Leonard Cohen – Greatest Hits


Artist Leonard Cohen
Album Greatest Hits
Year of release 1975



Yes, well, and another great artist has gone…

Leonard Cohen - Greatest Hits (discogs.com)

Leonard Cohen – Greatest Hits

Leonard Cohen, and this album in particular, is unmistakably connected to my youth, My father owned the lp’s Songs Of Leonard Cohen, Songs From A Room, Songs Of Love And Hate, New Skin For The Old Ceremony and this album, that went under the moniker The Best Of at that time. I clearly remember the album covers. He primarily played this album (as far as I remember). Later on, in 1988, I bought the cdsingle First We Take Manhattan and the 2012 album Old Ideas. In the mean time I bought this album on cd, later to be followed by The Essential Leonard Cohen.

I had tickets to the Ahoy Rotterdam concert on June 23rd, 2013, but wasn’t able to attend: unfortunately never saw him live.

Real Leonard Cohen music lovers are probably horrified, but this album is my favorite. Everything is equally beautiful. I have a very clear memory of the original A-side of this album. I heard that a lot, when I was young:

  1. Suzanne
  2. Sister Of Mercy
  3. So Long, Marianne
  4. Bird On The Wire
  5. Lady Midnight
  6. The Partisan

Side B is terrific also, but was less played at home. I later caught up:

  1. Hey, That’s No Way To Sy Goodbye
  2. Famous Blue raincoat
  3. Last year’s Man
  4. Chelsea Hotel #2
  5. Who By Fire
  6. Take This Longing


Leonard Cohen songs are covered extremely often, ranging from (Dutchman) Herman van Herman Van Veen to Nick Cave and from Neil Diamond to Jeff Buckley. Jeff Buckley started the real Hallelujah cover rage with his beautiful rendition on his great Grace. There is almost no-one who didn’t cover a Leonard Cohen song (yes, Prince also covered Hallelujah).

As a tribute to the beauty of Cohen’s lyrics, hereby the lyrics to Suzanne:




Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by, you can spend the night forever
And you know that she’s half-crazy but that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her
Then he gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer that you’ve always been her lover

And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind

And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
He said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them
But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

And you want to travel with him, and you want to travel blind
And you think you maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with her mind

Now, Suzanne takes your hand and she leads you to the river
She’s wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbor
And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love and they wil lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds her mirror

And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind

© 1967 Leonard Cohen


Compliments/remarks? Yes, please!