Leonard Cohen

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Posted by kaori 03/17/2009 @ 03:12

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Leonard Cohen, In Waterbury, Is Genial, Silky, Spry - Hartford Courant
By ERIC R. DANTON | The Hartford Courant Leonard Cohen spent a fair portion of his performance Thursday in Waterbury singing while down on his knees. It was a genial bit of showmanship on his part, but it was also something more, almost as if the...
I'm Your Fan: An evening with Leonard Cohen - Pittsburgh Post Gazette
By Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette At 74, Leonard Norman Cohen, formerly of Montreal, was a lot spryer than he had a right to be as he sprinted to the stage of Philadelphia's Academy of Music on Tuesday night. For the nearly three hours he was on...
Leonard Cohen magnificent at the Academy - Philadelphia Inquirer
By Dan DeLuca Leonard Cohen isn't quite as old as the Academy of Music. He just sounds like he is. On Tuesday, the 74-year-old Canadian song-poet put on a magnificent three-hour show at the 152-year-old opera house that was filled with prayer-like...
Cohen enriches his reputation - Washington Times
By Adam Mazmanian | Thursday, May 14, 2009 At 74 years of age, Leonard Cohen has become the craggy immortal that always lurked in his voice and in the lyrics and flawless meter of his majestic songs. The weathered face, the severe black suit and fedora...
Live in London shows Cohen's energy, strength - Daily Gleaner
A year ago: Leonard Cohen, poet, novelist and songwriter performed to a sold out audience at The Playhouse on May 15, 2008. It was his first concert in more than 15 years. It was just over one year ago - May 11, 2008 - that Leonard Cohen began his...
Singing for peace in Israel - guardian.co.uk
And now a group of academics in the UK – among them Professor Haim Bresheeth, who spent many years in Israel – is urging Leonard Cohen to cancel his concert in Israel, scheduled for 24 September, because "your songs have been part of the soundtrack of...
Leonard Cohen amazes at the Fox - Detroit Free Press
BY STEVE BYRNE • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • May 10, 2009 It's been about 15 years since Leonard Cohen last undertook a US tour, but penance -- and then some -- was paid on Saturday night as a sold-out crowd at the Fox Theatre was gifted with a...
Good deeds, great seats: Hallelujah! - Ottawa Citizen
In a somewhat inward twist on the Golden Rule, Leonard Cohen has said that if you act the way you'd like to be, you'll soon be the way you act. And admittedly, this uplifting sentiment certainly seems in keeping with the handful of years Cohen spent in...
Eminem's 'Bagpipes,' Leonard Cohen and more - The Detroit News
The incomparable Leonard Cohen, who was resplendent at the Fox Theatre last weekend in what may be his final Detroit concert ever, discovers the answer to the riddle of existence is three backup singers repeating the following sage words of wisdom:...
Leonard Cohen revels in a victory lap in Chicago show - Chicago Tribune
By Greg Kot | Tribune critic "Love is not some kind of victory march," Leonard Cohen intoned Tuesday while performing his classic song "Hallelujah." But for Cohen, who has been away from the touring circuit since 1993, his first of two sold-out...

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen in 1969

Leonard Norman Cohen, CC, GOQ (born September 21, 1934 in Westmount, Montreal) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often deals with the exploration of religion, isolation, sexuality and complex interpersonal relationships.

Cohen's earliest songs (many of which appeared on the 1967 album, Songs of Leonard Cohen) were rooted in European folk music. In the 1970s, his music encompassed pop, cabaret and world music. Since the 1980s his high baritone voice has evolved into lower registers (bass baritone and bass), with accompaniment from electronic synthesizers and female backing singers.

Cohen was born in 1934 in Montreal, Quebec, into a middle-class Jewish family. His father was of Polish ancestry. His mother, of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry, emigrated from Lithuania. He grew up in Westmount on the Island of Montreal. His father, Nathan Cohen, owned a substantial Montreal clothing store, and died when Leonard was nine years old. Like many other Jewish families with names like Cohen, Katz, and Kagan, Cohen's family claimed descent from the Kohanim: "I had a very Messianic childhood," he told Richard Goldstein in 1967. "I was told I was a descendant of Aaron, the high priest." He attended Herzliah High School, where he studied with poet Irving Layton. As a teenager he learned to play the guitar, subsequently forming a country-folk group called the Buckskin Boys. His father's will provided Leonard with a modest trust income, sufficient to allow him to pursue his literary ambitions.

In 1951, Cohen enrolled at McGill University, where he became president of the McGill Debating Union. Literary influences during this time included Yeats, Whitman and Henry Miller. His first published book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956), was published under Louis Dudek as the first book in the McGill Poetry Series while Cohen was still an undergraduate student. The Spice-Box of Earth (1961) made him well known in poetry circles, especially in his native Canada.

After completing an undergraduate degree, Cohen spent a term in McGill's law school and a year (1956-7) at Columbia University.

Cohen applied a strong work ethic to his early and keen literary ambitions. He wrote poetry and fiction through much of the 1960s, and preferred to live in quasi-reclusive circumstances. After moving to Hydra, a Greek island, Cohen published the poetry collection Flowers for Hitler (1964), and the novels The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). The Favourite Game is an autobiographical bildungsroman about a young man who discovers his identity through writing.

In 1967, Cohen moved to the United States to pursue a career as a folk music singer-songwriter. During the 60s, he was a fringe figure in Andy Warhol's Factory crowd. Warhol speculated that Cohen had spent time listening to Nico in clubs and that this had influenced his musical style. His song "Suzanne" became a hit for Judy Collins and remains his most covered work to date. After performing at a few folk festivals, he came to the attention of Columbia Records representative John H. Hammond.

Cohen's first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), was too dark to be a commercial success but was widely acclaimed by folk music buffs. He became a cult name in the UK, where the album spent over a year on the album charts. He followed it with Songs from a Room (1969) (featuring the often recorded "Bird on the Wire"), Songs of Love and Hate (1971), Live Songs (1973) and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974).

In 1971, Cohen's music was used in the soundtrack to Robert Altman's film McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Though pulled from the existing Cohen catalog, the songs melded so seamlessly with the story that some believed they were written for the film.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Cohen toured the United States, Canada and Europe. Beginning around 1974, his collaboration with pianist and arranger John Lissauer created a live sound praised by the critics. During this time, Cohen toured twice with Jennifer Warnes as a back-up singer (in 1972 and 1979). Warnes would become a fixture on Cohen's future albums and she recorded an album of Cohen songs in 1987, Famous Blue Raincoat. Laura Branigan also sang back-up vocals with his 1976 tour band, but she never recorded with him.

In 1977, Cohen released Death of a Ladies' Man (note the plural possessive case; one year later in 1978, Cohen released a volume of poetry with the coyly revised title, Death of a Lady's Man). The album was produced by Phil Spector, well known as the inventor of the "wall of sound" technique, in which pop music is backed with thick layers of instrumentation, an approach very different from Cohen's usually minimalist instrumentation. The recording of the album was fraught with difficulty; Spector reportedly mixed the album in secret studio sessions and Cohen said Spector once threatened him with a crossbow. Cohen thinks the end result is "grotesque," but also "semi-virtuous".

In 1979, Cohen returned with the more traditional Recent Songs. Produced by Cohen himself and Henry Lewy (Joni Mitchell's sound engineer) the album included performances by a jazz-fusion band introduced to Cohen by Mitchell and oriental instruments (oud, Gypsy violin and mandolin). In 2001 Cohen released the live version of songs from his 1979 tour, Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979.

In 1984, Cohen released Various Positions, including the often recorded "Hallelujah". Columbia declined to release the album in the United States, where Cohen's popularity had declined in previous years. Throughout his career, Cohen's music has sold better in Europe and Canada than in the U.S.; he once satirically expressed how touched he is at the modesty the American company showed in promoting his records.

In 1986 he appeared in the episode French Twist of the TV series Miami Vice. In 1987, Jennifer Warnes' tribute album Famous Blue Raincoat helped restore Cohen's career in the U.S., and the following year he released I'm Your Man, which marked a drastic change in his music. Synthesizers ruled the album and Cohen's lyrics included more social commentary and dark humour. It was Cohen's most acclaimed and popular since Songs of Leonard Cohen, and "First We Take Manhattan" and the title song became two of his most popular songs.

The use of the album track "Everybody Knows" (co-written by Sharon Robinson) in the 1990 film Pump Up the Volume helped to expose Cohen's music to a younger audience. In 1992, Cohen released The Future, which urges (often in terms of biblical prophecy) perseverance, reformation, and hope in the face of grim prospects. Three tracks from the album - "Waiting for the Miracle", "The Future" and "Anthem" - were featured in the movie Natural Born Killers.

Nanni Moretti's film Caro diario (1993) features "I'm Your Man", as Moretti himself rides his Vespa along the streets of Rome.

In 1994, following a tour to promote The Future, Cohen retreated to the Mount Baldy Zen Centre near Los Angeles, beginning what would become five years of seclusion at the center. In 1996, Cohen was ordained as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk and took the Dharma name Jikan, meaning 'silence'. He served as personal assistant to Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi. He left Mount Baldy in 1999.

In 2001, following the five years' seclusion as a Zen Buddhist monk at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center, Cohen returned to music with Ten New Songs, featuring a heavy influence from producer and co-composer Sharon Robinson. With this album, Cohen shed the relatively extroverted, engaged, and even optimistic outlook of The Future (the sole political track, “The Land of Plenty,” abandoning stern commandment for yearning but helpless prayer) to lament and seek acceptance of varieties of personal loss: the approach of death and the departure of love, romantic and even divine. Ten New Songs' cohesive musical style (perhaps absent from Cohen's albums since Recent Songs) owes much to Robinson’s involvement. The album includes the song "Alexandra Leaving," which is a striking transformation of the poem "The God Abandons Antony," by the Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy. Although not Cohen’s bitterest album, it may rank as his most melancholic.

In October 2004, he released Dear Heather, largely a musical collaboration with jazz chanteuse (and current romantic partner) Anjani Thomas, although Sharon Robinson returns to collaborate on three tracks (including a duet). As light as the previous album was dark, Dear Heather reflects Cohen's own change of mood - he has said in a number of interviews that his depression has lifted in recent years, which he attributes to the aid of Zen Buddhism. Dear Heather is perhaps his least cohesive, and most experimental and playful album to date, and the stylings of some of the songs (especially the title track) frustrated many fans. In an interview following his induction into the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame, Cohen explained that the album was intended to be a kind of notebook or scrapbook of themes, and that a more formal record had been planned for release shortly afterwards, but that this was put on ice by his legal battles with his ex-manager.

On October 8, 2005 Cohen alleged that his longtime former manager, Kelley Lynch, misappropriated over US $5 million from Cohen's retirement fund along with the publishing rights to his songs, leaving Cohen with only $150,000. Cohen was sued in turn by other former business associates. These events placed him in the public spotlight, including a cover feature on him with the headline "Devastated!" in Canada's Maclean's magazine. In March 2006, Cohen won the civil suit and was awarded US $9 million by a Los Angeles County superior court. Lynch, however, ignored the suit and did not respond to a subpoena issued for her financial records. As a result it has been widely reported that Cohen may never be able to collect the cash. Cohen has been under new management since April 2005.

Blue Alert, an album of songs co-written by Anjani and Cohen, was released on May 23, 2006 to positive reviews. The album is sung by Anjani, who according to one reviewer "sounds like Cohen reincarnated as woman. . . . though Cohen doesn't sing a note on the album, his voice permeates it like smoke." The album includes a recent musical setting of Cohen's "As the mist leaves no scar," a poem originally published in The Spice-Box of Earth in 1961 and adapted by Spector into "True Love Leaves No Traces" on Death of a Ladies' Man.

Cohen's book of poetry and drawings, Book of Longing, was published in May 2006; in March a Toronto-based retailer offered signed copies to the first 1500 orders placed online, which saw the entire amount sold within hours. The book quickly topped bestseller lists in Canada. On May 13, 2006, Cohen made his first public appearance for thirteen years, at an in store event at a bookstore in Toronto. Approximately 3000 people turned up for the event, causing the streets surrounding the bookstore to be closed. He sang two of his earliest and best-known songs: "So Long, Marianne" and "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye", accompanied by the Barenaked Ladies and Ron Sexsmith. Also appearing with him was Anjani, the two promoting her new CD, along with his book.

January 13, 2008, Cohen quietly announced to fans a long-anticipated concert tour . The tour, Cohen's first in 15 years, began May 11 in Fredericton, NB to wide critical acclaim. The schedule encompassed Canada and Europe, including performances at The Big Chill (music festival), the Montreal Jazz Festival, and on the Pyramid Stage at the 2008 Glastonbury Festival on 29 June 2008. His performance at Glastonbury was hailed by many as the highlight of the festival, and his performance of 'Hallelujah' as the sun went down received a rapturous reception and a lengthy ovation from a packed Pyramid Stage field.

In January 2009, the tour arrived in New Zealand. Simon Sweetman in The Dominion Post (Wellington) of 21 January wrote "It is hard work having to put this concert in to words so I'll just say something I have never said in a review before and will never say again: this was the best show I have ever seen." The first concert of the Australian tour took place at Rochford Winery in Victoria's Yarra Valley on January 24 in perfect weather in front of an audience of about 7,000.

The Sydney Entertainment Centre show on January 28 sold out rapidly, which motivated promoters to later announce a second show at the venue. The first performance was well-received, and the audience of 12,000 responded with five standing ovations. Cohen gave generous credit to his touring band, his long-time collaborator and vocalist Sharon Robinson, who was backed up by the Webb Sisters.

On March 7, 2008, Jeff Buckley’s version of Cohen's “Hallelujah”, went to number 1 on the iTunes chart after being performed by Jason Castro on the seventh season of the television series American Idol. Another major boost for Cohen's song exposure came when singer-songwriter Kate Voegele released her version of "Hallelujah" from her 2007 Don't Look Away album and appeared as a regular character, named Mia, on season five of the teenage television show One Tree Hill.

A few days later, Cohen was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in recognition of his status among the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters".

In December 2008 Cohen's "Hallelujah" was placed no. 1 and 2 in the U.K. Christmas singles chart, with 'X Factor' winner Alexandra Burke at No. 1 and Jeff Buckley at No. 2. A third release, by Cohen himself, was placed at No. 36.

On February 19, 2009, Cohen played his first American concert in fifteen years at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. He will also be performing in the upcoming Coachella Music Festival Friday, April 17 in 2009.

In the 1960s, during his stay at Hydra, Cohen befriended the Scandinavian novelists Axel Jensen and Göran Tunström. He lived there with Axel's wife Marianne Jensen (now: Ihlen Stang) and their son Axel after they broke up. The song "So Long, Marianne" is about her. An alternative theory, however, which may be but a local Montréal urban myth, is that Marianne refers to rue Marie-Anne in the inner core of Montréal, a street on which Cohen lived many years and in whose little park at the corner of Boulevard St. Laurent he was known to sit on occasion. For a long time it was believed that the character Lorenzo in Jensen's novel Joacim (1961) was based on Cohen, but Axel told him it was influenced by Tunström.

According to biographer and filmmaker Harry Rasky, Cohen has been married once, to Los Angeles artist Suzanne Elrod. Although the two did have an important relationship in the 1970s, Cohen himself has said that 'cowardice' and 'fear' have prevented him from ever actually marrying . He had two children with Elrod: a son, Adam, was born in 1972 and a daughter, Lorca, named after poet Federico García Lorca, was born in 1974. Adam Cohen began his own career as a singer-songwriter in the mid-1990s and currently fronts a band called Low Millions. Elrod took the cover photograph on Cohen's Live Songs album and is pictured on the cover of the Death of a Ladies' Man album.

Cohen and Elrod had split by 1979. Contrary to popular belief, "Suzanne", one of his best-known songs, refers to Suzanne Verdal, the former wife of his friend, the Québécois sculptor Armand Vaillancourt, rather than Elrod. In 1990, Cohen was romantically linked to actress Rebecca De Mornay. He is now romantically involved with (and working with) Anjani Thomas.

Cohen comes from a Jewish background, most obviously reflected in his song "Story of Isaac", and also in "Who by Fire," whose words and melody echo the Unetaneh Tokef, an 11th century liturgical poem recited on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Broader Judeo-Christian themes are sounded throughout the album Various Positions: "Hallelujah", which has music as a secondary theme, begins by evoking the biblical king David composing a song that "pleased the Lord," and continues with references to Bathsheba and Samson. If it be Your Will also has a strong air of religious resignation.

Having suffered from depression during much of his life (although less so with the onset of old age), Cohen has written much (especially in his early work) about depression and suicide. The wife of the protagonist of Beautiful Losers commits a gory suicide; "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" is about a suicide; suicide is mentioned in the darkly comic "One of Us Cannot Be Wrong"; "Dress Rehearsal Rag" is about a last-minute decision not to kill oneself; a general atmosphere of depression pervades such songs as "Please Don't Pass Me By" and "Tonight Will Be Fine." As in the aforementioned "Hallelujah", music itself is the subject of many songs, including "Tower of Song", "A Singer Must Die", and "Jazz Police".

His recent politics continue a lifelong predilection for the underdog, the "beautiful loser." Whether recording "The Partisan", a French Resistance song by Anna Marly and Emmanuel d'Astier, or singing his own "The Old Revolution", written from the point of view of a defeated royalist, he has throughout his career through his music expressed his sympathy and support for the oppressed. Although Cohen's fascination with war is often as metaphor for more explicitly cultural and personal issues, as in New Skin for the Old Ceremony, by this measure his most "militant" album.

Cohen blends a good deal of pessimism about political/cultural issues with a great deal of humour and (especially in his later work) gentle acceptance. His wit contends with his stark analyses, as his songs are often verbally playful and even cheerful: In "Tower of Song," the famously raw-voiced Cohen sings ironically that he was "… born with the gift/ Of a golden voice"; the generally dark "Is This What You Wanted?" nonetheless contains playful lines "You were the whore at the Feast of Babylon/ I was Rin Tin Tin"; in concert, he often plays around with his lyrics (for example, "If you want a doctor/ I'll examine every inch of you" from "I'm Your Man" will become "If you want a Jewish doctor …"); and he will introduce one song by using a phrase from another song or poem (for example, introducing "Leaving Green Sleeves" by paraphrasing his own "Queen Victoria": "This is a song for those who are not nourished by modern love").

Cohen has also recorded such love songs as Irving Berlin's "Always" or the more obscure soul number "Be for Real" (originally sung by Marlena Shaw), chosen in part for their unlikely juxtaposition to his own work.

Many other cover albums have been recorded by many artists.

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Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen song)

First covered by John Cale in 1991, Hallelujah has since been recorded over 180 times by different artists, been the subject of a BBC radio documentary and been featured in the soundtracks of numerous movies and television shows. In the UK, the two most commercially successful cover singles have been by Alexandra Burke and Jeff Buckley, whose versions occupied the number one and two spots, respectively, of the UK pop charts in December 2008.

The original recording contains multiple biblical references in the lyrics, alluding to David's harp-playing used to soothe King Saul (1 Samuel 16:23), and his later affair with Bathsheba after watching her bathe from his roof (2 Samuel 11:2). The line "she broke your throne and she cut your hair" is a reference to the source of Samson's strength from the Book of Judges 16. The third verse mentions "the name" (Tetragrammaton). Jeff Buckley described his own rendition of the song as an homage to "the hallelujah of the orgasm".

In 1994, Cohen released a substantially different version on the 1994 live album Cohen Live, retaining only the final verse from the original recording. In this version, the lyrics became more sexual, and the song's structure was slightly reworked.

Since his original studio album version, live performances by Leonard Cohen almost invariably include the final song verses not performed by Cale and many others. Many cover artists mix lyrics from both versions, and occasionally make direct lyric changes such as Rufus Wainwright singing "holy dark" and Allison Crowe singing "Holy Ghost" rather than "holy dove". Although individual words do change among various versions, apart from such examples of clear revision by interpreters, any variation may be due to selection from Cohen's complete lyrics rather than alterations by the cover artist.

In recent years "Hallelujah" has been performed by a large number and broad range of artists, both on recordings and in concert. RIAA, CRIA, ARIA and IFPI statistics alone show that, prior to late 2008, more than five million copies of the song sold in CD format. Top-selling versions included those by Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley. As well, Buckley's 1994 studio version of Hallelujah was certified platinum, for sales over one million, as a single by the RIAA on April 22, 2008. The song has enjoyed renewed commercial success as a digital download single in the UK in late 2008, when a version by X Factor winner Alexandra Burke and Jeff Buckley's best known version made the number 1 and 2 positions respectively in the UK Singles Chart. Burke's version sold 576,046 copies, and Buckley's sold 80,883.

Welsh singer-songwriter John Cale recorded a cover version of "Hallelujah", which appeared on the 1991 Leonard Cohen tribute album I'm Your Fan and, again, on Cale's 1992 live album Fragments of a Rainy Season. Cale's version featured vocals, piano, and lyrics Cohen only had performed live. In a 2001 interview with The Observer, John Cale said: After I saw perform at the Beacon I asked if I could have the lyrics to "Hallelujah". When I got home one night there were fax paper rolls everywhere because Leonard had insisted on supplying all 15 verses. Cale says he "went through and just picked out the cheeky verses." His version was featured in the 1996 film, Basquiat, as well as the 2001 animated film, Shrek.

The late American singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley, inspired by Cale's earlier cover version, recorded one of the best-known cover versions of "Hallelujah" for his 1994 studio album, Grace. Buckley, not wholly satisfied with any one take, recorded more than twenty takes, three of which producer Andy Wallace took and mixed to create a single track.

In 2004, Jeff Buckley's version was ranked #259 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". In September 2007, a poll of fifty songwriters conducted by Q Magazine listed "Hallelujah" among the all-time "Top 10 Greatest Tracks" with John Legend calling Buckley's version "as near perfect as you can get". Buckley's first #1 came posthumously in March 2008 when "Hallelujah" topped Billboard's Hot Digital Songs following a performance of the song by Jason Castro on American Idol.

This Cover Version was part of the Lord of War Soundtrack of the year 2004. Buckley's version has also been used at the end of the House episode "Acceptance", and in an episode of The West Wing.

In 2008 Buckley's cover of the song peaked at number 2 in the Christmas edition of the UK Singles Chart, the first time the song had appeared in the UK top 40, following a campaign to raise it higher in the chart than Alexandra Burke's version (also released by Sony).

Although John Cale's version was used in the film itself, his version did not feature in the movie soundtrack album, Shrek: Music from the Original Motion Picture. Canadian musician Rufus Wainwright recorded a version similar to Cale's, also using piano, and his version was used on the soundtrack album. The Shrek soundtrack containing Wainwright's cover was certified double-platinum in 2003 (with sales of over two million copies).

Alexandra Burke, the winner of the fifth series of British reality television show The X Factor, recorded a cover of the song that reached the Christmas Number One spot on UK charts on 21 December 2008. The music video features footage from The X Factor, connecting the lyrics to the story of Burke's victory.

The release of Burke's cover created interest in the previous versions of the song, including a Buckley fan campaign to take Buckley's cover to the top of the Christmas chart in order to deny Burke the top spot. The campaign was fuelled by Jeff Buckley fans' dislike of The X Factor's commercialism and the song's arrangement, as well as a desire by this contingent to introduce younger music fans to Buckley's version. Burke herself was not enamoured of the choice of song, remarking "It just didn’t do anything for me".

Burke's version broke a European sales record after selling over 105,000 digital downloads in just one day, breaking the previous record set by Leona Lewis. It sold 576,000 copies in its first week, becoming the fastest selling single released by a woman in the UK, to become the Christmas number one, while Buckley's cover came second and Cohen's original version came thirty-sixth. On 28 December, 2008, the UK Singles Chart listed Burke's version as #1 biggest selling single of the year., with NME announcing sales of over 1 million copies since its release. Burke's version is now listed as the 75th biggest selling single of all time in the UK.

Alexandra Burke's version was nominated in the category Best British Single at the 2009 BRIT Awards, as voted for by the public. Burke's version eventually came 6th, after being eliminated in the fifth and final online voting round.

The song has frequently been used in television shows and movies, often during scenes involving death or heartbreak.

Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes.

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Leonard Cohen discography

Leonard Norman Cohen CC GOQ (born September 21, 1934 in Westmount, Quebec) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963.

Cohen's earliest songs (many of which appeared on the 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen) were rooted in European folk music melodies and instrumentation. In the 1970s his music encompassed pop, cabaret and world music. Since the 1980s his high baritone voice he has typically evolved into lower registers (bass baritone and bass), with accompaniment from electronic synthesizers and female backing singers.

His work often explores the themes of religion, isolation, sexuality, and complex interpersonal relationships.

Cohen's songs and poetry have influenced many other singer-songwriters, and more than a thousand renditions of his work have been recorded. He has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. Cohen was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a speech by Lou Reed on March 10, 2008 for his status among the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters".

Many other cover albums have been recorded by many artists.

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The Best of Leonard Cohen

The Best of Leonard Cohen cover

The Best of Leonard Cohen is a greatest hits album by Leonard Cohen, released in 1975. In some territories, it is also known as Greatest Hits. This alternative title was used for the original vinyl release and for CD reissues from the 1980s onwards.

The front cover photograph was taken in 1968 in a Montreal hotel room, according to the liner notes written by Leonard Cohen himself.

The band Ween made a parody of this album's cover for their album, The Pod.

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Source : Wikipedia