The world lost more than a musical legend on Nov. 7 when Leonard Cohen passed away. We lost a poet, a powerful and honest voice, a heart who wasn’t afraid to look fear in its face and tell the world of all it had seen.
Cohen’ gravelly voice and spoken-word delivery is iconic and, though he represents a different breed of singer-songwriter and another era of understanding, his work is nevertheless timeless. With this list of the best Leonard Cohen songs remixed, we celebrate the man who will surely become myth with a look at how some producer’s adapted his rawest moments for the dance floor.
“Chelsea Fm,” Acid Pauli
“Chelsea Hotel No. 2” is the kind of song that hits you in the heart and drags you across the feeling floor. Acid Pauli takes those painful and beautiful moments and gives you something good enough to interpretive dance to.
“Dance Me To The End of Love,” Mistress Barbara
The Leonard Cohen song grows in a steady crescendo until you find you’ve completely lost yourself to oblivion. A woman sings Cohen’s desperate pleas with raw beauty, but it’s all about these electronic textures.
#5: “Nevermind,” PillowTalk
Cohen’s rasp sounds as mean as life’s low and as cool as a con man over this lazy-day rhythm. PillowTalk left the funky back-up vocalist for beautiful effect.
#4: “Boogie Street,” mr.freeman
“Boogie Street” is not the uplifting tune its title might suggest, but this remix puts the boogie right back into Cohen’s soulful step. Simple and seductive, I’d walk down this Boogie Street any night of the week.
“Lover Lover Lover,” Mickey
Let’s go way back in Cohen’s career to 1974 when the folk singer was actually very much a singer. It’s a sad tune of lost love, but it’s one of his most uptempo. It’s danceable in its own right, and only ever more so with a house beat.
“Everybody Knows,” Tiger Tooth
The dice may be loaded, and the fight may be fixed, but this beat goes on, even when the good guys are licked. Get back up again, keep playing the game, and let this driving take on a social anthem give you the inspiration to get yours.
“You Want It Darker,” Paul Kalkbrenner
Cohen’s final album was only just released. You Want it Darker is just as potent and haunting as any of his other works, and the title track is just goose-bumpy. Paul Kalkbrenner was tapped to give the solemn song a pulsing rhythm. Deep house looks good on you, Mr. Cohen.