Philip’s Musings

Another favourite Bob Ludwig mastered album of mine is Leonard Cohen’s Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, 2015. It’s a potpourri of concert performances and sound checks recorded at various locations around the globe from 2012 to 2013. Interestingly enough, this is not a Greatest Hits Live album, but rather an interesting compilation of obscure chestnuts, new compositions, and well-chosen covers. In 2008, Luke Turner wrote in The Quietus: “For me, Dylan has always paled into insignificance compared to his contemporary Leonard Cohen. A poet before he became a reluctant musician, Cohen possessed an uncomfortable and humble voice that found itself over simple acoustic guitar. This simplicity is what liberated his brilliant words.”

The backing musicians on Can’t Forget are nothing short of exemplary, a particular favorite is Neil Larsen on the Hammond B3. Sharon Robinson’s sweet backing vocals are a delicious counterpoint to Mr. Cohen’s husky singing. Mr Cohen at eighty is in fine from and his voice is superb, a little credit is probably due to the Neumann U 47 microphone and a Neve 1073 mic preamp (originally owned by Frank Sinatra). His explorations of the human condition are amusing and appropriate; check out “Stages”, which starts with a monologue about a man’s allure to the opposite sex as he grows progressively older; it’s hilarious. I like how he thanks the audience for waiting outside the concert hall in the pouring rain in I Can’t Forget in Copenhagen. It comes across as heartfelt and sincere. I used “Got A Little Secret” on Demo XVIII and though I have heard this track countless times, it never ceases to delight. Strong, strong recommendation.
Tidal link – tidal.com/album/43397679

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