TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)
|Also Known As:||Died:|
|Born:||September 21, 1934||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Montreal, Quebec, CA||Profession:|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
f Buckley revived the track in 2006. The album¿s release coincided with Book of Mercy (1984), his first collection of poems since 1978. The publication received the Canadian Authors¿ Association Literary Award for Poetry.Cohen devoted his energies to live performance in the wake of Various Positions. But 1987¿s Famous Blue Raincoat, an album of Cohen covers performed by Warnes, helped to revive interest in his songwriting, and Cohen himself would rebound with 1990¿s I¿m Your Man. Driven largely by synthesizers, the album featured one of Cohen¿s darkest compositions, "Everybody Knows," which would introduce the singer to a new generation of listeners through its inclusion on the soundtrack to Allan Moyle¿s "Pump Up the Volume" (1990). I¿m Your Man proved to be not only one of Cohen¿s best-selling records in over a decade, but also the beginning of a career revival that positioned him as a natural forerunner to such independent artists as Nick Cave and R.E.M., both of which paid tribute to the singer on I¿m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen by¿, a cover compilation that also featured Ian McCullouch of Echo and the Bunnymen, the Pixies, Lloyd Cole and other alternative rock acts.Cohen quickly...
f Buckley revived the track in 2006. The album¿s release coincided with Book of Mercy (1984), his first collection of poems since 1978. The publication received the Canadian Authors¿ Association Literary Award for Poetry.
Cohen devoted his energies to live performance in the wake of Various Positions. But 1987¿s Famous Blue Raincoat, an album of Cohen covers performed by Warnes, helped to revive interest in his songwriting, and Cohen himself would rebound with 1990¿s I¿m Your Man. Driven largely by synthesizers, the album featured one of Cohen¿s darkest compositions, "Everybody Knows," which would introduce the singer to a new generation of listeners through its inclusion on the soundtrack to Allan Moyle¿s "Pump Up the Volume" (1990). I¿m Your Man proved to be not only one of Cohen¿s best-selling records in over a decade, but also the beginning of a career revival that positioned him as a natural forerunner to such independent artists as Nick Cave and R.E.M., both of which paid tribute to the singer on I¿m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen by¿, a cover compilation that also featured Ian McCullouch of Echo and the Bunnymen, the Pixies, Lloyd Cole and other alternative rock acts.
Cohen quickly responded with The Future (1992), a meditation on political and social upheaval that also generated healthy sales. The inclusion of three songs, including "The Future," on the soundtrack for Oliver Stone¿s controversial "Natural Born Killers" (1992), further expanded Cohen¿s fan base, which in turn led to a new book of poems, Stranger Music (1993) and a second, higher-profile tribute record, Tower of Song (1994), featuring covers by such A-list artists as Billy Joel, Sting, Willie Nelson and Bono. In the midst of this flurry of activity, Cohen surprised many by beginning a five-year retreat at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center in Los Angeles. There, he was ordained as a Buddhist monk while working on a large number of new songs and poems, which he previewed on a fan site before recording 2001¿s Ten New Songs, an album co-written and produced by longtime musical partner Sharon Robinson. Shortly after Cohen was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2003, he released Dear Heather (2004), a surprisingly upbeat collaboration with singer and romantic partner Anjani Thomas. In interviews, Cohen attributed the album¿s lighter tone to the alleviation of his longtime depression due to his Buddhist studies. His newfound optimism clearly aided him in a lengthy legal battle with his former manager, Kelley Lynch, over alleged misappropriation of $5 million of Cohen¿s financial savings. Lynch was eventually sentenced to 18 months in jail for harassing the singer and violating restraining orders.
Cohen again rebounded from this setback with a flurry of new releases, including Blue Alert (2006), an album of songs co-written and sung by Thomas, and a best-selling collection of poems and drawings called Book of Longing (2006). Composer Phillip Glass later set the text from the book to music as part of a multimedia tribute to Cohen called Book of Longing: A Song Cycle Based on the Poetry and Artwork of Leonard Cohen. A documentary/concert film called "Leonard Cohen: I¿m Your Man" (2006) rounded out this round of activity before Cohen launched his first tour in over 15 years in 2008, the same year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec. Though well into his seventh decade at the beginning of the two-year tour, Cohen eventually played over 200 dates, including critically acclaimed appearances at major international festivals, including the Coachella Festival in 2009. The tour also generated two concert CD/DVDs, including his first official DVD, "Live in London" (2009). After receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, Cohen completed a new studio album, Old Ideas, which became his highest-charting album in the United States by reaching No. 3 on the Billboard 200 upon its release in 2012. That same year, Cohen and Chuck Berry were the first recipients of the PEN Award for Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence.
By Paul Gaitawhile artists ranging from Collins and James Taylor to Noel Harrison and Harry Belafonte recorded their own versions of songs from the album. Director Robert Altman would also use three songs for the soundtrack to his 1971 film "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," which further expanded Cohen¿s popularity. During this period, he also continued to write poetry, much of which was collected in Selected Poems: 1956-1968 (1968), which earned Cohen the Governor-General¿s Award, the highest literary honor in Canada. Cohen turned down the award and its monetary prize, citing that he wanted nothing from a "callous" world, which famously prompted fellow Canadian author Mordecai Richler to threaten Cohen with a "punch in the nose."
Cohen¿s next records, 1969¿s Songs from a Room and Songs of Love and Hate (1970), were marked by their unadorned arrangements of Cohen¿s increasingly bleak material. Though fewer listeners purchased these records, those that did were deeply enamored by such heartfelt and powerful songs as "Bird on a Wire," the anti-war screed "The Story of Isaac" and "Famous Blue Raincoat." Cohen¿s career soon morphed into that of a beloved cult performer with a connection to a small but dedicated audience that viewed his material as deeply personal expressions of their own emotional states. In 1970, he gave his first international tour, which included a performance at the Isle of Wight Festival alongside such `60s icons as Jimi Hendrix, The Who and The Doors. These live sets were documented in the 1973 compilation album Leonard Cohen: Live Songs, as well as in the concert film "Bird on a Wire" (1972), which Cohen initially blocked due to his dissatisfaction with the end result. It would remain out of circulation until its restoration for DVD in 2010.
Pianist and arranger John Lissauer, who had accompanied Cohen on tours of the United States, Europe and Israel between 1971 and 1973, served as producer for the songwriter¿s four album, New Skin for the Old Ceremony. A more lush-sounding effort than his previous releases, the album featured one of Cohen¿s most talked-about numbers, "Chelsea Hotel #2," which reportedly detailed a sexual encounter with Janis Joplin at the titular location, where both lived in the early 1970s. After a lengthy tour through 1976 and 1977 to promote Columbia¿s release of The Best of Leonard Cohen, he returned to the studio for Death of a Ladies¿ Man (1977), which paired him with notorious producer Phil Spector. The over-produced end result was met by negative response from nearly all listeners, including Cohen himself, who was reportedly barred from the studio by an armed Spector. Perhaps as a response to the problems with the notoriously unhinged producer, Cohen began co-producing his own work, beginning in 1979 with the jazz-driven effort Recent Songs.
Though he remained extremely popular with international audiences, Cohen¿s profile in the United States dwindled during the 1980s. He had spent several years working on the score for a rock musical called "Night Magic" (1985) which earned a Juno for Best Movie Score but went largely unseen by stateside audiences, and an album of poetry recitations called Songs for Rebecca was abandoned. When he finally returned with a new record, 1984¿s Various Positions, Columbia refused to release it in the United States, citing their lack of faith in his ability to generate record sales. The album, which credited longtime backing singer Jennifer Warnes as co-vocalist, featured two enduring songs from Cohen¿s catalog: the tragic ballad "Dance Me to the End of Love" and "Hallelujah," which was covered by a dizzying array of pop acts after Jef
Filmographyclose complete filmography
CAST: (feature film)
Milestones close milestones
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute