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Leonard Cohen - BBC Sessions 1968 [A Prof. Stoned Comp 2021]
16bit/44.1khz (CD Quality) 

01. 'Intro Brian Matthew'
02. Bird On A Wire
03. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
04. 'Universal pleasure for everyone'
05. You Know Who I Am
06. 'Very little to say'
07. Dress Rehearsal Rag

Recording: 201 Piccadilly, Studio 1, London UK; Sunday 14 July 1968
Broadcast: BBC Radio 1 'Top Gear'; Sunday 11 August 1968
Producer: Bernie Andrews
Engineer: Dave Tate
Sources: 01-03: transcription disc (03 has small patches from off-air source) 05-07: off-air recording > reel-to-reel 
"Cohen's session was backed by five British musicians (including Dave Cousins on banjo) and three backing singers, all directed by Tony Gilbert." 
from: https://peel.fandom.com/wiki/Leonard_Cohen

(N.B.: It sounds to me like it's largely the same group as on Paris Theatre. PS)

Note: Hear John Peel gushing over our hero! The source for Tr. 04-07 was marked by original uploader 'michpom' as being a DAT clone of the BBC master but despite its excellent quality I'm quite sure the masters are destroyed and this is merely a remarkably good off-air recording. It just does not quite measure up with the sonic brilliance of the first two songs which are verified mastertape quality. 'Dress Rehearsal rag' has some notable dropouts. This session is not complete; 'So Long, Marianne' was recorded and aired as well but it only circulates in poor quality and thus was deemed not suitable for this comp. 


01. 'Intro'
02. You Know Who I Am
03. 'It has a confession'
04. Bird On The Wire
05. 'Gimme an E'
06. The Stranger Song
07. 'My name is Marianne'
08. So Long, Marianne
09. 'The trinity'
10. Master Song
11. 'Things will be so good'
12. There's No Reason Why You Should Remember Me
13. 'Miniskirts in Edmonton'
14. Sisters Of Mercy
15. Teachers
16. 'Banned songs'
17. Dress Rehearsal Rag
18. Suzanne
19. 'Penn Terminal hotel'
20. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
21. 'No one raises a hand'
22. Story Of Isaac
23. 'The playing of my hands'
24. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong

Recorded: Paris Theatre, Lower Regent Street, London UK; Wednesday 20 March 1968
Broadcast: BBC2 TV 'Leonard Cohen Sings Leonard Cohen'; Saturday 31 August 1968, 20:35 (Tr. 01-10) & Saturday 7 September 1968, 22:00 (Tr. 11-24)
Producer: Stanley Dorfman
Designer: Jeremy Davies  
BBC blurb: "Leonard Cohen calls himself 'an intellectual gypsy.' He became a writer by accident and his songs developed from readings of his own poems which he accompanied on the guitar." 
Source: off-air > reel-to-reel > cassette 
Leonard Cohen: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Dave Cousins: Banjo, Guitar
Danny Thompson: Double Bass
Tony Carr (??): Drums 
John Cameron (??): Organ
?? : Backing Vocals

Note: This was sourced from a cassette copy that a fan got directly from an BBC employee after writing a letter to inquire after the status of this recording. The BBC employee mentioned that this came from his private copy and that video sources no longer existed in the archives. The audio recording was first heard by the public in 1993 when it came out on a pressed CD bootleg in inferior quality. Then later in the mid-2000's it started to circulate in better quality. There is notable tape hiss at times but I think the historical importance outweighs the sonic imperfections. Four songs performed here were unreleased at the time, though already fully realized (not counting 'There's No Reason Why You Should Remember Me'). Some of the arrangements are quite different from the studio versions and there's an extra unheard verse on 'So Long, Marianne'. 


01. 'Intro Julie Felix'
02. The Stranger Song

Recorded: BBC Television Centre Studio 6, London UK; Saturday 27 January 1968
Broadcast: BBC2 TV 'Once More with Julie Felix'; Saturday 27 January 1968

Note: this was sourced from an mpg file. Though lossy, the sound quality is quite good and therefore included here. This is the infamous performance where Leonard sheds a tear at the end of the song. 


Total time: 1h24m17s
All tracks are Mono

Research & Mastering: Prof Stoned
Special thanks to Eugene & John 
Cover: Leonard and his muse Marianne Ihlen as portrayed by John Max, 1966.

v1.0  08-09-2016 (Paris theatre only, released as 'London '68')
v1.1: 18-09-2016 (Paris theatre only, released as 'London '68')
v2.0: 08-09-2021 (Peel session added, Paris theatre newly mastered)
v2.1: 10-09-2021 (Paris Theatre mastering corrected -it was too hissy- and Julie Felix show added) 
v2.2: 11-12-2021 (Paris Theatre and Julie Felix show newly mastered, still not perfect but notably better detail) 



Here's yet another BBC comp that (hopefully) will rock your world. Its greatest asset is having the Peel session in the best quality so far (by far). But the Paris Theatre recording that I shared earlier has been improved upon slightly as well.

This collection is not complete. As mentioned above, one track is absent from the 'Top Gear' session and another from the TV appearance at the Julie Felix Show. These circulate but only in poor audio quality. 

I have carefully remastered every track in my studio. I am especially pleased with how well the first two tracks sound. These have never been bootlegged or ROIO'd in this quality before. Enjoy!



- 'digital transfer from BBC 'Top of the Tops' transcription disc #195 (done by that same anonymous person)'
- 'various fan-made off-air tapes'