Field Commander Cohen Tour Of 1979

When Leonard Cohen gave the concerts in England from which this album is culled, he had moved his early, dry folk style to supercontinental address. Here was a North American singer-songwriter diving headlong into the squirrelly intersections of pop and dramatic music, exploring the vagaries of a topic that, for Cohen, was a poetic cosmos unto itself: romance. This recording demonstrates how adeptly he recast that world. His six-man band, Passenger, not only follows but drives and animates his songs. Listen to the title track, in which Passenger easily negotiate the changes: from a march into the graceful slide of a ballad, then into a cheesy, skittery pop tune. Cohen also performs with a backup singer, Jennifer Warnes, who in "The Smokey Life" and "The Gypsy's Wife" represents another sensuous and intelligent reason why Field Commander Cohen is so elaborately, and yet simply, awesome.