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Help build the Ultimate Leonard Cohen Playlist

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Producer Will Producer Will | 17:30 UK time, Monday, 23 January 2012

Leonard Cohem


This week on Now Playing we are honouring a true wordsmith – Leonard Cohen – ahead of his exclusive interview with Jarvis Cocker this Sunday afternoon.

At 77-years of age Cohen is about to release his 12th studio album, Old Ideas - which is streaming in full over at the Guardian - and we want you to suggest tracks, compositions and anything else we can broadcast connected with the Canadian for this Friday’s show.

Part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he’s been described as the “highest and most influential echelon of songwriters” by Lou Reed – but what do you think has to be included in a playlist celebrating the great man?

* Some of his own music – from Songs from a Room to Songs From Love or Hate.
* Artists who have covered him such as Beth Orton, Rufus and Martha Wainwright or Jarvis Cocker himself?
* Related artists, from Janis Joplin to Phil Spector to Paul Simon and Judy Collins
* Other famed musicians who’ve crossed into poetry – or vice versa. Maybe Gil Scott-Heron?
* And of course the issue of whether we play Hallelujah – and if so, which version?

Let us know by leaving a comment here, joining in with the conversation on our Facebook page, Tweet us using #Cohen6Music, e-mail or add to our shared Spotify playlist.

And of course join us on Friday from 7pm and don’t forget to catch Leonard chatting to Jarvis on his Sunday Service from 4pm.



  • Comment number 1.

    Must include one of the beautiful Jennifer Warnes covers, hopefully the one with her and Mr.C duetting on "Joan of Arc".

  • Comment number 2.

    Strongly agree with the above...the duet is so powerful and their voices are as beautiful together as their personal friendship over many years.
    Real devotees of Leonard tend to be very cautious about cover versions, because who could sing a song better than the man who struggled to create the poetry of the lyrics? But, one cover I absolutely love is k d lang singing Hallelujah for Leonard at his induction into at the Canadian songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. They greeted each other so warmly during the rapturous applause.

  • Comment number 3.

    I love 'Everybody Knows'. It's not all doom and gloom, there's very subtle humour, I believe, too! xx

  • Comment number 4.

    I know the usual suspects will probably apply such as Suzanne,Famous Blue Raincoat,but it would be nice to hear some different songs such as ' Closing Time' and 'The Tower Of Song' and also 'That's No Way To Say Goodbye'.

  • Comment number 5.

    Can I propose "True Love Leaves No Traces" from the Phil Spector-produced 'Death of a Ladies Man' album. The album itself is something of a mixed bag, but this song is beautifully tuneful and features some typically gorgeous lyrics. The intro surges towards the opening lines:

    As the mist leaves no scar
    On the dark green hill
    So my body leaves no scar
    On you and never will

    Leonard has described on a number of occasions the "atmosphere of guns" that attended the making of the album, and one particular moment when Spector held a pistol against Cohen's head. - Spector: "I love you Leonard." - Cohen (drawled): "I hope you do, Phil."

  • Comment number 6.

    Oh I forgot 'Light As a Breeze' so sexy!

  • Comment number 7.

    Suzanne has to be one of my favourite songs of all time. It still sends tingles down my spine especially when I hear him sing it live. I named my daughter after it 33 years ago.


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