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Leonard Cohen - Various Positions (1984/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: Various Positions
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1984
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:35:32
Recorded: June 1984 at Quadrasonic Sound, New York

Various Positions is the seventh studio album by Leonard Cohen, released in December 1984 (and February 1985). It marked not only his turn to the modern sound and use of synthesizers (particularly on the opening track), but also, after his work on harmonies and backing vocals on the previous Recent Songs (1979), an even greater contribution from Jennifer Warnes, who is credited equally to Cohen as vocalist on all of the tracks.
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Leonard Cohen - The Future (1992/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: The Future
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1992
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:59:37
Recorded: January – June 1992

As with most every Leonard Cohen album, a new record means a new means of musical exploration. With The Future, Cohen adds chiming synthesizers and eerie orchestrations to his brooding anthems about life's darker half. One of the last of Cohen's full-length albums, The Future is definitely one of the most direct. More notable tracks include "The Future" and "Waiting for the Miracle," both of which were featured on the Natural Born Killers soundtrack. Closer to spoken word poetry set to music than simply songs, the entire album is one long manifesto calling all to challenge the concepts of righteousness and despair in our modern world. Regardless of the music behind the man, Cohen still manages to bring to The Future what he brought to his earlier recordings: one man against the world with nothing but a gruff voice and a cause. --Christopher Fielder
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Leonard Cohen - Songs of Love and Hate (1971/1995) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: Songs of Love and Hate
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1971
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:44:58
Recorded: September 22–26, 1970 at Columbia Studio A, Nashville

Songs of Love and Hate is one of Leonard Cohen's most emotionally intense albums -- which, given the nature of Cohen's body of work, is no small statement. While the title Songs of Love and Hate sums up the album's themes accurately enough, it's hardly as simple as that description might lead you to expect -- in these eight songs, "love" encompasses the physical ("Last Year's Man"), the emotional ("Famous Blue Raincoat"), and the spiritual ("Joan of Arc"), and the contempt in songs like "Dress Rehearsal Rag" and "Avalanche" is the sort of venom that can only come from someone who once cared very deeply. The sound of the album is clean and uncluttered, and for the most part the music stays out of the way of the lyrics, which dominate the songs. Thankfully, Cohen had grown noticeably as a singer since his first two albums, and if he hardly boasts a range to rival Roy Orbison here, he is able to bring out the subtleties of "Joan of Arc" and "Famous Blue Raincoat" in a way his previous work would not have led you to expect. And while Bob Johnston's production is spare, it's spare with a purpose, letting Cohen's voice and guitar tell their stories and using other musicians for intelligent, emotionally resonant punctuation (Paul Buckmaster's unobtrusive string arrangements and the use of a children's chorus are especially inspired). And Songs of Love and Hate captured Cohen in one of his finest hours as a songwriter, and the best selections (especially "Famous Blue Raincoat," "Joan of Arc," and "Love Calls You by Your Name") rank with the most satisfying work of his career. If Songs of Love and Hate isn't Cohen's best album, it comes close enough to be essential to anyone interested in his work. --Mark Deming
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Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: Songs of Leonard Cohen
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1967
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:41:32
Recorded: August 1967, Columbia Studio E, New York

At a time when a growing number of pop songwriters were embracing a more explicitly poetic approach in their lyrics, the 1967 debut album from Leonard Cohen introduced a songwriter who, rather than being inspired by "serious" literature, took up music after establishing himself as a published author and poet. The ten songs on Songs of Leonard Cohen were certainly beautifully constructed, artful in a way few (if any) other lyricists would approach for some time, but what's most striking about these songs isn't Cohen's technique, superb as it is, so much as his portraits of a world dominated by love and lust, rage and need, compassion and betrayal. While the relationship between men and women was often the framework for Cohen's songs (he didn't earn the nickname "the master of erotic despair" for nothing), he didn't write about love; rather, Cohen used the never-ending thrust and parry between the sexes as a jumping off point for his obsessive investigation of humanity's occasional kindness and frequent atrocities (both emotional and physical). Cohen's world view would be heady stuff at nearly any time and place, but coming in a year when pop music was only just beginning to be taken seriously, Songs of Leonard Cohen was a truly audacious achievement, as bold a challenge to pop music conventions as the other great debut of the year, The Velvet Underground & Nico, and a nearly perfectly realized product of his creative imagination. Producer John Simon added a touch of polish to Cohen's songs with his arrangements (originally Cohen wanted no accompaniment other than his guitar), though the results don't detract from his dry but emotive vocals; instead, they complement his lyrics with a thoughtful beauty and give the songs even greater strength. And a number of Cohen's finest songs appeared here, including the luminous "Suzanne," the subtly venomous "Master Song" and "Sisters of Mercy," which would later be used to memorable effect in Robert Altman's film McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Many artists work their whole career to create a work as singular and accomplished as Songs of Leonard Cohen, and Cohen worked this alchemy the first time he entered a recording studio; few musicians have ever created a more remarkable or enduring debut. --Mark Deming
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Leonard Cohen - Songs from a Room (1969/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: Songs from a Room
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1969
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:36:08
Recorded: October 1968 at Columbia Studio A, Nashville

Leonard Cohen's first album was an unqualified triumph which announced the arrival of a bold and singular talent, and many who heard it must have wondered what Cohen could do for an encore. By comparison, Cohen's second album, 1969's Songs from a Room, was something of a letdown. While it's a fine LP, it ultimately feels neither as striking nor as assured as Songs of Leonard Cohen. Bob Johnston stepped in as producer for Songs from a Room, and his arrangements are simpler than those John Simon crafted for the debut, but they're also full of puzzling accents, such as the jew's harp that punctuates several tracks, the churchy organ line in "The Old Revolution," and the harsh synthesizer flourishes on "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes." Johnston also had trouble coaxing strong vocal performances from Cohen; his singing here sounds tentative and his meter is uncertain, which regardless of how one feels about Cohen's much-debated vocal prowess is not the case with his other work. And finally, the quality of the songs on Songs from a Room is less consistent than on Songs of Leonard Cohen; as fine as "Bird on a Wire," "You Know Who I Am," "The Story of Isaac" and "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" may be, "The Butcher" and "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes" simply aren't up to his usual standards. Despite the album's flaws, Songs from a Room's strongest moments convey a naked intimacy and fearless emotional honesty that's every bit as powerful as the debut, and it left no doubt that Cohen was a major creative force in contemporary songwriting. --Mark Deming
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Leonard Cohen – Recent Songs (1979/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: Recent Songs
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1979
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:53:20
Recorded: April - May 1979 at A&M Studios, Hollywood

The first thing Leonard Cohen's music fans noticed about his sixth new studio album, given the typically open-ended title Recent Songs, was that, musically, it marked a return to the gypsy folk sound of his early records after the incongruous arrangements Phil Spector imposed on its predecessor, Death of a Ladies' Man, only two years earlier. There were subtle musical developments, particularly a flavor of the American Southwest, courtesy of the band Passenger, which played on several tracks, but the acoustic guitars and violin recalled classic Cohen. Fans of the artist's poetry noticed something else. His writing had become increasingly bitter and angry during the 1970s in the books The Energy of Slaves and Death of a Lady's Man as well as in his lyrics, but there was a new equanimity in these Recent Songs that began with the welcoming introduction of "The Guests." All was not suddenly well, of course, but "the open-hearted many" outnumbered "the broken-hearted few." Cohen's usual mixture of religious and sexual imagery in the songs was elegant and evocative rather than painful. If he was conscious of the sacrifices he had made in vain in "Came So Far for Beauty," he was nevertheless able to make a sincere plea to a woman in "The Window," mixing it with a prayer to "gentle this soul." The album was full of references to absence and dislocation, but Cohen deliberately countered them with humor. The cover of "The Lost Canadian (Un Canadient Errant)" was enlivened by a mariachi arrangement, and the album ended with "Ballad of the Absent Mare," an allegory about a cowboy's search for a horse that ended with the suggestion that the pursuit was only a romantic game. Though often abstract, Recent Songs suggested Cohen had regained a certain equilibrium after a long dark period. --William Ruhlmann
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Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas (2012/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: Old Ideas
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:41:19
Recorded: January 2007 - August 2011, Two Word Music, Small Mercies Studio, Lars Nova, 1 Thread Telegraph Office, Still Life Studios, 7th Street Sound

From our master singer-songwriter, here are ten new songs that mine the heart, shake the body, and break the boundaries as everybody knows only Leonard Cohen can do. A signature of our time, Leonard's baritone holds us like the voices of Hank, Frank, and Ray. These are songs that nobody knows and everyone will treasure.
Old Ideas, by Leonard Cohen was produced with Patrick Leonard, Anjani Thomas, Ed Sanders and Dino Soldo. Complementing Cohen's signature baritone on Old Ideas are the exceptional vocalists Dana Glover, Sharon Robinson, The Webb Sisters (Hattie and Charley Webb) and Jennifer Warnes. The album's cover design and drawings are Cohen's own.
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Leonard Cohen - New Skin for the old Ceremony (1974/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: New Skin for the old Ceremony
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1974
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:37:21
Recorded: February 1974, Sound Ideas Studio, New York

Leonard Cohen was a poet long before he decided to pick up a guitar. Despite singing in a dry baritone over spare arrangements, Cohen is a gifted lyricist who captivates the listener. New Skin for the Old Ceremony may be Leonard Cohen's most musical album, as he is accompanied by violas, mandolins, banjos, and percussion that give his music more texture than usual. The fact that Cohen does more real singing on this album can be seen as both a blessing and a curse -- while his voice sounds more strained, the songs are delivered with more passion than usual. Furthermore, he has background vocalists including Janis Ian that add significantly to create a fuller sound. It is no surprise, however, that he generally uses simple song structures to draw attention to the words ("Who By Fire"). The lyrics are filled with abstract yet vivid images, and the album primarily uses the metaphor of love and relationships as battlegrounds ("There Is a War," "Field Commander Cohen"). Cohen is clearly singing from the heart, and he chronicles his relationship with Janis Joplin in "Chelsea Hotel No. 2." This is one of his best albums, although new listeners should start with Songs of Leonard Cohen. --Vik Iyengar
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Leonard Cohen - I’m Your Man (1988/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: I'm Your Man
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1988
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Recorded: August to November 1987; Studio Tempo in Montréal, Québec; Rock Steady in Los Angeles, US


I'm Your Man is the eighth studio album by Leonard Cohen, released in 1988. The album marked Cohen's further move to a more modern sound, with many songs having a synthpop production.
"First We Take Manhattan" had been released the previous year by Jennifer Warnes on her album of Cohen songs, Famous Blue Raincoat. The song "Everybody Knows" was one of Cohen's first writing collaborations with Sharon Robinson, who would become a frequent collaborator in the future. Most notably, Robinson co-wrote every song on Cohen's 2001 outing Ten New Songs. In "Tower of Song", Cohen discusses songwriting and acknowledges the influence of Hank Williams ("a hundred floors above me").
"I'm Your Man" was number 1 in Norway for 16 weeks. The album is silver in the UK and gold in Canada.
It was ranked 51 on Pitchfork Media's list of the 100 best albums of the 1980s. Tom Waits has named it one of his favourite albums. Slant Magazine listed the album at number 29 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".
The track "Take This Waltz" was already released in 1986 (as a single off the Federico García Lorca tribute album Poets in New York) and reached number 1 in the Spanish charts. The words were translated by Cohen from García Lorca's poem "Pequeño vals vienés".
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Leonard Cohen - Death of a Ladies’ Man (1977/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Leonard Cohen
Title: Death of a Ladies' Man
Genre: Folk Rock, Ballad, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1977
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:42:47
Recorded: June and July 1977; Whitney Recording Studios, Los Angeles; Gold Star Recording Studios, Los Angeles; Devonshire Sound Studios, Los Angeles.

One of the most controversial partnerships in either man's career was inaugurated the day Leonard Cohen and Phil Spector decided to make an album together. In the course of just three weeks together, the pair had written 15 new songs, described by Spector as "some great f*ckin' music." And though the recording took somewhat longer, Death of a Ladies' Man still emerged as an album that, while it certainly lives up to Spector's billing, can also be viewed as the most challenging record of both Cohen and Spector's careers. Certainly, Cohen fans were absolutely taken aback by the widescreen wash that accompanied their idol's customary tones, and many hastened to complain about the almost unbridled sexuality and brutal voyeurism that replaced Cohen's traditionally lighter touch -- as if the man who once rhymed "unmade bed" with "giving me head" was any stranger whatsoever to explicitness. It is also true that a cursory listen to the album suggests that the whole thing was simply a ragbag of crazy notions thrown into the air to see where they landed.
Pay attention, however, and it quickly makes sense. The brawling "Memories" bowls along, an echo-laden vaudeville drinking song that invites everyone who hears it to join in with the so-perfectly timed refrain of "won't you let me see...your naked body." "Iodine," meanwhile, swings on one of Nino Tempo's most seductive rhythm arrangements, while Steve Douglas' sax squalls behind Cohen and co-singer Ronee Blakley's rambunctious duet; and anybody looking for a dance smash to sidle wholly out of left field could turn to "Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On," a number that not only captured an almost irresistible funk edge, but also roped Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg into its rambunctious backing chorus.
Cohen himself has never been happy with the record -- Spector's mix, he complained, stripped "the guts out of the record," but when he suggested the producer have another go, his entreaties were ignored. Finally agreeing to write the album off as "an experiment that failed" and trust that his fans would be able to pick out its "real energizing capacities," Cohen allowed it to be released as Spector left it -- and then effectively retired for the next five years. His judgment, and that most commonly passed down by rock history, has not been borne out by time. Alongside Songs of Love and Hate, Death of a Ladies' Man represents the peak of Cohen's first decade or so as a recording artist, both lyrically and stylistically stepping into wholly untapped musical directions -- and certainly setting the stage for the larger scale productions that would mark out his music following his return. It might even be his masterpiece. --Dave Thompson
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