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Everybody Knows Leonard Cohen

Editor’s Note: The Daily Music Break periodically re-launches old posts. This postย on the great Leonard Cohen originally appeared on March 29, 2012. Since then, the site has posted k.d. lang’s fabulous cover of Cohen’s Hallelujah.”

German food is great. But if you have a big German meal at 6 PM you’re hungry again six weeks later. That old line fits Leonard Cohen. The guy is great–really great–but I always find that listening to his music is a bit too much. It’s more like reading a rewarding but difficult novel than listening to music. But it’s worthwhile. The guy is an incredible song writer. A perfect example is “Everybody Knows,” which is above.

Here are I’m Your Man, First We Take Manhattan and his big hit, Suzanne.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.