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Born in 1934, Leonard Cohen was an Anglophone in a Francophone environment and a Jew among Christians, and so his life journey was always going to be out of the ordinary! A multi-talented artist, he is a poet, writer and singer. Leonard Cohen has published nine collections of poetry and two novels and released some fifteen albums over the course of a 40-year career.
First making a name for himself through writing, in 1956 he published his first collection ‘Let Us Compare Mythologies’ and the second, ‘The Spice Box Of Earth’, five years later. With The Songs of Leonard Cohen, he unveiled himself as a singer. There followed Songs From A Room (1969), Songs Of Love & Hate (1971) and Live Songs (1973), which was recorded in Paris. Leonard Cohen has left an indelible mark on the world of music. There are many compilations which pay homage to him, including A Tribute To, which gave the likes of R.E.M., Nick Cave, The Pixies and Jean-Louis Murat the chance to salute the artist, and Tower Songs (1995), which features the presence of many illustrious guests, including Elton John, Billy Joel and Sting! In 1993, Leonard Cohen cut himself off from the world, becoming a Buddhist monk in the Californian desert. His new name was Jikan (‘the silence between two thoughts’) and this quest for spirituality gave him a chance to compose. In 2001, he came out of his meditation phase and released Ten New Songs, which is a marvel of tranquillity. Turning 70, the Canadian collaborated with Sharon Robinson to create Dear Heather, released in 2004. It is an equally calm and intimate record and his deep, suave voice fills you with wonder. In 2008, after being ruined by his manager, he returned for a world tour at the age of 74. Absent from the stage for nearly fifteen years, Leonard Cohen resurfaced in 2010 with Songs From the Road, much to the delight of his fans.