Cohen's label declined to release the album containing Hallelujah, a song that has now inspired over 300 versions.
Perhaps more clearly than Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen showed that songwriting can be a literary art. Within his apparently simple words lies a profound sense of playfulness and enigma.
Leonard Cohen, who has died at 82, had both a tragic vision and a voice that was warm, funny and closely observant. His unique gaze helped fans see the world anew.