Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen came to music quite late in his thirties, having been an established poet and novelist with various books published before he even picked up a guitar in serious contemplation of recording. His debut album 'Songs of Leonard Cohen', released in 1968, was an acoustic masterpiece that instantly established Cohen in his new field, with songs including 'Suzanne' and 'Sisters of Mercy'. Although initially mocked by critics, he built a strong following, particularly in the UK and follow-up album 'Songs from a Room' (1969) reached number two in the Albums Chart, prompting his first European and North American tours. Peace-loving efforts followed with 'Songs of Love and Hate' (1971) and 'New Skin for the Old Ceremony' (1974), and despite the critical slip-up that was the Phil Spector-produced 'Death of a Ladies Man' (1977), Cohen returned to form with 'Recent Songs' (1979). A brief hiatus saw Cohen again focus on poetry and film-making, but fans were pleased with his musical comeback with 'Various Positions' (1984), which featured the song 'Hallelujah', and then 'I'm Your Man' in 1988 which saw his popularity grow to new heights. It was his 1992 album 'The Future' that gave Cohen his biggest commercial success to date; his only release of the decade during which he spent five years in a Buddhist monastery in Los Angeles. He continued to release albums into the new century with 'Ten New Songs' (2001) and 'Dear Heather' (2004), coinciding with his 70th birthday and hitting the UK Albums Chart. In 2004 the singer-songwriter experienced financial difficulties after discovering his long-time manager had been guilty of misappropriating his funds, and began a lengthy legal process to recover his wealth. In 2006 Cohen released his poetry collection 'Book of Longing' and two years later began a world tour, his first in 15 years. This was followed by his 12th studio album, 'Old Ideas' (2012), and another world tour which lasted until the end of 2013. This was followed by his final albums 'Popular Problems' (2014) and 'You Want It Darker' (2016). On 7th November 2016 Cohen died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 82. His 15th studio album, 'Thanks for the Dance', was released posthumously in November 2019.

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