Freaky 1980s Leonard Cohen TV performance

He also wrote a pretty great novel, Beautiful Losers, which you might enjoy after (or while) listening to all the fine recommendations above!

Warning (and spoiler alert), said novel contains a sentient (and malevolent) sex toy: am not sure that those passages have weathered well, ahem.


He was born like this, he had no choice
He was born with the gift of a golden voice


“as a falling leaf may rest
a moment
on the air
so your head upon my breast
so my hand upon your hair”


Safety Dance by Men Without Hats surely?

(And a whole new resonance in these pandemic ravaged times)

All great suggestions, but I find the most approachable Cohen is Jennifer Warnes’ Famous Blue Raincoat. Recommended to me by an audiophile saying it was (at the time) one of the best recorded albums ever. Good thing too: it has been stuck in my CD player for about 2 years. There’s a playlist on Spotify that recreates the 20th anniversary edition: “Jenny sings Lenny”.

Did anyone read his poetry while in their teens? Oh my…


The Safety Dance video? Please…

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Griff Rhys Jones passably channels “Games Without Frontiers” era Peter Gabriel there.

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Almost 20 years ago there was a play at our Fringe Festival based on the book. Actually, it had been performed here first as part of a Leonard Cohen symposium a month or two before the Fringe. A group.out of Vermont performed it, perhaps they toured with it.

In a later year of the Fringe, one show was staged in the backyard of a sculpture, Armand Vaillancourt. He was going with Suzanne or maybe was married to her at the time Leonard wrote “Suzanne”. Actually, shortly before that, the CBC had done a piece about her, so when I saw where the Fringe show was staged, it jumped out.

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I found Beautiful Losers…strange. The Favourite Game is much more accessible.


Lipsynced. This is the recording from the I’m Your Man album, with the female part(s) credited as the doubled voice of Anjani Thomas, who worked (and lived) with him off and on for a number of years.

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He was probably wondering how this would appear to the people of 2020, when the worst diseases were eradicated and all nations were happily high-fiving on Mars.


I swear Laughing Len was actually trying not to laugh there. I thank you for this, as does my Cohen obsessive girlfriend.

Physicist Nick Herbert has a story on his blog about meeting Suzanne Verdal (about five years ago) you may be interested in:

Apparently this wasn’t a one-off for Sweden, he did the same act in (at least) Germany, Spain and Belgium:


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