The Epic 2017 Project #039: 170208
Leonard Cohen – Songs (1967)
This was Leonard Cohen’s debut album. Prior to its recording he’d received critical acclaim as a poet and novelist but had maintained a keen interest in music, having played guitar in a country and western band called the Buckskin Boys as a teenager. In 1966 he set out for Nashville, where he hoped to become a country songwriter, but instead got caught up in New York City’s folk scene. Then, later that year Judy Collins recorded “Suzanne” for her album In My Life and Cohen soon came to the attention of famed record producer John Hammond who signed him to his contract with Columbia Records. The rest, as they say, is history.
The album features some of Cohen’s most celebrated songs. Mojo magazine described it as ‘…not only the cornerstone of Cohen’s remarkable career, but also a genuine songwriting landmark in terms of language, thematic developments and even arrangements‘. “Suzanne” (featured here) was ranked 41st on Pitchfork Media’s ‘Top 200 Songs of the 1960s’.
Leonard Cohen passed away on 7 November last year, aged 82.