Leonard Cohen, pictured in , passed away at the age of Poetry, fiction and songwriting were more or less equal forms of expression to Leonard Cohen — although one paid a hell of a lot better than the others. After mastering the mystical power of melody, Cohen went on to enjoy a long, fruitful career marked by spiritual hiatuses, reinvention and a surprising late-career second act unprecedented in American entertainment. Cohen was the sexy, late-blooming gloom-monger among a small, elite coterie of singer-songwriters who came to define the Sixties and early Seventies.
Leonard Cohen 's legacy goes beyond the numerous covers of his songs, and the seemingly endless soundtrack appearances. Those things helped afford him some small measure of fame, but they never gave a full accounting of his genius. For that, as this list of Top 10 Leonard Cohen Songs shows, you've got to dig into the albums — places where the singer-songwriter challenged himself as much as he ever challenged the listener. Singing with a foundation-rattling voice that could be remarkably pitiless, winkingly acerbic and unfathomably sad, Cohen continued pushing toward the far creative horizon over 14 studio albums before his death — bringing in elements of jazz, gospel, cabaret and pop to augment his foundational sound as a folk-poet. Often, Cohen discussed things that others couldn't or at the very least wouldn't like politics, sexuality and religion.
"Tower of Song"
Without question one of the most influential lyricists of his generation, Cohen serenaded fans with an unpolished and almost Dylanesque voice, tinged with a deep baritone that perfectly intertwined with his bittersweet songs about love, heartbreak, depression and loneliness. He wrote songs for performers as varied as James Taylor and Willie Nelson, and contemporary singers frequently covered his tunes. Even if you never heard his name before Thursday, you've almost certainly heard something he wrote. To honor his Cohen's legacy, we came up with a list of his best songs. Scroll through the slides to see what tunes we chose. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
A musical poet known for beautiful storytelling lyrics, Cohen maintained his razor-sharp skills until the day he died, having recently released a shudderingly beautiful final album called You Want It Darker. Songs like Hallelujah and Suzanne earned him a place at the upper echelon of songsmiths, and he was idolized by such fellow heroes as James Taylor, Willie Nelson, and Nick Drake, among many others. He will be deeply missed by so many.