Greatest Hits - Leonard Cohen
Released 1st January 1975
UK Chart #88
In some territories that the album was released in it was called
Leonard Cohen The Best of
(US Album Cover)
According to Ira Nadel's 1996 Leonard Cohen memoir Various Positions, he agreed to the project because there was a new generation of listeners and he was given complete artistic control; he picked the songs, designed the package, and insisted that the lyrics be included.
The album was not really a hit in the USA but it had some success in Europe which for him was a major market at the time. In some places on release it was called The Best Of and in other places Greatest Hits.
When I see an album titled Greatest Hits I always checkout the tracklist and to see if the title is worthy to be called that at all!
Up until the release of this album Cohen had some success with his first four studio albums and his first four singles had gained some chart placings in Europe (mainly France) - none in the UK though (and neither in Canada or the USA). So straight away I'm a little skeptical calling a Greatest Hits.
Calling it a Best Of I actually have no issue with because when I look at the tracklist what stands out straightaway is that these 12 songs are actually some of the best of his early works. Maybe I'm just too fussy about these things!
I actually do like the album regardless of my reservations with the title. Many of the songs on it could easily be numbered among his signature songs.
The 1987, 1992, and 1994 (The Best of The Best Gold Series) Reissues on CD maintained the original tracklist (as did the 1999 Simply Vinyl version released in the UK) but I have to say I was a little disappointed when the album was reissued (or should I say revamped?) again on CD in the UK back in 2009.
The reasons for my disappointment was four tracks from the original 1975 Version (Lady Midnight, The Partisan, Last Year's Man and Take This Longing) were removed and nine tracks released after 1975 (Everybody Knows, Waiting for the Miracle, A Thousand Kisses Deep, The Future, Closing Time, Dance Me to the End of Love, First We Take Manhattan, I'm Your Man and Hallelujah) were added. This makes it an altogether different album and not really a "re-issue" in my book!
Being a bit of a stickler about these things means that I'm more than happy to whip out the old 1975 version and give it a whirl. To confuse matters even more the Music on Vinyl label (Columbia) re-issued the album in 2010 on Vinyl of course and went back to the original 1975 tracklisting (as did Simply Vinyl in the UK who also re-issued it in 2010)!
Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!