LEONARD COHEN

21/09/34 - 07/11/16 (aged 82).

"This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled. But there are moments when we can... reconcile and embrace the whole mess, and that's what I mean by Hallelujah."

1934: Leonard Norman Cohen CC GOQ was born in Westmount, Quebec, Canada. He was a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, poet, novelist, and painter. He also played guitar and keyboard. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize.

1960: Cohen lived in rural Hydra, Greece, in an apartment. He lived there with Marianne Ihlen, with whom he was in a relationship for most of the 1960s. The song "So Long, Marianne" was written to and about her.

1967: Disappointed with his lack of financial success as a writer, Cohen moved to the United States to pursue a career as a folk music singer-songwriter. Cohen's first album was Songs of Leonard Cohen.

1969: Cohen followed up his first album with Songs from a Room, featuring the often-recorded "Bird on the Wire".

1970's: Cohen was in a relationship with artist Suzanne Elrod. She took the cover photograph for Live Songs and is pictured on the cover of the Death of a Ladies' Man. She also inspired the "Dark Lady" of Cohen's book Death of a Lady's Man in 1978. Cohen and Elrod separated in 1979.

1970: Cohen toured for the first time, in the US, Canada, and Europe, and appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival.

1971: Album Songs of Love and Hate.

1972: After the 1970 tour, he toured again in Europe and Israel. Son, Adam is born.

1973: He played a special performance for a group of IDF soldiers in the outposts of Sinai during the Yom Kippur War. Columbia Records released "Leonard Cohen: Live Songs".

1974: Cohen's collaboration with pianist and arranger John Lissauer created a live sound praised by the critics. They toured together in Europe and in U.S. and Canada in late 1974 and early 1975, in support of Cohen's record New Skin for the Old Ceremony. Daughter, Lorca is born.

1976: He embarked on a new major European tour with a new band and changes in his sound and arrangements, in support of his The Best of Leonard Cohen release (in Europe retitled as Greatest Hits).

1977: Cohen attempted a new change in his style and arrangements; his new record, Death of a Ladies' Man (one year later, in 1978, Cohen also released a volume of poetry with the coyly revised title, Death of a Lady's Man), was co-written and produced by Phil Spector.

1979: Cohen returned with the more traditional Recent Songs, which blended his acoustic style with jazz and Oriental and Mediterranean influences. The album was supported by Cohen's major tour with the new band, and Jennifer Warnes and Sharon Robinson on the backing vocals, in Europe in late 1979, and again in Australia, Israel, and Europe in 1980.

1984: Cohen co-wrote the rock musical film Night Magic with Lewis Furey, starring Carole Laure and Nick Mancuso; the LP Various Positions was released including the song "Hallelujah".

1988: I'm Your Man is released.

 

Cohen toured Australia and New Zealand in November and December 2013. His final concert was performed at the Vector Arena in Auckland.
Cohen toured Australia and New Zealand in November and December 2013. His final concert was performed at the Vector Arena in Auckland. Rama

1990's: Cohen was romantically linked to actress Rebecca De Mornay. She co-produced Cohen's 1992 album The Future.

1992: Cohen released The Future, which urges (often in terms of biblical prophecy) perseverance, reformation, and hope in the face of grim prospects. Three tracks from the album - "Waiting for the Miracle", "The Future" and "Anthem" - were featured in the movie Natural Born Killers, which also promoted Cohen's work to a new generation of US listeners.

1993: He published his book of selected poems and songs, Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, on which he had worked since 1989. It includes a number of new poems from the late 1980s and early 1990s and major revision of his 1978 book Death of a Lady's Man.

1996: Cohen was ordained as a Buddhist monk. He was involved with Buddhism beginning in the 1970s.

1997: Cohen oversaw the selection and release of More Best of Leonard Cohen album, which included a previously unreleased track, "Never Any Good", and an experimental piece "The Great Event".

2000's: On August 12 of 2012, Cohen embarked on an European tour in support of Old Ideas. The European leg ended on October 7, after concerts in Belgium, Ireland, France, England, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Romania and Turkey. The second leg of the Old Ideas World Tour took place in the US and Canada in November and December, with 56 shows altogether on both legs. Cohen returned to North America in the spring of 2013 with concerts in the United States and Canada. Cohen then toured Australia and New Zealand in November and December 2013. His final concert was performed at the Vector Arena in Auckland.

Continued discography: 2001: Ten New Songs; 2004: Dear Heather; 2012: Old Ideas; 2014: Popular Problems and 2016: You Want It Darker.

INTERESTING FACT:

"Hallelujah" has been performed by almost 200 artists in various languages. The song is the subject of the book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of 'Hallelujah' (2012) by Alan Light. In a New York Times review Janet Maslin praised the book and the song, noting that "Cohen spent years struggling with his song "Hallelujah", which eventually became one of the most "oft-performed songs in American musical history."


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