Leonard Cohen - Songs Of Leonard Cohen (1967)

Leonard Cohen is a highly-regarded Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist.

Leonard Cohen was already a published author when he first turned to recorded music, having released two novels and a number of poetry collections between 1958 and 1966, living a mostly reclusive exsistence as he pursued his literary ambitions. He moved to the United States in 1967, and was signed as a solo artist by John Hammond to Columbia Records. His first album, Songs Of Leonard Cohen, came out late that same year. Cohen emerged as one of the first generation of singer-songwriters, alongside Tim Buckley, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and those who had matured into singer-songwriters after years as folk musicians, such as Bob Dylan and Fred Neil. His years as a writer had no doubt formed a bedrock for his poetic lyrical style.
Songs Of Leonard Cohen turned out to have a totally unique sound, one which Cohen instantly made his signature. Stylistically, it was more rooted in European folk music than that of the American folk revival. With producer John Simon, Cohen crafted a quiet, spartan sound based around his near-deadpan voice and subtle finger-picked spanish guitar, with carefully crafted embellishments of strings and other backing instruments. Of particular note were the ghostly harmony vocals of Nancy Priddy. On two other songs he was backed by the band Kaleidoscope.
The other vital ingredient besides the masterful production were the songs themselves. Cohen easily proved himself a master songsmith, and many of his best-known tunes can be found on this first album, in particular the opening number "Susanne", which has been covered by countless other artists and remains one of his most highly regarded works. Based on this splendid debut, Cohen became a hit underground artist. On the charts, he peformed much better in Europe than in America, the album reaching #10 in the UK.

|> Songs From A Room (1969)
More from Leonard Cohen


No comments: