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His first song to pierce the public consciousness was “Suzanne”, which became a minor hit for Judy Collins in 1966 and was later performed by Simone and others.The song, written about one of Cohen’s many girlfriends, is on one level a simple love song: In one of Cohen’s most direct songs, “I’m Your Man”, he issued a direct plea, saying he was willing to do anything he could to win a woman’s love.The tune’s rising melodic line even figures in the lyrics as “the fourth, the fifth / the minor fall, the major lift”.The lyrics have been subject to endless interpretation over the years, as they weave through religious references, sexuality and personal confession: Your faith was strong but you needed proof You saw her bathing on the roof Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya She tied you To a kitchen chair She broke your throne, and she cut your hair And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah.It was difficult for critics to explain exactly what made Cohen’s music so memorable and moving.The lyrics were poetic, of course, but his musical settings were ingenious, with shifting chords and deceptively simple melodies.Ihlen, who was often described as Cohen’s muse during the 1960s, died in August.Cohen also had well-known relationships with Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell and actress Rebecca De Mornay.

“His gift or genius is in his connection to the music of the spheres,” Dylan told editor David Remnick. There again, it’s a beautifully constructed melody that steps up, evolves, and slips back, all in quick time …The consolation is that we could be in for a very rich creative period as a result.Francis Whately’s new documentary David Bowie: The Last Five Years, which premiered on UK television just ahead of the anniversary, pays tribute to Bowie’s late creative renaissance.View the full list It’s now already a year since the death of David Bowie.Combined with the recent deaths of other musical greats like Prince, Leonard Cohen and George Michael, we have now reached the stage where we are witnessing the decline of the mass culture of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

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