Live in London

( 24 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
As more than one writer has pointed out, in 2008 and 2009 Leonard Cohen's loss became his audience's gain. After spending five years living as a monk in a Buddhist monastery during a sabbatical from music, Cohen discovered in 2005 that his former business manager had embezzled nearly all his savings, and two years later, in order to put his finances back in order, he warily agreed to an international concert tour, his first in nearly a decade and a half. Given the circumstances that prompted Cohen's return to the stage as well as his age -- 73 when the tour began -- one would have the right to wonder just how enthusiastic the great songwriter would be about meeting his ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
As more than one writer has pointed out, in 2008 and 2009 Leonard Cohen's loss became his audience's gain. After spending five years living as a monk in a Buddhist monastery during a sabbatical from music, Cohen discovered in 2005 that his former business manager had embezzled nearly all his savings, and two years later, in order to put his finances back in order, he warily agreed to an international concert tour, his first in nearly a decade and a half. Given the circumstances that prompted Cohen's return to the stage as well as his age -- 73 when the tour began -- one would have the right to wonder just how enthusiastic the great songwriter would be about meeting his audience again. But judging from Live in London -- a two-disc set recorded during a rapturously received appearance at London's O2 Arena on July 17, 2008 -- these concerts have unexpectedly given Cohen a chance to remind the world of his strengths as a musician and a performer, and he's embraced the opportunity with joy. The notion of Leonard Cohen playing a 20,000-seat arena may seem a bit surprising at least in America, but Cohen and his nine-member supporting ensemble give 25 songs from his catalog a treatment that fills them out enough to work in a massive room at least compared to the intimate arrangements of his early work without crushing the nuances of gentler numbers like "Who by Fire" and "Suzanne," while "The Future" and "Democracy" sound just as big as they need to be. There's sometimes a bit too much David Sanborn in Dino Soldo's horn solos, but otherwise the band is superb -- especially Javier Mas on banduria, laud, archilaud, and guitar, and the vocal ensemble of Sharon Robinson, Charley Webb, and Hattie Webb -- and despite the craggy, weathered state of Cohen's voice, he sounds sure and committed from the first moment to the last, often finding notes that seem elusive at first, and his performance here is genuinely engrossing. It's also surprisingly witty; Cohen may have a reputation as one of the most dour performers in contemporary music, but his between-song patter is charmingly droll, and he finds a passion and a humanity in his songs that sets them apart from their studio counterparts. Cohen sounds genuinely moved by the affectionate reception he receives from his audience, and he seems determined to give them a show to match their loyalty, and with his band who he frequently lauds during the performance he truly gives of himself; if this isn't quite the strongest live performance Cohen has released for public consumption, it's certainly the warmest and the most emotionally resonant. Perhaps fate forced Leonard Cohen's hand to stage the tour documented in part on Live in London, but it seems that fate knows just what it's doing, and this album eloquently demonstrates how much Cohen still has to offer, and how clearly his music still speaks to him and us.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/31/2009
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886974050223
  • Catalog Number: 740502
  • Sales rank: 7,155

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Dance Me to the End of Love (6:20)
  2. 2 The Future (7:20)
  3. 3 Ain't No Cure for Love (6:16)
  4. 4 Bird on the Wire (6:14)
  5. 5 Everybody Knows (5:52)
  6. 6 In My Secret Life (5:02)
  7. 7 Who by Fire (6:35)
  8. 8 Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye (3:47)
  9. 9 Anthem (7:20)
  10. 10 Introduction (1:29)
  11. 11 Tower of Song (7:07)
  12. 12 Suzanne (3:46)
  13. 13 The Gypsy's Wife (6:42)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Boogie Street - Sharon Robinson (6:57)
  2. 2 Hallelujah (7:20)
  3. 3 Democracy (7:08)
  4. 4 I'm Your Man (5:41)
  5. 5 Recitation - Neil Larsen (3:53)
  6. 6 Take This Waltz (8:37)
  7. 7 So Long, Marianne (5:24)
  8. 8 First We Take Manhattan (6:15)
  9. 9 Sisters of Mercy (4:56)
  10. 10 If It Be Your Will - Webb Sisters (5:22)
  11. 11 Closing Time (6:15)
  12. 12 I Tried to Leave You (8:33)
  13. 13 Wither Thou Goest (1:27)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leonard Cohen Primary Artist, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Roscoe Beck Electric Bass, Background Vocals, Upright Bass, Musical Direction, Standup Bass
Neil Larsen Keyboards
Bob Metzger Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar
Dino Soldo Harmonica, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Wind, Wind Instruments
Rafael Gayol Percussion, Drums
Hattie Webb Harp, Background Vocals
Charley Webb Guitar, Background Vocals
Javier Más 12-string Guitar, Archlute, Bandurria
Javier Mas Lute, 12-string Guitar, Archlute, Bandurria
Charles Webb Guitar, Background Vocals
Sharon Robinson Vocals, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Leonard Cohen Arranger, Composer, Artwork
Steven Berkowitz Producer, Audio Production
Clive Brooks Backline Technician
Neil Larsen Composer
Bob Ludwig Mastering, Remastering
Leanne Ungar Engineer, Monitor Engineer
John VanNest Engineer
Edward Sanders Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
John Aizlewood Liner Notes
Federico García Lorca Composer
Guy Singer Composer
Steve Swift Stage Manager
Michael Petit Graphic Design
Vincent Perreux System Engineer
Leif L.B. Bodnarchuk Backline Technician
Javier Más Laud
Sabrina Kells Lighting Technician
Robert Kory Executive Producer, Audio Production
Mickey Sullivan Backline Technician
Dan Weingartner Backline Technician
Russell Wilson Engineer, Monitor Engineer
Sharon Robinson Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Leonard Cohen's newest a must for fans

    I have a ticket (expensive!) to Leonard Cohen's appearance in Oakland for next month. The reviews of his recent shows in England have been ecstatic--at his age, he still delivers, like Van Morrison. I will snap up this live CD and compare it with what I experienced at the Fox Theater gig. I almost got shut out on buying a ticket, and thought I would have to get the CD as a consolation prize. Now I can have both. Sweeeeet!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Music Lovers Unite

    I'm slow to discover Mr. Cohen, but now that I have I can not get enough. I love his raspy throaty voice. I am intrigued and turned by his lyrics, he speaks to me. I never tire, I can listen over and over and over...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Essential for every Leonard Cohen fan

    This is a CD of his concert in London. I've seen the DVD and prefer the CD.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Essential listening of an artist on top form

    I find it hard to praise this recording enough. The connection with the audience, the freshness in the performance and arrangements, and the humor are second to none. Cohen is warm, funny and emotional, he is clearly enjoying the performance as much as the audience.
    The band and singers are similarly superb.
    Classy, intelligent music to love for many, many years.
    Buy it, love it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    stunning record live performance

    Great audio detail in recording with A level performance from all.
    Assembled the "varsity" of backup musicians and vocalists.
    sets a stardard for "live" recording!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    god bless LC

    i have listened to LC for 35 years.he was brilliant then,he is brilliant now.the end

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    LEONARD COHEN LIVE IN LONDON - I REALLY WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE

    This CD takes my breath away - Thank you Leonard Cohen

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    YOU ARE MY MAN . . .

    Pure class. I have admired this man's writing for nearly 50 years. Even as a young teenager, his words inspired, made me happy, made me cry, made me dance . . . I love you Leonard. You are my man. We're old now but what a life. He was the right time, the right place. And today I have said to friends 'you must listen to him here' . . . just the way he speaks, though he says why he could be sad, you can feel him smiling as the stories unfold and we're back at today again. Do listen to the words. And feel the music. Its all here. His gift. Leonard is my forever love, my forever crush, my man.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Oh, Leonard!

    If you have followed Leonard Cohen for 40 years, as I have, this is the natural progression of the master. His wit, humility, and relevance are all there. We are blessed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding album from Leonard Cohen

    One of the best live albums ever released.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Love it!!!!

    My husband and I just love Leonard Cohen and this is not exception....he is just fantastic. His voice is great and the background music just completes the enjoyment. We would highly recomend this and his other CDs.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Leonard Who?

    I happened to hear a cut from this CD on the radio and was intrigued. Leonard Cohen has an unusual voice and an even more unusual story. How many 70+ year old singers do you know of who recently made a comeback? Unfortunately, a two-CD set is too much of pretty much the same sound. I doubt that I will play either one very often and wish I'd just bought one or two cuts on iTunes. Live and learn!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Cohen at his truest

    A remarkable live recording, soulful and communicating the essence of this great poet/writer/singer. His humbleness, his humanity, his modesty, his greatness shine through on every cut and his comments to the audience between songs. My only regret was that I wasn't there in London last year to bear witness.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Didn't Listen When I Was Young

    The whole thing was very entertaining, he certainly is the wordsmith, with backup vocals that are so beautiful. The music was excellent and the solos outstanding, I would buy it again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Really Great

    Leonard Cohen, as usual, is fabulous. This is one of the best live CD sets I have heard in a long time. Great value.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    doesn't suck

    not bad, not exactly nuanced. could use more of the rocker i saw perform in the 70's. still good to hear the golden voice, though

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Essential Cohen

    This live 2-CD set is superb.
    Cohen relates to and is moved by his audience.
    The 26 songs cover most of his best material.
    The band is masterful but not overbearing.
    The audience noise is not annoying as in most live albums.
    This is probably your last chance to enjoy Cohen.
    Buy this CD and see him live if you get the opportunity.
    This music is moving and cerebral. A welcome departure from
    inane artists as Britney Spears et. al.
    Elevate your listening tastes and enjoy this album.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews