Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: In interviews through the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a handful of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Heck Of A Guy feature playing those tunes for your edification and entertainment.
Billy Joel Covers Leonard Cohen’s “Light As The Breeze”
Billy Joel’s version of “Light As The Breeze” is his contribution to Tower Of Song, a 1995 collection of Cohen’s tunes covered by artists such as Willie Nelson, Sting, Bono, and Peter Gabriel.1
It also appears on Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Volume III.
Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen Covers
Leonard Cohen is notoriously positive toward versions of his songs performed by others. As Cohen himself points out,
But as for myself, whenever I hear anybody do one of my songs my critical judgments go into immediate suspended animation. I’m just knocked out when anybody does a cover of mine.
This blanket endorsement is hardly equivalent to his specific praise for songs such as “Unchained Melody” or “Blueberry Hill,” the tunes featured in the first two Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox posts; consequently not every cover of “Hallelujah,” for example, will appear in this series.
In those instances in which Cohen unmistakably lauds a specific cover, however, the admittedly subjective criterion for inclusion of a song on this list would seem to be met.
With that in mind, consider …
Leonard Cohen On Billy Joel’s “Light As The Breeze”
I think there are songs that are better done than I have done them. Just more successful versions of the songs that I have done. For instance, We were talking about “Billy Joel’s Light As A Breeze.” I think it’s a much much better version of the one I came up with.
Billy Joel – Light As The Breeze
Bonus: Leonard Cohen – Light As The Breeze
Credit Due Department
I was first alerted to the unanticipated (by me, at least) Lenny likes Billy’s cover phenomenon by UrPal at LeonardCohenForum.
Other Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Posts
All posts featured in the Heck Of A Guy Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at the end of the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.
- Tower Of Song Track List:
1. “Everybody Knows” – Don Henley
2. “Coming Back to You” – Trisha Yearwood
3. “Sisters of Mercy” – Sting with The Chieftains
4. “Hallelujah” – Bono
5. “Famous Blue Raincoat” – Tori Amos
6. “Ain’t No Cure for Love” – Aaron Neville
7. “I’m Your Man” – Elton John
8. “Bird on a Wire” – Willie Nelson
9. “Suzanne” – Peter Gabriel
10. “Light as the Breeze” – Billy Joel
11. “If It Be Your Will” – Jann Arden
12. “Story of Isaac” – Suzanne Vega
13. “Coming Back to You” – Martin Gore [↩]
- Interview by Chris Doritos, KCRW-FM, Los Angeles, February 18, 1997 [↩]