The Leonard Cohen – Madonna Comparison Chart

From Old Ideas To  Leonard Cohen VS Madonna

It started with me reading that Patrick Leonard contributed to  Leonard Cohen’s “Old Ideas” album. Mr Leonard is best known as Madonna’s producer on albums including “Like a Prayer” and “Ray of Light,” an association that called to mind the fact that both Madonna and Leonard Cohen were inducted into  the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

Now, the induction of the Spin Doctor For The Apocalypse into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame triggered some concerns. Indeed, I thought it necessary at the time to publish a post warning

… fans [to] be alert to any signals that [Leonard Cohen]  has begun to assimilate, affecting those characteristics rampant in the (gated) communities of rock gods. Possible signs and symptoms follow:

  • He insists on calling his next tour “Leonardpalooza” (or the equally worrisome variation, “The Poetpalooza”)
  • He takes up the electric guitar, begins wearing some serious bling, refers to Jarkko and Anjani as his posse, and wonders aloud about the cost of giant flames, helicopter entries, and other stage effects.
  • He treats one of the paparazzi rudely, refusing to make him more than three muffins, a sandwich, and a cup of tea and then abruptly cutting off the impromptu photo shoot  after only two hours.
  • He does the traditional naked Rolling Stone cover shot (preceded by many others, most famously by John Lennon, most infamously by Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears, and most auspiciously by David Cassidy)
  • Like the others, he begins covering songs; like the others, he covers songs by Leonard Cohen
  • This time, instead of spending five years in a Zen monastery on Mount Baldy, he checks into a nicely appointed Rehab-Spa for five weeks

While  these concerns never manifested, they did apparently distract me from noticing – until now – the sage comparison of the Madonna and Leonard Cohen at Timberlake Speaks Out! But at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, so Very Few People Hear by Michael Swaim (Cracked, ):

The author wondered, as have we all, …

who was the most relevant, enduring, and important musician in Rock.

And after consideration, the author, again in concert with sentient music fans everywhere, came to this impasse:

Naturally, after long nights of flipping through my record collection and marveling at my own retro hipness, it always came down to two clear contenders: Leonard Cohen and Madonna. 

To reach a final decision, Mr Swaim devised the remarkable chart displayed below (click on chart to enlarge).

While I find this chart the most compelling element of the article, the entire piece is worth reading if only to assure that one is adequately prepared to hold up one’s end of the heated debates over the respective musical and poetic merits of Mr Cohen and Ms Madonna that inevitably break out during conversational lulls at local taverns, intermissions at the Met, halftimes of ACC basketball games,  between servings of  ribs at suburban neighborhood barbeques, and wherever/whenever music fans gather. 1

Michael Swaim’s article can be found at Timberlake Speaks Out! But at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, so Very Few People Hear.



Other Leonard Cohen Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Posts

  1. Readers of this ilk may also find How To Determine If You Are At A Bruce Springsteen Or A Leonard Cohen Concert useful in this respect. []

One response to “The Leonard Cohen – Madonna Comparison Chart

  1. Particularly enjoyed reading ‘the remarkable chart’!