R.I.P. Leonard Cohen: Remembering a Pioneer

Leonard Cohen has passed away at 82.

In yet another slap across this face in 2016, the influential musical genius, whose unmistakable pipes made him an icon of sound, and whose melancholy sadness found its place among some of the greatest films, is gone.

Cohen’s label, Sony Music Canada, released a statement via Cohen’s Facebook page earlier:

“It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away. We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.”

Born in September, 1934 in Quebec, Leonard Cohen’s poetic songwriting abilities place him among the giants of his era, when Bob Dylan and Paul Simon walked alongside him, tapping into a generation of people hypnotized by his deep, heartfelt vocals. His version of “Hallelujah” is perhaps the greatest of all versions.

I first became aware of Leonard Cohen, and his incredible abilities, in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers of all places.  “Waiting for a Miracle” blew me away on the soundtrack, and from there I dove into his albums, picking them apart and savoring the sounds of Songs From a Room and Songs of Love and Hate – “Dress Rehearsal Rag” especially hitting me. His work on McCabe & Mrs. Miller, one of a handful of Robert Altman masterpieces, has never left my subconscious. It’s one of the most magical marriages of song and image in the history of film:

Cohen’s music found its way into so many films over the years, from Altman’s snowbound western, to Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (albeit in an incredibly awkward sex scene set to “Hallelujah”).

And now, we say goodbye to another genius. I suppose making room for more idiots. I hope not, but it sure feels that way right now, doesn’t it?

Larry Taylor - Managing Editor
Larry Taylor - Managing Editor
Larry is the managing editor for Monkeys Fighting Robots. The Dalai Lama once told him when he dies he will receive total consciousness. So he's got that going for him... Which is nice.