LEONARD COHEN - LONDON 1968

September 23, 2016 – 4:39 am

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LEONARD COHEN R.I.P. 1934 - 2016

Canadian singer Leonard Cohen has died on November 10, 2016 aged 82. Cohen’s label, Sony Music Canada, confirmed his death on the singer’s Facebook page. “It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away,” the announcement said. “We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.” There were no details about the cause of Mr Cohen’s death. The BBC also reported that a memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date, the announcement said. The Montreal-born singer’s hits included Suzanne and I’m Your Man and he released his 14th album, You Want It Darker, in October 2016. In a recent interview with the New Yorker, Cohen spoke about the prospect of death with calmness and clarity: “I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.”

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LEONARD COHEN
London 1968 [no label, 1CD]

Live at The Paris Theatre, London, UK; Spring 1968. Very good soundboard; slight hiss/noise.

Leonard Cohen paid tribute to Marianne Ihlen, the woman who inspired ‘So Long Marianne’ who died July 28, 2016, reported NME. She was 81. Writing on Facebook, Cohen asked that the letter to him from Jan Christian Mollestad be used in his memorial. Jan Christian Mollestad is currently completing a biographical film about Marianne.

Wrote Mollestad, “Marianne slept slowly out of this life yesterday evening. Totally at ease, surrounded by close friends,” the letter began. “Your letter came when she still could talk and laugh in full consciousness. When we read it aloud, she smiled as only Marianne can. She lifted her hand, when you said you were right behind, close enough to reach her.”

It continued, “It gave her deep peace of mind that you knew her condition. And your blessing for the journey gave her extra strength. Jan and her friends who saw what this message meant for her, will all thank you in deep gratitude for replying so fast and with such love and compassion.”

The letter concluded, “In her last hour I held her hand and hummed Bird on a Wire, while she was breathing so lightly. And when we left he room, after her soul had flown out of the window for new adventures, we kissed her head and whispered your everlasting words, ‘So long, Marianne’.”

Click here to go to Leonard Cohen’s Facebook page.

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Thanks to prof_stoned for the mastering; and for sharing the show at Dime.

prof_stoned noted:

A very important bootleg, IMO, that begs for an official release. Reportedly, it was sourced from a cassette copy that a fan got directly from an BBC employee after writing a letter to inquire after the status of this recording. The BBC employee also mentioned that this came from his private copy and that video sources no longer existed in the archives.

The audio recording was first heard by the public in 1993 when it came out on a pressed CD bootleg in inferior quality. Then later in the mid-2000s it started to circulate in better quality. I first heard this in 2006 when someone uploaded it on Dime’s tracker. Although pretty clean, that source was marred heavily by noise reduction artefacts. For this new version, I have used another source that I found on another tracker. It had more noises and also some signs of NR, but substantially less than the 2006 Dime source. I fear this is probably as good as it’s gonna get, unless someone manages to obtain a clean digital copy of the BBC cassette which, to my knowledge, is not in circulation.

Despite the obvious deterioration of the source material, the sound quality here has still turned out quite good. I have carefully restored and remastered this at my mastering studio. The original source sounded a bit dull. By bringing up the high-end a bit, the NR problem and hiss also became more apparent, but I think I found an acceptable balance (to my taste, anyway). I also corrected the speed of the two original parts (one ran a bit too fast, the other a bit too slow).

To me, the historical importance outweighs the sonic flaws by far. Four songs performed here (not counting There’s No Reason Why You Should Remember Me, which is more a joke than a song) were unreleased at the time, though already fully realized. Some of the arrangements are quite different from the studio versions and there’s an extra unheard verse on So Long,  Marianne.

Artery commented at Dime:

It was me that transferred the BBC engineer’s tape to WAV then CD. I can’t actually remember the year, but some time after 1998, I think. The tape was sent to me by well known Cohen expert Jim Devlin. I do remember that Jim had borrowed the original cassette from the BBC gentleman and we returned it to him after digitising the contents.

I certainly added no NR of any kind. My transfer was a raw Cassette deck to CD Wave with only track markers inserted. I own the original At The Beeb bootleg CD and not only was quality much better on our cassette but the final track One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong was missing from that bootleg.

Someone torrented a version of my original transfer under the title BBC Broadcasts 1968 (including four additional songs from John Peel and Julie Felix shows). Maybe that is where the noise reduction came in.

It’s a very interesting performance in several ways. I believe it’s the only known performance of Dress Rehearsal Rag, pre-dating its appearance on record by three years, and One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong is very rare too. I believe that members of The Strawbs were the backing musicians, certainly including Dave Cousins.

The odd thing for me is that I don’t recall ever meeting anyone who saw the original TV transmission. The Paris Theatre was the venue of many BBC Radio In Concerts and an odd choice for TV I think.

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Lineage:
Soundboard > Pre-FM Reel-To-Reel Master > Cassette > ? > FLAC > Mastering 2016 > FLAC

Click here for the lossless flacs.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later.

Kindly email us if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

Track 01. You Know Who I Am 3:54 (6.6MB)
Track 02. Bird On The Wire 4:22 (7.4MB)
Track 03. The Stranger Song 6:17 (10.6MB)
Track 04. So Long,  Marianne 7:54 (13.3MB)
Track 05. Master Song 8:00 (13.4MB)
Track 06. There’s No Reason Why You Should Remember Me 1:41 (2.8MB)
Track 07. Sisters Of Mercy 3:55 (6.6MB)
Track 08. Teachers 3:54 (6.6MB)
Track 09. Dress Rehearsal Rag 5:51 (9.8MB)
Track 10. Suzanne 4:22 (7.3MB)
Track 11. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye 3:45 (6.3MB)
Track 12. Story Of Isaac 3:57 (6.6MB)
Track 13. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong 4:05 (6.9MB)
62 mins

Click here to order Leonard Cohen releases.

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  1. 29 Responses to “LEONARD COHEN - LONDON 1968”

  2. Leonard Cohen paid tribute to Marianne Ihlen, the woman who inspired ‘So Long Marianne’ who died July 28, 2018…… uh, time warp???

    By Rick on Sep 23, 2016

  3. Love Mr. Cohen from any decade. Thanks for remembering him on his birthday. BTW- heard his new song and love it!! Still kicking it up at age 82!

    By Other Rick on Sep 23, 2016

  4. Always a pleasure to hear Leonard Cohen So long Marianne is my fave Cohen song ,His version here is a thing of beauty

    By COREY M on Sep 23, 2016

  5. Thanks for posting this. I bought the CD version of this when it came out in 1993. It will be interesting to compare, as it needed a remaster badly- It is such a great performance. Thanks!

    By Trevor Horn on Sep 23, 2016

  6. It ain’t da 70s yet but da 60s was great too loves me some Leonad Cohen , back den of course , today unfortunately he is another old geezer tryin to hang on to da past , would love some of his 70s shows please post some , 70s Rock 70s roll 70s rule

    By Boom Boom Mancini on Sep 23, 2016

  7. Boom boo don’t know shit. Cohen is as vital now as ever. Boo boo’s musical appreciation got retarded back in the seventies for some reason, and feels the need to display his ignorance on a daily basis.
    Boo boo- have you even listened to “Old Ideas” or ” Popular Problems?” Great albums by a man at the height of his crestive and performing powers.
    Too bad you are deaf to music beyond the last decade you “got lucky.”

    By Other Rick on Sep 23, 2016

  8. Boom Boom, is it so freaking hard to write the word “the” or “then” or any other words that start with “th”? Oh wait, you are trying to sound edgy and cool, no doubt. Failure though…you sound like a moron. Not to mention your comments are consistently inane and show ignorance on so many levels. Pity.

    By Tigerpaw1014 on Sep 24, 2016

  9. Boom boo is either a troll or he’s musically retarded-his growth in musical taste ended in the seventies.
    I think he likes to yank our chain just to get attention. I’ve seen the type- even negative attention is better than the lack of attention he gets in real life.

    By Rick on Sep 24, 2016

  10. Dudes why da hate ,just said i luv da show geez

    By Boom Boom Mancini on Sep 24, 2016

  11. The hate because you sound like a moron and post the same dumb shit everyday. If you can’t appreciate any post-seventies music your musical growth was retarded. If that’s the case so be it. Why post your fake ghetto nonsense everyday?

    By Other Rick on Sep 24, 2016

  12. And you have not answered my first question-have you heard Cohen’s last two studio albums? They are awesome.

    By Other Rick on Sep 24, 2016

  13. “I think he likes to yank our chain just to get attention.”

    well, DUH, einstein! he just got YOURS!

    “I’ve seen the type- even negative attention is better than the lack of attention he gets in real life.”

    do you make it a habit to encourage trolls by giving them attention once you recognize them??

    By everyone else on bigO on Sep 24, 2016

  14. Dudes, fact is his new shit can’t be as good as da 60s and especially da 70s just like da stones , Dylan , Neil Young , all dem dudes ; Dey wuz all better in da 70s , today dey is all old geezers , Still I would rather hear dem as geezers than modern fake auto tune computerized shit ,70s Rock 70s roll 70s rule

    By Boom Boom Mancini on Sep 24, 2016

  15. I believe despite his perceived illiteracy , Boom Boom has struck a cord , Everyone gets old , ask yourselves should you rather hear Frank Sinatra in the 1950s when he was at the peak of his powers with classic albums like Sings for the lonely and in the wee small hours , or the 1990s version of Frank when he labored on stage croaking to hit the high notes at he was in his 80s Would you rather hear the Rolling Stones in the early seventies during their Sticky Fingers / Exile/ Goats Heax Soup period or today ? McCartney in the sixties with the Beatles or seventies with wings or today , Same with Elton , Dylan .Bowie or any of them , Deep down everyone everyone knows Boom Boom is right , despite his rather obnoxious way of making his point

    By Clyde King on Sep 24, 2016

  16. Completely disagree clyde, whatever decade boom boom or yourself believe is best for music is subjective and is only true for you. For example, I’m guessing most hip hop fans wouldn’t pick the 70’s as their decade of choice…however I think you’re dead on when you say that boom boom has struck a chord; whether you agree with him or not really doesn’t matter, whatever decade is “best” is irrelevant-what is relevant is that its obnoxious as hell to keep posting the same tired mantra every day, every show.

    By rozz on Sep 24, 2016

  17. Of course hip hop fans wouldnt like the seventies as it didnt exist thank god .It came of age at a time when music was already in a downward spiral.its not really music anyway but thats another discussion.People are always going to have their opinions.I personally would rather hear an aging artist from the past than most of todays modern music.Is it a coincidence that today 2016 the biggest concert draws are still the old legends ?

    By Clyde King on Sep 24, 2016

  18. not true clyde, I grew up in new York and lived there in the late 70’s-remember what run dmc looked like when they first came up? I used to see that uniform of Adidas and black denim jeans pulled under your ass everywhere from about 77 on, but definitely an urban phenomenon at that time. lots of great music from the 2000’s onward-you just have to look harder. I still love the classics and always will but absolutely cannot listen to stuff I played out decades ago. don’t you get sick of listening to the same material over and over? I think id rather hear someone fail trying something new than hear older artists do what I know what they can do for decades..

    By rozz on Sep 25, 2016

  19. but you’re not really wrong either-rap, hip hop etc. was treated like a novelty thru the early 80’s

    By rozz on Sep 25, 2016

  20. its funny how the narrative has evolved with time, all during the 80’s I read and heard that the 70’s was a terrible time for music-so bloated and lacking direction that it spawned punk rock to wipe the slate clean and start over.

    By rozz on Sep 25, 2016

  21. With age comes a longing for lost youth.no one wants to get old and have the memories of their youth forgotten ,hence the fasination with the sixties and seventies ,it was our time and hell be damned if we will allow it to be forgotten .thats part of it ,another is the lack of promotion of music by talented artists,You said it yourself good music is harder to find,but it shouldnt be.Miley Cyrus in on that stupid new show the voice gaining even more publicity while talented artists labor in obscurity playing small venues hoping for the big break,whats fair about that?

    By COREY M on Sep 25, 2016

  22. Its funny I kind of know who miley cyrus is but I have no idea what she looks like or sounds like, you’ve mentioned her here many times! my musical tastes have always been aggressively anti mainstream, anti top 40 with exceptions…basic premise concerning pop/rock charts from almost any era is that anything enjoyed by that many people must be awful or at least too accessible for me. artists still do what they want to on the independent labels without the crush of commercial concerns-I want the musicians I follow to make money and earn a living, however when that’s obviously the primary motivation I have no absolutely no interest in their “product”

    By rozz on Sep 25, 2016

  23. my point was and is why does mainstream have to be garbage ? shouldnt quality music be mainstream instead of being overshadowed by slutty ass shaking tongue wagging slutty media creations and pretty boy cutouts .why not reverse it.and put quality to the forefront and the trash in the background,its up to the media but they seem to prefer shit over caveiar .it was different in decades past,quality was the mainstream,ive said it many times mtv started the rot

    By COREY M on Sep 25, 2016

  24. beautiful recording - sound quality is amazing… and having dress rehearsal rag to help us or hang us in the days that come is an added bonus… thank you

    By g on Sep 25, 2016

  25. “it was different in decades past”

    not really. there have always been people who really werent all that good but had huge hits. they usually faded into obscurity and are only heard on golden oldies & classic rock radio. the post-Elvis pre-British Invasion era was dominated by the teen idols. then there was the disco era.

    lets not forget that every era of great music also produced a lot of imitative crap and one-hit wonders.

    norah jones was a huge mainstream success a short time ago and was never thought to be garbage. the same can be said about others.

    the overabundance of media these days makes it much easier for anyone in the entertainment industry to be overpublicised. i find it very easy to ignore the hype and give my attention (and dollars) to the people i think are worthy of it.

    By barth on Sep 25, 2016

  26. Thanks for this!

    By muddy on Sep 26, 2016

  27. Fabian , The Archies, Bobby Vee , Freddie and the dreamers Tommy Roe, Bobby Sherman , Shaun Cassidy , Bay City Rollers while not very talented didn’t overshadow the great artists , they were there but the great ones were in the mainstream as well , I know , I was there , You could turn on the radio and for every song by Tommy Roe were two by the Beatles Beach Boys , Stones and the Who , for every sappy Donny Osmond song , there were songs by Zep and Sabbath , Deep Purple and Credence The trash while there didn’t dominate unlike today when good artist s are shoved out of the spotlight that they deserve more than the garbage acts , also Donny and Marie , Cassidy , Sherman , Rollers etc , didn’t strip down to their undies wag their tongues and simulate sex acts on stage and wear fake penisus ala Miley Slut Cyrus , the no talents back then were pretty tame by comparison

    By Corey M on Sep 28, 2016

  28. Thanks Big O and rest in peace Marianne, we all loved you.

    By RexinLasVegas on Sep 28, 2016

  29. I think that this is indeed the same recording as the one that BIGO posted years ago as BBC Broadcast 1968 (see Artery’s observations). But of course it is still a great posting, especially for the many new fans who only learned about him when he started touring again in 2008 and released a number of albums with new material since then. In a couple of weeks his latest album will be released “You want it darker”, so he is certainly not feeding upon his old music. His latest material is indeed less immediately accessible than his older work, but has a depth that only a wise old man can create. That said, I would still appreciate it very much if BIGO could dig out more vintage, hidden Cohen material. Thanks for keeping them coming!

    By Stranger on Sep 30, 2016

  30. leonard cohen couldnt open for the monkees .monkees were so much better

    By Willis Dumbass Twin on Oct 2, 2016

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