Tag Archives: Leonard Cohen

July 8: Bob Dylan Plays “Hallelujah” (L.Cohen) in Montréal, Canada 1988 (audio)





Bob Dylan first performed Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ on July 8, 1988 at the Forum de
Montréal in Canada. Montréal is Cohen’s home town and it is possible that he attended the show.
Dylan’s second and final performance, on his “Interstate 88” tour, was on August 4, 1988, at the
final night of a three show residency at the Greek Theatre, Hollywood.

Dylan and Leonard Cohen first met sometime in the late ’60s and have remained friends ever
since, meeting whenever the opportunity arises. One such occasion was after a concert in Paris,
probably Dylan’s October 7, 1987 show at P.O.P.B. Bercy. The two songwriters spent some
considerable time talking shop, over coffee, in a café somewhere in the 14th Arrondissment of
Paris. Dylan told Cohen that he especially liked the ending to his then new song ‘Hallelujah’.
“And even though it all went wrong / I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on
my tongue but hallelujah!”

~Derek Barker (The Songs He didn’t write)

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Continue reading July 8: Bob Dylan Plays “Hallelujah” (L.Cohen) in Montréal, Canada 1988 (audio)

Dec 27: Bob Dylan released John Wesley Harding in 1967





john-wesley-harding

I heard the sound that Gordon Lightfoot was getting, with Charlie McCoy and Kenny Buttrey. I’d used Charlie and Kenny both before, and I figured if he could get that sound, I could…. but we couldn’t get it. (Laughs) It was an attempt to get it, but it didn’t come off. We got a different sound… I don’t know what you’d call that… It’s a muffled sound.
~Bob Dylan (to Jann Wenner November 29, 1969)

“I didn’t intentionally come out with some kind of mellow sound……. I would have liked … more steel guitar, more piano. More music … I didn’t sit down and plan that sound.”
~Bob Dylan 1971

This quiet masterpiece, which manages to sound both authoritative and tentative (a mix that gave it a highly contemporary feel), is neither a rock nor a folk album—and certainly isn’t folk-rock. It isn’t categorisable at all.
~Michael Gray (BD Encyclopedia)

Continue reading Dec 27: Bob Dylan released John Wesley Harding in 1967

Bob Dylan: Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)





bob dylan leonard cohen

I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

“He said, ‘I like this song you wrote called Hallelujah.’ In fact, he started doing it in concert. He said, ‘How long did that take you to write?’ And I said, ‘Oh, the best part of two years.’ He said, ‘Two years?’ Kinda shocked. And then we started talking about a song of his called I And I from Infidels. I said, ‘How long did you take to write that.’ He said, ‘Ohh, 15 minutes.’ I almost fell off my chair. Bob just laughed.”
~Leonard Cohen (quoted in Telegraph 41, p. 30)

This is one of my fav Leonard Cohen songs.

Released December 1984
Recorded June 1984
Genre Folk rock
Length 4:36
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Leonard Cohen
Producer John Lissauer

Hallelujah” is a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions(1984). Achieving little initial success, the song found greater popular acclaim through a cover by John Cale, which later formed the basis for a cover by Jeff Buckley. It is the subject of the book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah” (2012) by Alan Light. In a New York Times review of the book, Janet Maslin praises the book and the song, noting that “Cohen spent years struggling with his song ‘Hallelujah.’ . . . He wrote perhaps as many as 80 verses before paring the song down.” Many cover versions have been performed by many and various singers, both in recordings and in concert, with over 300 versions known. The song has been used in film and television soundtracks, and televised talent contests. It is often called one of the greatest songs of all time.

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Continue reading Bob Dylan: Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

August 14: Legendary producer Bob Johnston died 2015 – R.I.P.

Photo by Al Clayton
Photo by Al Clayton

August 14: Legendary producer Bob Johnston died 2015 – Rest in Peace

“Is it rolling, Bob?”
– Bob Dylan at the beginning of To Be Alone With You (Nashville Skyline)

“Johnston had fire in his eyes. He had that thing that some people call ‘Momentum.’ You could see it in his face and he shared that fire, that spirit. Columbia’s leading folk and country producer, he was born one hundred years too late. He should have been wearing a wide cape, a plumed hat, and riding with his sword held high. Johnston disregarded any warning that might get in his way. … Johnston lived on low country barbecue, and he was all charm.”
– Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One

“I had the best in the world in my hand – there was no place I couldn’t go with him, so that’s where I went. I think Blonde On Blonde is the best record Dylan ever cut… Blonde On Blonde was the first symphony cut in Nashville!”
– Bob Johnston (Uncut magazine)

Donald William ‘Bob’ Johnston (born May 14, 1932, Hillsboro, Texas – died August 14, 2015) was an American record producer, best known for his work with Bob DylanJohnny CashLeonard Cohen, and Simon and Garfunkel.

Great interview from youtube (by Harper Simon):

Continue reading August 14: Legendary producer Bob Johnston died 2015 – R.I.P.

Tom Jones covers Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Billy Joe Shaver, and more (videos)

Tom Jones

Happy 76th Birthday Tom Jones

Birth name Thomas Jones Woodward
Also known as Tom Jones
Born 7 June 1940 (age 76)
Treforest, Pontypridd,Glamorgan, Wales
Genres Pop, rock, country, Soul
Occupations Singer
Years active 1963–present

I remember watching Martin Scorsese’s wonderful The Blues  (a 2003 documentary film series) ten years ago, and there was a fantastic sequence of Van Morrison,Tom Jones & Jeff Beck performing Bring it on Home to Me & Trouble in mind (in the film: Red, White & Blues (Mike Figgis)). I was a big Van Morrison fan, but didn’t really like Tom Jones.. until I saw this. A great performance.

Since then I’ve listened to his music now & then, and his last 2 albums are really great stuff (back to the roots alà Johnny Cash’s American Recordings series)

We have to kick off with the “Red, White & Blues” clip:

Continue reading Tom Jones covers Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Billy Joe Shaver, and more (videos)