Darkness

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  • This soft and smoldering blues number was a pre-release taster for Leonard Cohen's 12th studio album, Old Ideas. Released at the age of 77, it was the Canadian singer-songwriter's first LP containing new material for over 7 years. "I've got no future, I know my days are few," he purrs shrugging his shoulders at the uncertain prospects for a man of his age. "I thought the past would last me, but the darkness got that too."
  • Reputedly the first song written for Old Ideas, the bluesy number is a resigned vision of the human condition. Consequence of Sound reports that during a press preview of Old Ideas in London, Cohen was asked where the light came into "The Darkness?" (The questioner was quoting the lyric from his 1992 track, "Anthem": "There is a crack in everything/that's how the light gets in.")

    "It's just the song that allows the light to come in," he responded. "It's the position of the man standing up in the face of something that is irrevocable and unyielding and singing about it. It's the sort of position Zorba the Greek took; that when things get really bad, you just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig and that's about all you can do."
  • Despite not embarking on a tour since 1993, Cohen was forced to go on the road in 2008, following the alleged misappropriation of over US $5 million from his retirement by his longtime former manager, Kelley Lynch. This left him close to bankruptcy and Cohen's mammoth world tour lasted two and a half years and comprised 246 shows. This is the only cut on Old Ideas to feature Cohen's full touring band.
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