Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

photo: Hazel Field


Leonard Cohen: Cohen's New Skin

Interview by Harvey Kubernik, Melody Maker, 1 March 1975

LOS ANGELES: "For a while, I didn't think there was going to be another album. I pretty well felt that I was washed up as ...

Leonard Cohen: The Future

Review by Cliff Jones, Rock CD, December 1992

THE CRITICAL REHABILITATION of the man they used to call Captain Mandrax is one of rock's more unexpected twists in recent years. ...


Leonard Cohen part 1 (1988)

Interview by Mat Snow, Rock's Backpages Audio, February 1988

Laughing Lennie talks to Mat Snow about songwriting, meditiation and religion, the collapse of literary culture, and the misperception of him as a Gloom Merchant.

File format: mp3 File size: 22.7mb Interview length: 24 minute 48 seconds Sound quality: ***

Leonard Cohen part 2 (1988)

Interview by Mat Snow, Rock's Backpages Audio, February 1988

In this part of Mat Snow's interview, Lennie talks about music as therapy, ambiguity, songwriting and 'My Way': Sinatra vs Vicious

File format: mp3 File size: 28.1mb Interview length: 30 minutes 42 seconds Sound quality: ***

Leonard Cohen part 3 (1988)

Interview by Mat Snow, Rock's Backpages Audio, February 1988

Lennie talks to Mat Snow about his relationship with the press, Montreal, the idealism of '68, and the rise of the post-punk Cult of Cohen.

File format: mp3 File size: 27.3mb Interview length: 29 minutes 48 seconds Sound quality: ***

Leonard Cohen (1992)

Interview by Paul Zollo, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1992

The Great Canadian talks at length and in detail about the process by which, through sheer hard work, he crafts his songs, from the recent The Future album back to such classics as 'Suzanne' and 'Bird on a Wire'.

File format: mp3 File size: 81.5mb Interview length: 1h 29' 00"; Sound quality: ***


Leonard Cohen...The Man

Profile by Ellen Sander, Sing Out!, August 1967

LEONARD COHEN, Canadian born author, poet, songwriter, singer, the subject of a film. Leonard Cohen, incredibly handsome, immensely articulate tough-tender young man of our times. ...

New Stars On The Horizon: The Devil's Anvil, The 5th Dimension, Leonard Cohen

Profile by uncredited writer, Hit Parader, September 1967


Leonard Cohen: Beautiful Creep

Profile and Interview by Richard Goldstein, Village Voice, The, 28 December 1967

And the child on whose shoulders I stand whose longing I purged with public, kingly discipline today I bring him back ...

Leonard Cohen: Songwriter Who Got Into Folk By Accident

Interview by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, 17 February 1968

WHEN THE new album by the uncrowned queen of the non-folk, Judy Collins, is issued this month a lot of people will start talking again ...

Leonard Cohen: Songs of Leonard Cohen (Columbia)

Review by uncredited writer, KRLA Beat, 24 February 1968

THIS IS THE first album for a very talented Canadian poet. Prior to this album, Cohen's reputation rested mainly on his film scoring for Nobody ...

Unique Interpreters Of Pop: The United States of America, Leonard Cohen, Van Dyke Parks

Profile and Interview by Jacoba Atlas, KRLA Beat, 9 March 1968

THE REVOLUTION in pop music has produced some extraordinary people. Attracting poets, jazz musicians and classical music enthusiasts, the field has now expanded into a ...

Bob Johnston: ...And a PS From the Man Who Produced the Last Dylan LP

Interview by Alan Walsh, Melody Maker, 9 November 1968

BOB DYLAN'S John Wesley Harding album was probably the most eagerly awaited record of the year. ...

Leonard Cohen: Songs From A Room (CBS 9767 import)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, 11 April 1969

LEONARD COHEN is not the world's greatest singer, his voice has a raspy edge to it and one often gets the impression that he's singing ...

The Isle of Wight Festival: Five Days That Rocked Britain

Report by Chris Welch, Michael Watts, Richard Williams, Mark Plummer, Melody Maker, 5 September 1970

MM's Richard Williams, Chris Welch, Michael Watts and Mark Plummer present a five-page report on an amazing weekend of music and other scenes... ...

Leonard Cohen: Songs Of Love And Hate

Review by Roy Hollingworth, Melody Maker, 2 January 1971

LEONARD COHEN in a deeper emotional trough than he's ever been in, more hypnotic, more melancholic than ever, and without doubt the least musical stuff ...

Cohen, Cohen, Gone: Leonard Cohen

Interview by Roy Hollingworth, Melody Maker, 24 February 1973

"LET'S sing a song, boys. . . . This one has grown old and bitter"– fragment from Songs of Love and Hate ...

Leonard Cohen: Rock Poetry Had A Lot Of Promise, Back Five And Six Years Ago.

Interview by Mike Jahn, New York Times Special Features Syndication, 9 June 1973

DYLAN WAS at his peak, writing his brilliant "doomsday poems," and revolutionizing popular music. Colleges by the scores offered courses regarding pop song lyrics as ...

Leonard Cohen: Live Songs (Columbia)

Review by Jaan Uhelszki, Creem, August 1973

LEONARD COHEN is no sissy! Now, I know you always thought poets were gushing queers and over-grown altar boys, but not our guy, Lennie. He's ...

Leonard Cohen: Last of the Pop Poets

Interview by Mike Jahn, New York Daily News, 2 September 1973

ANY ROOM containing both furniture and Leonard Cohen would be overcrowded. ...

Depressing? Who? Me?

Profile and Interview by Steve Turner, New Musical Express, 29 June 1974

Nervous? Tense? So’s Leonard Cohen. In fact, he’s so miserable he’s even given up suicide. Steve Turner attempts to pin down the Beautiful Loser himself, ...

Leonard Cohen: New Skin For The Old Ceremony; Carole King: Wrap Around Joy

Review by Bob Woffinden, New Musical Express, 21 September 1974

THE LATEST saga in the Great American Singer/Songwriter Conspiracy, Jewish Division, in which Cohen and King are chief protagonists. ...

Leonard Cohen: New Skin For The Old Ceremony (CBS)

Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, 28 September 1974

LEONARD COHEN is an artist who worries a great many people. Dismissed on the one hand as pretentious, on the other as a plain old ...

Leonard Cohen: The Romantic in a Ragpicker's Trade

Interview by Paul Williams, Crawdaddy!, March 1975

"I THINK MARRIAGE is the hottest furnace of the spirit today," Leonard Cohen said on the phone from Mexico. "Much more difficult than solitude, much ...

Leonard Cohen

Interview by Harvey Kubernik, Melody Maker, 6 March 1976

LEONARD COHEN'S GREATEST Hits is an interesting album to contemplate when one remembers that Cohen was in his mid-thirties when he began to make records, ...

Leonard Cohen: Cohen Down the Road

Interview by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, 22 May 1976

GOD'S IN his heaven, all's right with the world. The words, surprisingly enough, came from Leonard Cohen, and he was making the first of several ...

The Return of Leonard Cohen

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, 3 July 1976

THE POSTER outside the Colston Hall, Bristol announced the appearance that evening of "The Poet of Rock and Roll". ...

The Obscure Case of Leonard Cohen and The Mysterious Mr. M.

Interview by Bruce Pollock, After Dark, February 1977

AS I HUSTLED up Sixth Avenue toward the Algonquin Hotel for an interview with Columbia recording artist Leonard Cohen, writer of such heavyweight literary pop ...

Leonard Cohen: Death Of A Ladies Man

Review by Sandy Robertson, Sounds, 26 November 1977

"LEONARD COHEN meets Phil Spector" sounds more like a line from a Lester Bangs article than something you would ever expect to actually become manifest ...

What Happened When Phil Spector Met Leonard Cohen?

Report and Interview by Harvey Kubernik, LA Phonograph, January 1978

LEONARD COHEN – singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet, novelist, and sometime straight faced spokesman of the hilarious ironies of the human condition – walks into the ...

Haunted By Spector: Leonard Cohen

Interview by Chris Bohn, Melody Maker, 5 January 1980

Leonard Cohen’s voyage to the bottom of his soul is over. He’s back on top and is finding rock’n’roll fun too... ...

Leonard Cohen: Incurable Romantic

Profile and Interview by Anthony O'Grady, RAM, April 1980

WHEN LEONARD COHEN takes the stage there's a small, collective gasp, almost resembling the threshold of tumescence, or the sudden realisation of a dream come ...

Leonard Cohen: Various Positions (CBS)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, 9 February 1985

VATICAN 69 ...

Leonard Cohen: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, 27 February 1985

FOR WHAT are undoubtedly all the wrong reasons, one has come to approach Leonard Cohen with suspicion. The air of long-suffering torture one associates with ...

Leonard Cohen: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Ralph Traitor, Sounds, 11 June 1985

JOHN LENNON'S celebrated quip about the upper crust rattling their jewellery might be adapted to Leonard Cohen with a small adjustment. To wit: rattling their ...

Lenny and Jenny Sings Lenny

Interview by Biba Kopf, New Musical Express, 14 March 1987

A LEONARD COHEN song is the dark disaster that brings on the light. A slow and irresistible force, the rich laval flow of his voice ...

The Songwriter: Lenny Plays It Cool

Interview by Bud Scoppa, Music Connection, 6 April 1987

The Various Positions of a Pop Guru ...

Jennifer Warnes: Famous Blue Raincoat (RCA)

Review by Len Brown, New Musical Express, 20 June 1987

THE TOTAL exhumation and resurrection of Leonard Cohen gathers alarming pace. Here Jennifer Warnes, one-time backer to ole grumble guts, runs through nine of laff-a-lifetime-Len's ...

Jennifer Warnes: Famous Blue Raincoat (RCA PL90048/CD)****

Review by Hugh Fielder, Sounds, 18 July 1987

THE SUBTITLE on the bottom left hand corner says 'The songs of Leonard Cohen', which you might think would be more likely to repel than ...

Leonard Cohen: Crocodile Tears

Interview by Paul Mathur, Melody Maker, 2 January 1988

LET'S TALK misconceptions. Like the one about Cleopatra being Egyptian (she was Greek), Christmas being a time for giving (take take take), Ben Elton and ...

Leonard Cohen: Cohen's Way

Profile and Interview by Mat Snow, Guardian, The, February 1988

WE LIVE IN THE days of the flood, says Leonard Cohen. "Most of my psychic landmarks have evaporated. I'm reluctant to apply the psychic realm ...

Leonard Cohen: A Mercy Mission With... The Man With A Golden Voice

Interview by Mat Snow, Sounds, 20 February 1988

Once the diarist of doom, LEONARD COHEN has suddenly released a disco-comedy LP, I'm Your Man. MAT SNOW meets the 53-year-old mentor of Ian McCulloch, Matt Johnson, ...

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man

Review by Mark Cooper, Q, March 1988

LEONARD COHEN HAS spent 53 years perfecting the art of being Leonard Cohen, poet of romantic despair. A self-declared "ladies' man" in his songs, Cohen's ...

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (CBS LP/Cassette/CD)

Review by Richard North, New Musical Express, 5 March 1988

OSTENSIBLY LENNY has that kind of graceless seriousness which makes the more frivolous amongst us uncomfortable. He's been dismissed by a multitude as an old ...

Leonard Cohen: The Profits Of Doom

Interview by Steve Turner, Q, April 1988

HIS SINGING VOICE is only slightly more tuneful than the low rumble of his speaking voice. His melancholy outlook attracts the special attention of the ...

Leonard Cohen's Nervous Breakthrough

Interview by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988


Leonard Cohen's Impeccable Chop

Interview by Mark Dery, Frets, November 1988

FROM HIS 1967 debut, The Songs Of Leonard Cohen, to his tenth and latest release, I'm Your Man, Canadian singer-guitarist Leonard Cohen has traveled to ...

Leonard Cohen

Profile and Interview by Mark Dery, Keyboard, September 1989

"MOST MUSIC criticism," griped Leonard Cohen in a recent Musician interview, " far behind, say, the criticism of painting. Nobody is identifying our popular singers ...

Leonard Cohen: Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe?

Interview by Adrian Deevoy, Q, 1991

He's been a poet and songwriter for more than 40 years, but Leonard Cohen still can't find a rhyme for 'orange'. "It drives you mad," ...

Leonard Cohen On Songwriting

Interview by Paul Zollo, from 'Songwriters On Songwriting', 1992

WE ARE SITTING Indian-style on the second floor of Leonard Cohen’s home in Los Angeles. On his bookshelf are many books that he’s written himself, ...

The Loneliness of the Long-Suffering Folkie: Leonard Cohen

Interview by Wayne Robins, Newsday, 22 November 1992

ON HIS NEW ALBUM The Future (Columbia), Leonard Cohen views history's changing currents with more than a little bit of wariness. "Give me back the ...

Leonard Cohen: The Future

Review by Edwin Pouncey, New Musical Express, 28 November 1992

THIS RECORD HAS taken its creator, poet/songwriter/musician Leonard Cohen, four years to complete. A collection of seven originals and two cover versions that Cohen and ...

Heavy Cohen

Interview by Cliff Jones, Rock CD, December 1992

  WRINKLED, GREY, HUMOROUS and urbane, wearing a crumpled suit and a huge pair of coke bottle specs that magnify his lacquered brown eyeballs to an ...

Leonard Cohen: The Future (Columbia)

Review by Andy Gill, Q, January 1993

THE PROJECT bears a logo, or more accurately a sort of heraldic device, comprising hummingbird, heart and handcuffs: is this how Leonard Cohen views the ...

Leonard Cohen: Hello! I Must Be Cohen

Interview by Gavin Martin, New Musical Express, 9 January 1993

THE SPLENDID LUNCHTIME repast lies before us, Leonard Cohen is gobsmacked by plenitude, overcome by abundance. ...

Leonard Cohen: Inside the Tower of Song

Profile and Interview by Paul Zollo, SongTalk, April 1993

I said to Hank Williams, "How lonely does it get?"Hank Williams hasn't answered yet.but I hear him coughing all night long,a hundred floors above me ...

When the Cohen Gets Tough: Leonard Cohen, the Existential Serenader, Is Still Glad to Be Glum

Live Review by Andy Gill, Independent, The, 13 May 1993

Leonard Cohen: Royal Albert Hall, London ...

Leonard Cohen

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, July 1993

LEONARD COHEN does not mind taking extreme positions in his songs. In 1966, he kissed off the memory of a tryst with Janis Joplin in ...

Leonard Cohen: Cohen Live

Review by Andy Gill, MOJO, August 1994

LEONARD COHEN'S LITTLE NICHE IN THE marketplace has expanded somewhat over the last decade – and mercifully so. Being the bedsit prophet of gloom is ...

Leonard Cohen: More Best Of (Columbia)

Review and Interview by Sylvie Simmons, MOJO, November 1997

A CATCH-UP collection of the best of the past couple of decades for those who fell in love with, or to, early Len and may ...

Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979 (Columbia)

Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, 3 March 2001

COMING OFF the extraordinary experience of making Death of a Ladies Man in 1977 with Phil Spector (being locked up in the studio, having a ...

Leonard Cohen: Zen Len pens ten

Profile and Interview by James Medd, Esquire, October 2001

Leonard Cohen proves that you can take the songwriter out of the Zen monastery, but you can't take the Zen monastery out of the songwriter. ...

Leonard Cohen: Ten New Songs

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, December 2001

WHO DARES, whispers and doesn't boast. Listen to Leonard Cohen's The Future (1992) now and hear how certain awful futures are inscribed with Psalmic grace ...

Leonard Cohen: The Essential Leonard Cohen

Review by Pat Blashill, Rolling Stone, 22 October 2002

THE DARK, POETIC music of Leonard Cohen should be listed on the table of periodic elements — when you discover it, it suddenly seems as ...

Leonard Cohen's Troubles May Be a Theme Come True

Report by Marc Weingarten, New York Times, The, 6 October 2005

Betrayal and bitterness have been running themes in Leonard Cohen's work ever since Songs of Leonard Cohen, the Canadian singer-songwriter's debut album, appeared in 1968. ...

Utah Saints: Sundance Music Festival

Interview by Steven R Rosen, Harp, May 2006


Leonard Cohen

Overview by Harvey Kubernik, Rock's Backpages, February 2008

FOR DECADES, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Leonard Cohen has been a global poetic force and influential songwriter. ...

Leonard Cohen: Opera House, Manchester

Live Review by Stephen Dalton, Times, The, June 2008

MORE THAN 15 YEARS have passed since Leonard Cohen last graced a British stage, but the 73-year-old poet-turned-crooner was on suave form at the start ...

Hallelujah, We Love Him So: Leonard Cohen's Comeback

Report by Johnny Black, Audience, September 2008

How the world's pre-eminent septuagenarian Jewish Buddhist singer-poet staged 2008's most remarkable comeback. ...

Rise of the Anachronauts: On Dan Hicks, Leonard Cohen, Etta James, Pokey LaFarge and other fearless time travelers

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, The, 5 May 2009

I CALL THEM anachronauts: performers whose core appeal stems from their ability to transport listeners to another time and place. ...

Leonard Cohen: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado

Live Review by Steven R Rosen, Denver Post, 4 June 2009

IF LEONARD COHEN, now 74, intends to retire from performing after his current tour, he couldn't have picked a better venue for his final North ...

"Hello, Cleveland!"

Comment by Phil Sutcliffe, Yahoo! Music, 12 June 2009

COMMUNICATION WITH a large audience is a tricky business. ...

This story about Leonard Cohen has sex in it

Memoir by Mike Jahn, Rock's Backpages, 22 September 2009

I REMEMBER Leonard Cohen well from the Chelsea Hotel. This story has sex in it. ...

This Is What It's Like To Have Lunch With Leonard Cohen

Retrospective and Interview by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times, 20 January 2014

ONE OF THE finest talents of modern music, Leonard Cohen has enjoyed something of a resurgence in later life. I got the opportunity to pick ...

Bob Johnston, 1932-2015

Obituary by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, 18 August 2015

Record producer who played a significant role in the recording career of Bob Dylan. ...

see also Jennifer Warnes


back to LIBRARY