an early song called ‘Anthem,’ no relation to this ‘Anthem’ [on The Future]
John Lissauer: In addition, we recorded a Reggae version of “Diamonds in the Mine”, as well as a more contemporary (less ethnic) version of “There is a War” and “Lover, Lover”

Q: Anthem of The Broken Hearted is the only song that has not survived in any form, so any recall of it whatsoever would be enlightening.
John Lissauer: That title is unfamiliar to me.... we never recorded it!
Q: Was there a reworked version of “Is There A War” that was intended for Songs For Rebecca?
John Lissauer: I don’t recall doing a new version of “There is a War”....
Q: Some sources list Paper-Thin Hotel as one of the songs destined for Songs For Rebecca. Was it?
John Lissauer: Never heard that title
Q: I’m told by Leonard Cohen fans that you were once interested in resurrecting Songs For Rebecca. Is there anything to that?
John Lissauer: Well, I still have beautiful ruff mixes of all the songs.... trying to see if there’s any interest in releasing them. It’s probably a bit tricky.... between Sony and LC’s Estate.... will see!

Track List as per Cohencentric:
Beauty Salon
Came So Far For Her Beauty
I Guess It’s Time
The Traitor Song
Diamonds In The Mine
Lover, Lover, Lover

Listen here -

EDIT: 26 June - I was looking for more in-depth info on this lost album and have just now discovered that Allan Showalter has reposted this and some of his previous Concentric posts on his other site. So nice to see that happen! ... s-rebecca/ ... -it-ended/ ... the-songs/

I take full note that the songs on YWID were Leonard’s choice in the limited time he had for his last album, but I also know that he wanted other songs to be released after his passing. As said above, Freddy Mercury sure is right - Time Waits For No One!

I’ll be grateful for those planned or whatever other discovered songs or poems manage to land in my open arms and ears especially Priests! When Leonard was asked why this song wasn't on Songs of LC re-release in 2007, he said, "They (Sony) didn't find it, I maybe have it somewhere." I'm still hopeful it may be found.
Judy Collins released it on her 1967 album Wildflowers -

btw - I knew you would have a great time at Hydra!
..... and I was there too, in a certain way, especially at the concert ;-)

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:54 am
by its4inthemorning
Thanks for all the information from you archives, Bev! In the electronic age it is easy for anyone to have extensive electronic archives on any subject, the difficult part--which you have mastered--is recalling the various bits and parts in your head and remembering how to access them!

I listened to almost all of the Bryn Mawr concert, despite the poor audio (this was from 1975, so it was probably recorded by someone on a casette recorder). From today's perspective, of course, I would kill to be able to attend that concert. But I have to admit, if it were back in 1975 (only a few years after the incomparable "SOLAH") and I attended that concert, I would have been deeply disappointed.

Most of the "Rebecca" songs were eventually recycled, so other than "Anthem of the Broken Hearted" there is nothing left from those sessions for post-mortem release. I guess that does not really bother me, because it is during this period that Leonard was in the transition between his first three albums and "Recent Songs," a period that started off decently with "New Skin" only to careen to the depths with the help of Phil Spector. If there are old songs out there of a caliber that would be considered acceptable for release, they would have to be pre-"Rebecca" or post- "Ladies' Man," or from recording sessions in 1967-1974 or after 1977. We would all love to hear a few--even one--unknown song from the earlier period, but maybe "Store Room" and "Blessed is the Memory" represented the best of what was there, and nothing else remains in a state warranting release.

I will leave it to others to speculate on the possible existence of unreleased material from the recording sessions of Leonard's "Ladies' Man" through "Heather" albums. A good source might be to review Sylvie's book to learn about those recording sessions, but I loaned my copy of "I'm Your Man" to the fiancee of one of my nieces more than two years ago and he still has not returned it! Guess I should just buy another copy.

To me it seems likely--even certain--that if very old material is eventually released, that will only occur after the release of material that Leonard worked on from the end of the 2008-2010 tour through his death. Before speculating on this work, I need to spend some time listening to the last three albums. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see what others have to say about our hoped-for future acoustic gifts from Leonard.