Live In London is the recording of the Leonard Cohen concert at the 02 Arena in July 2008 and finds Cohen in fine form.
Paul’s Rating – 29/30 – one of the best live albums ever released
Average Amazon Customer Rating – %%AVERAGERATING%% Stars From %%REVIEWCOUNT%% Reviews
Leonard Cohen Live In London Set List – 9/10 Rating
- Dance Me to the End of Love – 6:20 (originally from the album Various Positions)
- The Future – 7:20 (The Future)
- Ain’t No Cure for Love – 6:16 (I’m Your Man)
- Bird on the Wire – 6:14 (Songs from a Room)
- Everybody Knows – 5:52 (I’m Your Man)
- In My Secret Life – 5:02 (Ten New Songs)
- Who by Fire – 6:35 (New Skin for the Old Ceremony)
- Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye – 3:47 (Songs of Leonard Cohen)
- Anthem – 7:20 (The Future)
- Introduction – 1:29
- Tower of Song – 7:07 (I’m Your Man)
- Suzanne – 3:46 (Songs of Leonard Cohen)
- The Gypsy’s Wife – 6:42 (Recent Songs)
- Boogie Street – 6:57 (Ten New Songs)
- Hallelujah – 7:20 (Various Positions)
- Democracy – 7:08 (The Future)
- I’m Your Man – 5:41 (I’m Your Man)
- Recitation – 3:53
- Take This Waltz – 8:37 (I’m Your Man)
- So Long, Marianne – 5:24 (Songs of Leonard Cohen)
- First We Take Manhattan – 6:15 (I’m Your Man)
- Sisters of Mercy – 4:56 (Songs of Leonard Cohen)
- If It Be Your Will – 5:22 (Various Positions)
- Closing Time – 6:15 (The Future)
- I Tried to Leave You – 8:33 (New Skin for the Old Ceremony)
- Whither Thou Goest – 1:27
Six songs from the album I’m Your Man and four from Songs of Leonard Cohen are on this album.
I don’t know much about his studio albums. This was the first Cohen album I bought, thought it was terrific and, not paying attention to where the songs were from, bought I’m Your Man without realising I was duplicating so many.
Of course, I prefer the live versions of the songs.
Performance – 10/10
Leonard Cohen is in fine voice at this concert, as gravelly as ever and emphasising his lyrics.
The sound is full and warm. If you’re looking for a gloomy, sparse singer-songwriter live album, this isn’t it. It grooves and swings with life and I like the cabaret sound of the backing singers.
Here is a video sample of Leonard Cohen performing live at this concert on Everybody Knows.
And another for Suzanne so you can hear how one of the older songs sounds.
Atmosphere & Authenticity – 10/10
I have doubts with plenty of live albums recorded many years after the artist’s prime period.
Like a great blues man, Cohen’s age – he was coming up to his 74th birthday – adds gravitas and experience to the older songs. he is an old man. he sang old songs. he does it brilliantly.
I bought the album after the death of my father. I was in a dark place and I wanted to listen to music that suited my mood. Much to my astonishment, I found myself smiling in places as Leonard Cohen jokes with the crowd. Far from being music to slit your wrists to, Live In London presents Leonard Cohen as someone who can lift your spirits and help you find hope in your sadness.
Overall Rating For Leonard Cohen Live In London – 29/30
Do I wish I was in London and at the gig on this night? You bet I do.
The people who were there, or saw one of the other concerts on the tour were very lucky.
I’ve previously ignored the opportunity to see Leonard Cohen perform live because I wasn’t that familiar with his back catalogue and I go to concerts to feel exhilarated.
This album is utterly compelling and a mark of 29/30 makes it one of my best live albums of all time..
Live In London vs A Leonard Cohen Compilation vs Various Leonard Cohen Studio Albums
This section looks at what’s best to do if you want one or two Leonard Cohen albums in your collection but you don’t want a lot of them.
That’s the situation where I am actually and I must admit that I’m not that familiar with his many studio albums.
I heard the Songs Of Leonard Cohen many years ago and thought it was gloomy and didn’t think I’d listen to it much. I bought I’m Your Man but I prefer the versions of the songs on Live In London.
I’d wary of a Leonard Cohen compilation album because he didn’t have hit singles and there are usually issues about the running order fitting in with mood and chronology.
I would expect Live In London to be seen as Leonard Cohen’s definitive recording.
What Others Say About Live In London
I’ve only seen this featured in one list of best live albums
It is very appreciated by Amazon reviewers.
Buying Live In London By Leonard Cohen
The mp3 version is a fantastic bargain at the time of writing at the UK site.
What Do You Think About Live In London?
What do you think about this live album? Is it the best live album by Leonard Cohen?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.
The Best Live Albums Of All Time
Please vote in my poll to find the best live albums by singer-songwriters.
Because there are so many excellent singer-songwriter albums with very different styles, I have split the poll into two and you may find some of your favourites in the second division. Albums will be promoted when they get enough votes.
You can see the complete list of readers polls at Live Album Polls