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Author Topic: 1995: Leonard Cohen - Coming Back to You (cover by Martin Gore)  (Read 3253 times)

Offline Angelinda

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This thread contains all news items concerning Martin Gore's Cover of a Leonard Cohen track for a tribute album.
Please tell me if you know of/have any news items that should be in this thread.

Martin has dropped Leonard Cohen's name several times in interviews, like in this interview with the U.S. magazine Raygun in 1993, in which Martin said:
Quote
Over the past few years I've really gotten into Leonard Cohen.
http://www.tuug.utu.fi/~jaakko/dm/raygun.txt
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Offline Angelinda

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1995-08-xx - Melody Maker (UK) - News column

http://homepage.usask.ca/~mid422/lcfaq.htm

BONO is among the guests on a Leonard Cohen tribute album,"Tower of Song", released by A&M next month.
Bono covers Cohen's "Hallelujah" recently renovated to devastating effect by Jeff Buckley.
Other artists include: Tori Amos, who covers "Famous Blue Raincoat", Depeche Mode's Martin Gore, who does "Coming Back To You" and Willie Nelson, Peter Gabriel, Suzanne Vega, Billy Joel and Sting and the Chieftans. Elton John contributes a cover of "I'm Your Man", proving that while he might have a bad hair piece, he still has a great sense of humour! The album features liner notes by novelist Tom Robbins.
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Offline Angelinda

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1995-10-30 - The Spokesman-Review (US) - Album Review

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1314&dat=19951030&id=v21XAAAAIBAJ&sjid=cfEDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6542,9127733

(...)
Martin Gore of Depeche Mode turns coming Back to You" into wicked techno- blues, while Bono's techno-rap remake of hallelujah is almost as good as Jeff Buckley's recent version.
(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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1995-xx-xx - Leonardcohenfiles.com - Tower of Song

[This fansite has a pretty dense summary of the tribute album, so I'm just going to copy/paste all of it.]

http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/cover6.html

TOWER OF SONG
September 1995
1. Don Henley: Everybody knows. 6:09
2. Trisha Yearwood: Coming back to you. 3:36
3. Sting & The Chieftains; Sisters of mercy. 3:19
4. Bono: Hallelujah. 4:57
5. Tori Amos: Famous blue raincoat. 5:37
6. Aaron Neville: Ain’t no cure for love. 3:38
7. Elton John: I’m your man. 4:08
8. Willie Nelson: Bird ont the wire 4:20
9. Peter Gabriel: Suzanne. 5:13
10. Billy Joel: Light as the breeze. 6:11
11. Jann Arden: If it be your will. 5:27
12. Suzanne Vega: Story of Isaac. 4:06
13. Martin Gore: Coming back to you. 3:32

Produced by A & M Records. Distributed world-wide by Polydor. There are different covers for the US market and for the other markets. The US cover is a copy of the back cover of Leonard’s first album ‘The Songs Of Leonard Cohen’. The international cover shows a composer’s notebook.

We quote some facts from a story in Billboard, August 5th, 1995, written by Susan Nunziata:
"...Yet, Cohen never seems far from the project; one can almost see him watching over each track, gracious and clad in black, discussing what he terms ‘the virtues of the monotone’.
‘I’m completely knocked out by the project,’ Cohen says. ‘I’d be knocked out by even a much lesser display of enthusiasm for my work, but this happens to be singers of stellar quality. I was very interested to hear the various approaches, and I’m very touched by them...

According to (David) Anderle, Cohen selected and contacted many of the artists involved. However, Anderle says Cohen did not get involved in the day-to-day recording. ‘I don’t think it’s my place, and I don’t have any motivation personally to monkey around with that side of things,’ Cohen says."

Press release:
"‘A song, by its’ nature, has to move swiftly from heart to heart,’ Leonard Cohen says, his voice is intimately resonant as on the 11 major-label albums that confirm his stature as one of our time’s most soulful seers. He’s calling from Mt. Baldy, a Zen Center southeast of Los Angeles, in a cabin 6,200 ft up the mountain. Cohen’s current residence may be remote, but his influence has never been more immediate.
An enigmatic figure, elegant in trademark dark suits, he’s now part of popular music’s very fabric: disclosing the secrets of spirit and flesh, his songs are the bittersweet poetry of the way we live. Tower Of Song movingly celebrates Leonard Cohen - 13 of today’s brightest stars of pop, country and alternative music each choose the Cohen song that most deeply touches their hearts and render interpretations as rich and various and original as Cohen’s own remarkable body of work.
Cohen’s response? ‘Gratitude. I am very, very happy when anybody covers any of my songs. My critical faculties go into immediate suspension.’ And those critical faculties are notoriously acute. Ever since the 1967 release of The Songs Of Leonard Cohen, the songwriter has been known for painstaking craft. In these days of pre-fab creativity, he preserves, composing on guitar and synthesizer with the rare attentiveness of a master. ‘I tend to be blackening pages habitually. Some of the songs take years to bring to completion. None comes easy.’ After all, he insists, ‘This is one’s work. Everything else is kind of shipwrecked, bankrupt. So all you have left is your work - and that’s what you’re doing most of the time. That’s the only area which you can somehow govern or clarify. All other things remain somewhat mysterious and messy.’
Tower Of Song presents Cohen’s gems in brilliant new settings. Billy Joel lays bare the gospel soul of ‘Light as the Breeze’, Sting and the Chieftains imbue ’Sisters of Mercy’ with Celtic fire and Elton John rocks ‘I’m Your Man’. Willie Nelson delivers ‘Bird on a Wire’ as a wise lament and Aaron Neville charges ‘Ain’t No Cure for Love’ with country yearning. Suzanne Vega sings ‘Story of Isaac’ with crystalline grace. Tori Amos, alone with her piano turns in a lush, romantic ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ while Bono makes of ‘Hallelujah’’ a statement equally stark and sacred. ‘Everybody Knows’ get a wry, smart reading from Don Henley, and in the deft, contrasting takes of ‘Coming Back to You’, Trisha Yearwood and Martin Gore find a message that’s both timeless and absolutely contemporary.
Riveting and indelible - the kind of music that demands repeated listening - these songs convey the essence of Cohen; his subtle understand of the ways of the heart. ‘I’m generally working with very complex emotions that I’m having a lot of trouble deciphering,’ he says. ‘So I have to keep paring things down to something I myself can grasp.’ That loving labour, like that of sculptor unlocking the beauty of stone, has given these singers - and us - art that lasts, that communicates in a language as strong and powerful as the mountain where the poet now, in the early hours of dawn, resume his work."
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Offline Angelinda

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1995-xx-xx - Harvard Independent (UK) - Album Review

http://www.kevincmurphy.com/towerofsong.html

Like the Beatles, Dylan, and the Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen stands like a Colossus over the straits through which modern music has passed. His gravel-voiced penitence and insightful lyrical ambiguities have indelibly influenced the course of popular music. Interest in Cohen resurged when Concrete Blonde struck gold with its heartfelt rendition of "Everybody Knows" on the Pump Up the Volume soundtrack, Kurt Cobain evoked a "Leonard Cohen afterworld" on "Pennyroyal Tea" (where he soon thereafter took up early retirement), and Cohen himself bookended Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers with his distinctive musings.
Enter Tower of Song, one of the more high-profile industry tributes to Mr. Cohen, featuring 13 artists from a variety of genres and a liner notes tribute penned by Tom Robbins. Unfortunately, Robbins may be the only one involved in this affair who brought any originality to bear on Cohen's legacy. Although most of the songs on Tower are faithful renditions of Cohen's earlier vision, few -- if any -- transcend the originals.
The best tunes on Tower are those that attempt to convey Cohen's innate creepiness. Bono took time off of Passengers to spook up "Hallelujah," while Peter Gabriel returns to his own eerie Mercy Street to search for "Suzanne." And speaking of Suzannes, Suzanne Vega scores the most points on the album with "Story of Isaac," a stripped-down, soul-baring plea that comes closest to evoking Cohen's glory days.
Unfortunately, the rest of the artists merely go through the motions. Tori Amos's "Famous Blue Raincoat" is yet another version of the same old song she's renamed and redone a dozen times over, complete with -- you guessed it -- cascading piano. Worse, Don Henley's Eagle-fied "Everybody Knows" doesn't even do justice to the Concrete Blonde version, let alone Cohen's original. Martin Gore's "Coming Back to You" is relatively bland and will probably only be enjoyed as a curio for Depeche Mode fans. Even Elton John washes out with a depressingly insipid version of "I'm Your Man."
Unless you're a huge fan of one of the included artists, you would do better to consult the works of Cohen himself in order to appreciate the man's lyrical mischief and enormous impact on modern music. This Tower rests in the shadow of Cohen.
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Offline Angelinda

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1996-01-xx - Z Magazin (Hungary) - Coming Back To You review

[Thanks to ScannedPress of Scannedpress.blogspot.com for scanning this!]

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1995: Leonard Cohen - Coming Back to You (cover by Martin Gore)
« Reply #6 on: 29 June 2012 - 00:54:00 »
1998-07-xx - Allstar Mag (US) - Martin Gore Interview

http://mlgheaven.tripod.com/interviews/i13.htm

(...)

"It's a great honor to get to that stage of your career where people are taking out time to record your songs -- try getting us to do that," he adds, which begs the question of who he would take time out to cover. "I did a Leonard Cohen tribute a few years ago. Um... quite a few people. I've always liked Kurt Weill... No one's ever done a John Lennon album, have they?"
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1995: Leonard Cohen - Coming Back to You (cover by Martin Gore)
« Reply #7 on: 02 July 2012 - 04:30:53 »
2002-08-01 - Christof Graf's "Leonard Cohen. Songs of a Life" - Foreword by Martin Gore

[Christof Graf wrote a biography on Leonard Cohen's songs, and interviewed DM and especially Martin Gore about DM and Martin's love for Cohen's songs.]

http://www.leonardcohen.de/ped-depechemode.html

Depeche Mode
DM-Mitbegründer über Leonard Cohen in einem Gespräch mit dem Autor: Leonard Cohen's Musik zähle ich zu meinen größten musikalischen Einflüssen. Auch wenn das etwas seltsam klingen mag, für einen Gitarristen  und Songwriter einer Elektro-Band wie Depeche Mode.  Ich mag Cohens emotionales Level, außerdem  unterstelle ich ihm, ähnlich zu arbeiten wie wir. Zunächst erfasst du einen Song mit Gitarre oder Piano, legst das Fundament eines Liedes, erst danach gehe ich daran, ihn mit elektronischen Instrumenten zu würzen. Egal, welche von den großen Songwritern wie z.B. Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan oder Lou Reed betrachtet, sie machen nie den Fehler, ihre Songs zu überladen.

(...)

Wir sprachen vorhin über das Tribute-Album. 1994 coverten Sie selbst den Leonard Cohen-Song ,,Coming back to you" für dessen Tribute-Album? Wie sieht es mit weiteren Cover-Songs aus?
Martin Gore: Eigentlich sollte der ,,Coming back to you"-Song ein Depeche Mode-Projekt werden. Doch die Anfrage sich an dem Projekt zu beteiligen kam zu einer ungünstigen Zeit. Dave war damals nicht so gut drauf und es war die Zeit nach unserer langen Welttournee 1993. Andererseits war mir das Cohen-Projekt zu wertvoll, um darauf zu verzichten. Also veröffentlichte ich den Song in eigener Regie. Ich hoffe, es gibt noch einmal ein solches Tribute-Album, ich würde mich jederzeit wieder daran beteiligen.
Wo liegt die Verbindung zwischen einer Elektro-Pop-Band und einem Rockpoeten?
Martin Gore: Leonard Cohen's Musik zähle ich zu meinen größten musikalischen Einflüssen. Auch wenn das etwas seltsam klingen mag, für einen Gitarristen und Songwriter einer Elektro-Band wie Depeche Mode. Ich mag Cohens emotionales Level, außerdem unterstelle ich ihm, ähnlich zu arbeiten wie wir. Zunächst erfasst du einen Song mit Gitarre oder Piano, legst das Fundament eines Liedes, erst danach gehe ich daran, ihn mit elektronischen Instrumenten zu würzen. Egal, welche von den großen Songwritern wie z.B. Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan oder Lou Reed betrachtet, sie machen nie den Fehler, ihre Songs zu überladen. Aber bevor wir vielleicht irgendwann noch einmal an einen Cohen-Song gehen, veröffentlichen wir auf der zweiten Single-Auskopplung einen alten ,,Stooges"-Song als Bonus-Track.
Verbindet vielleicht auch das ,,schwarze Image" von Depeche Mode mit der Melancholie der Songwriter?
Martin Gore: Die Verbindung liegt im Kontroversen. Zum einen wurde ich wirklich von den traditionellen Songwritern wie John Lennon, Neil Young oder gar Leonard Cohen beeinflußt, wollte aber gleichzeitig nie so sein wie sie. Ich war immer nur von ihren Songideen fasziniert, und wollte einfache traditionelle Songs elektronisch und modern gestalten.
Was war der Grund mit dem neuen Produzenten Mark Bell zusammenzuarbeiten?
Martin Gore: Immer mit demselben Team zusammen zu arbeiten fördert nicht immer die Kreativität. Man wird bequem. Unsere Alben liegen zeitlich weit auseinander. Ein neues Produzententeam wirkt wie Salz in der Suppe. Tim, unser letzter Produzent z.B. war mehr ein Konzeptionist. Er hörte sich unsere Songs an, dachte darüber nach und legte uns mehrere Song- und Soundkonzepte vor. Mark z.B. war spontaner und physisch präsenter, hörte einen Song und spielte bereits am Mischpult herum, bevor der Song zu Ende war. Er lebt die Songs mehr körperlich.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1995: Leonard Cohen - Coming Back to You (cover by Martin Gore)
« Reply #8 on: 24 September 2013 - 05:03:37 »
2002-xx-xx - Recoil - Q&A on General Music

http://recoil.co.uk/oldside/forum/qa/gother5.htm

(...)

From: Aaron
E-mail: mute@infinity.kirenet.com
I see that you worked with Spirit Feel (or vice versa) on the 'Walking In My Shoes' single and they did the music for Martin on that Leonard Cohen tribute album. Do you know the members names or what any of them are up to now?

I've never actually worked with Spirit Feel - they did a remix for us. I don't know all the members but one is Paul Valentine who I believe lives in Martin's London flat. I haven't seen him for years so don't know what he's up to.

(...)
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