I was first introduced to Cohen in my teens…There was an album of covers around in ’91 called I’m Your Fan with some versions by bands I liked,and , like so many other things I got into, I got ‘Im Your Man’ out from the local library to listen to. I was puzzled…musically it sounded like a bunch of MIDI files, but with this amazing voice. ‘First We Take Manhattan’ : what an opener…still sounds great when I hear it now….I’d always imagined New Order covering it for some reason.
So, I started to delve into his other work: I got ‘The Songs of Leonard Cohen’ on vinyl from a charity shop I worked at, and this is the album that plumbed straight into my blood. I took it to Manchester when I moved and it became a staple for my time up there. I loved the classical guitar and the female backing vocals.. I’ve just been listening to it tonight and it’s pretty beautiful but ramshackle! Listen to ‘So Long,Marianne’ and things just get thrown in then chucked out! It’s great!
Later albums left me a little cold for a while: it was the music…just sounding so cheap and Portasound-y…but then again, I loved Momus, and all his albums sounded that way too, so I always dipped in and out of his albums over the years to see what he was up to.
His last one, released just a few weeks ago really is lovely: razor sharp words, and, maybe my age, but the music sits well with me now.
May he rest in peace.