Fans of Leonard Cohen will have much to celebrate the next couple of months: A long-lost film of the singer-songwriter’s 1972 European tour has been retooled for DVD, while his celebrated 2008-09 trek will be recapped in a DVD/CD collection.
MVD Visual will release “Bird On a Wire” on Aug. 31. The feature, by British director Tony Palmer (who also helmed Frank Zappa’s “200 Motels”), was heavily edited, received a limited release in 1974 and then disappeared from circulation. Palmer has reconstructed the feature after discovering nearly 300 rolls of film in a Hollywood warehouse. The picture includes performances of such early Cohen classics as “Suzanne,” “Famous Blue Raincoat,” “Sisters of Mercy” and “Chelsea Hotel,” as well as four poem recitations.
Latter-day versions of some of the same tunes will be seen and heard on “Songs From the Road,” due from Columbia/Legacy on Sept. 14. Drawn from Cohen’s first concert dates in 15 years, the package comprises performances filmed in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, Israel, Finland and Sweden. The film will also be issued on Blu-ray, while the audio portion will be released on a 180-gram vinyl LP. Legacy released the DVD “Live in London,” shot at the O2 Arena, last year.