Leonard Cohen‘s 2008 to 2013 world tour was one of the most stunning resurrections in rock history. After a 15-year period when the iconic songwriter was rarely seen in public, let alone onstage, he was suddenly performing three-and-a-half hour concerts that quickly moved from tiny theaters to massive arenas. By the time all was said and done, he’d played over 370 gigs and crossed the globe many times over.
The tour produced three separate live albums, but virtually nobody knew about the amazing music being made during soundchecks. This was a time for Cohen and the band to experiment with songs from his back catalog, as well as to learn covers and even test out some in-progress originals. Cohen’s new album, Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour (due in stores on May 12th), is a collection of the best moments from these soundchecks, as well as a few selections taped during the actual gigs.
Below, listen to an exclusive stream of “Choices,” a tune written and recorded by Billy Yates then covered by George Jones. Jones’ version won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Cohen played the song at two shows in 2013, but this particular rendition was taped at a soundcheck in Christchurch, New Zealand.