Leonard Cohen was a well-known poet before a he was a well-known musician. Early in his music career, he established himself in the folk scene by penning tunes for people like Judy Collins (who had a minor hit with his song "Suzanne"). I've always felt that Cohen was different from the other folk-types. No offense, but I never did like traditional Folk music, and I find it strange that Leonard Cohen is commonly found in the Folk section at record shops.
Kurt Cobain longed for a "Leonard Cohen after world," and it's not hard to understand why: Cohen creates a whole new world with his songs, a world that is probably more of an ideal than a reality. Listening to him for the first time is like hearing an old friend. Listening to him again is like listening to a prophet or an old wise man.
Cohen ignored the trends of the time and made albums that are subtle but durable; his music will stand the test of time. The following is a list of essential Leonard Cohen albums:
Songs Of Leonard Cohen (1968) ***** Songs From A Room (1969) ***** New Skin For The Old Ceremony (1974) ***1/2 Death Of A Ladies' Man (1977) ***** (produced by Phil Spector)
<more coming to this page soon>