An artist who requires no introduction, Cohen is arguably the greatest singer songwriter of modern times. His foundations as a poet can be seen throughout his colourful and emotive songwriting, Cohen has created an anthology of songs that indulge the senses and stay with you long after the music finishes.
Uniquely for such an iconic musician, Cohen’s literary praise rivals that received for his music. In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, which sits alongside his inductions into both America and Canada’s Music Hall Of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
At his induction into the American Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, he was recognised by Lou Reed as “without question one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater mystery and depth as time goes on”.
Casting an eye across Cohen’s musical offerings across his decades as a performer, there is no doubt of Reed’s claim. Albums like Songs Of Leonard Cohen (1967), Songs Of Love And Hate (1970) and I’m Your Man (1990), right up to 1992’s The Future, 2001’s Ten New Songs, 2004’s Dear Heather and last years Old Ideas are rightly considered classics.
Revered not only by critics and audiences but also by fellow musicians, Cohen’s songs have been famously covered by a variety of artists, each version a fascinating insight on Cohen’s impact and lasting influence on the music industry.
From Judy Collins’ ‘Suzanne’ to Jeff Buckley’s seminal rendition of ‘Hallelujah’, Cohen’s songs have travelled as far and wide as their author. U2, REM, Sting, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright and the late Johnny Cash are among the other famous devotees. It is estimated that his songbook has been covered over 1,330 times by other recording artists.
With a career spanning six decades and sell out shows around the world, the hunger to see this highly influential writer, poet and troubadour remains undiminished.
Since returning to the stage in 2008 after a 15-year hiatus, Cohen has lost nothing in his years off the road and his shows have quickly been recognised as musical history. Recent performances across the United Kingdom confirm that some things get better with age, like fine wine, cheese and Leonard Cohen:
"This was a prayer meeting, not only for the crowd... Such is the reverence, so eager are people not to miss a beat, that they don't even sing along. Every song – all the hits, plus a handful from last year's Old Ideas – beams out pure, with a slight sibilant echo from the O2's walls" – The Guardian
"His three-hour sets are the Sistine Chapel ceiling of live performance: their exquisite beauty renders you silent, sometimes tearful but always grateful to have been able to experience such radiance and majesty." – The Telegraph
Don’t miss the magnetic and inimitable Leonard Cohen as he returns to Australia and New Zealand with his emotive, poignant and legendary concerts. Tickets on sale from 10am local time, Monday 12 August.
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