Leonard Cohen - Recent Songs

NME.COM feature on Leonard Cohen - Recent Songs album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Release date: 31 August 1979

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Leonard Cohen - Recent Songs: Wikipedia Album Entry

Leonard Cohen - Recent Songs (1979)

Recent Songs was the sixth studio album by Leonard Cohen, released in 1979. Produced by Henry Lewy and the artist himself, the album was a return to Cohen's acoustic folk music after the Phil Spector experimentation of Death of a Ladies' Man, but now with many and Oriental influences.

The album included Gypsy violin player Raffi Hakopian, Armenian oud player (located in Los Angeles) John Bilezikjian, and even a Mexican Mariachi band. Long-time Cohen collaborator Jennifer Warnes prominently appeared in vocal tracks. Members of the band Passenger, whom Cohen met through Joni Mitchell, played on four of the songs. They also served as his tour band later that year and in 1980. Mitchell had also introduced Cohen to her regular sound engineer Henry Lewy, who produced Recent Songs. Garth Hudson of The Band also appeared on the album.

Track notes:
"Came So Far for Beauty" seems to be an unaltered outtake from the unfinished 1975 album Songs for Rebecca (the horns may have been added later), which also included early versions of "The Traitor" and "The Smokey Life" (then with music by John Lissauer).

"Ballad of the Absent Mare"'s metaphoric lyrics are based on the twelfth-century text "Ten Ox-herding Pictures" (or "The Ten Bulls") by the Chinese master Ka-Kuan. The song has been covered by several artists, notably Emmylou Harris on the album Cowgirl's Prayer, in this case, as in some others, as "Ballad of a Runaway Horse."

Three outtakes are known, "The Faith", "Misty Blue" (by Bobby Montgomery), and "Do I Have to Dance All Night", the latter being a studio recording of a live song released as single in 1976. Cohen wanted to include "Misty Blue"/"Do I Have to Dance All Night" as a free bonus single with the LP, but Columbia rejected the idea. Cohen's 2004 song "The Faith" is based on the same folk tune as "Un Canadien errant" (which was covered on Recent Songs), and Cohen's collaborator Anjani admitted in a 2005 interview (Old Ideas: Notes on Dear Heather) that he used an out-taked alternate 1979 track for "Un Canadien errant", adding new vocal line with completely new lyrics, for his 2004 album Dear Heather.

Additional informations edited by timppa55

YEAR: 1979
LABEL: Columbia JC 36364
TIME: 52'55
PRODUCER: Cohen & Lewy (engineer)
PAINTING: Dianne Lawrence

Cohen vocal & guitar
Raffi Hakopian Gypsy violin
John Bilezikjian, oud
Jennifer Warnes vocal
Members of the band Passenger
A Mexican Mariachi band
Garth Hudson of The Band

Cohen's 6th studio album. Quite a contrast to his
previous 'Death Of A Ladies' Man'
Here he uses small combos and the overall
feeling is very intimate and folk-like.
This is Cohen at his best.

User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.

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