Songs of Leonard Cohen

Sisters of Mercyhis first albumThe Songs of Leonard Cohendebut albumMaster Song
Songs of Leonard Cohen is the debut album by Canadian folk singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, released on December 27, 1967 on Columbia Records.wikipedia
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Leonard Cohen

CohenL. CohenSuzanne Elrod
Songs of Leonard Cohen is the debut album by Canadian folk singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, released on December 27, 1967 on Columbia Records.
His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), was followed by three more albums of folk music: Songs from a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971) and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974).

Suzanne (Leonard Cohen song)

SuzanneSuzanne" (Leonard Cohen song)
In November 1966, Judy Collins recorded "Suzanne" for her album In My Life and Cohen soon came to the attention of record producer John Hammond.
First published as a poem in 1966, it was recorded as a song by Judy Collins in the same year, and Cohen performed it as his debut single, from his 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen.

John Simon (record producer)

John Simon
Although Hammond (who initially signed Cohen to his contract with Columbia Records) was supposed to produce the record, he became sick and was replaced by the producer John Simon.
Recognized as one of the top record producers in the United States during the late 1960s and the 1970s, Simon produced numerous classic albums that continue to sell more than 50 years later, including the Band’s Music from Big Pink, The Band, and The Last Waltz, Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin, Songs of Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen, and Child Is Father to the Man by Blood, Sweat & Tears.

So Long, Marianne

So Long Marianne
The singer and producer also quarreled over a slight stop in the middle of "So Long, Marianne" – a device Cohen felt interrupted the song.
It was featured on his debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Willie Ruff

The Mitchell-Ruff Trio
Initially, Hammond had Cohen work up guitar parts for "Master Song" and "Sisters of Mercy" with jazz bassist Willie Ruff, and then brought in some of New York's top session musicians to join them, a move that made Cohen nervous; as biographer Anthony Reynolds observes in his book Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life, the dynamic between Cohen and Ruff had been intimate and natural but "the arrival of more anonymous personnel unnerved Cohen, the studio novice put off by their proficiency."
Ruff was chosen by John Hammond to be the bass player for the recording sessions of Songs of Leonard Cohen, an album first released in 1967.

David Lindley (musician)

David LindleyDavid Lindley,El Rayo X
The instrumentalists – not credited on the album sleeve – included Chester Crill, Chris Darrow, Solomon Feldthouse and David Lindley of Kaleidoscope, who had been recruited personally by Cohen after he saw the band play at a New York club.

Kaleidoscope (American band)

KaleidoscopeThe KaleidoscopeKaleidoscope (US band)
The instrumentalists – not credited on the album sleeve – included Chester Crill, Chris Darrow, Solomon Feldthouse and David Lindley of Kaleidoscope, who had been recruited personally by Cohen after he saw the band play at a New York club.
However, Darrow returned briefly for studio work when the group backed first Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Larry Williams on their 1967 single "Nobody", and later Leonard Cohen on "So Long, Marianne" and "Teachers" on his first album.

Songs from a Room

Story of IsaacSeems So Long Ago, Nancy
After his experiences with Crosby, Cohen was not keen to continue the project, but after speaking with Johnston, he agreed to carry on as Johnston was prepared to work on achieving the spartan sound Cohen considered appropriate for his songs after the disputes he had with John Simon during the mixing sessions of Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Chris Darrow

Darrow played bass on Leonard Cohen's debut Songs of Leonard Cohen.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

McCabe and Mrs. MillerMcCabe and Mrs Miller
"Stranger Song", "Sisters of Mercy", and "Winter Lady" were included on the soundtrack of Robert Altman's 1971 film McCabe & Mrs. Miller.
Altman had liked Cohen's debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), immensely, buying additional copies of it after wearing each vinyl record out.

Nancy Priddy

Nancy Lee Priddy
That same year she contributed backup vocals to Leonard Cohen's debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Contemporary folk music

contemporary folkfolkfolk music
Songs of Leonard Cohen is the debut album by Canadian folk singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, released on December 27, 1967 on Columbia Records.

Columbia Records

ColumbiaCBSCBS Records
Songs of Leonard Cohen is the debut album by Canadian folk singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, released on December 27, 1967 on Columbia Records. Although Hammond (who initially signed Cohen to his contract with Columbia Records) was supposed to produce the record, he became sick and was replaced by the producer John Simon.

Billboard 200

Billboard'' 200USBillboard'' Top LPs
It reached number 83 on the Billboard 200, achieving gold status in the US in 1989.

UK Albums Chart

UKUK Album ChartUK Album Charts
It peaked at number 13 on the UK Albums Chart, spending nearly a year and a half on it.

Nashville, Tennessee

NashvilleNashville, TNMusic City
In 1966, Cohen set out for Nashville, where he hoped to become a country songwriter, but instead got caught up in New York City's folk scene.

Judy Collins

Collins
In November 1966, Judy Collins recorded "Suzanne" for her album In My Life and Cohen soon came to the attention of record producer John Hammond.

In My Life (Judy Collins album)

In My LifeIn My Life'' (Judy Collins album)
In November 1966, Judy Collins recorded "Suzanne" for her album In My Life and Cohen soon came to the attention of record producer John Hammond.

John Hammond (record producer)

John HammondJohn H. HammondJohn Hammond, Jr.
In November 1966, Judy Collins recorded "Suzanne" for her album In My Life and Cohen soon came to the attention of record producer John Hammond.

Mojo (magazine)

MojoMojo MagazineMojo'' magazine
Cohen did ask that a full-length mirror be brought into the studio because, as he explained to Mojo in November 2001, "through some version of narcissism, I always used to play in front of a mirror. I guess it was the best way to look while playing the guitar, or maybe it was just where the chair was. But I was very comfortable looking at myself playing."

Pitchfork (website)

PitchforkPitchfork MediaPitchfork.com
"Suzanne" was ranked 41st on Pitchfork Media's 'Top 200 Songs of the 1960s', while "So Long, Marianne" was also featured on the list at 190th.

BBC

British Broadcasting Corporationthe BBCBBC Music
In a 1986 interview with the BBC Cohen explained, "The writing of 'Suzanne,' like all my songs, took a long time. I wrote most of it in Montreal - all of it in Montreal - over the space of, perhaps, four or five months. I had many, many verses to it. Sometimes the song would go off on a tangent, and you’ll have perfectly respectable verses, but that have led you away from the original feel of the song. So, it’s a matter of coming back. It’s a very painful process because you have to throw away a lot of good stuff."

Edmonton

Edmonton, AlbertaEdmonton, CanadaEdmonton, AB
As recounted to Uncut's Nigel Williamson in 1997, "Sisters of Mercy" had been written "in Edmonton during a snow storm, and I took refuge in an office lobby. There were two young back-packers there, Barbara and Lorraine, and they had nowhere to go. I asked them back to my hotel room – they immediately got into the bed and crashed while I sat in the armchair watching them sleep. I knew they had given me something, and, by the time they woke up, I had finished the song and I played it to them.” In the 1996 memoir Various Positions, biographer Ira Nadel contends "Stranger Song" addresses loss, departure, and essential yet destructive nature of love. In the book Songwriters on Songwriting, Cohen told author Paul Zollo that he wrote "So Long, Marianne" "in two hotels.

Anima Sola

On the back cover of the album is a Mexican religious picture of the Anima Sola depicted as a woman breaking free of her chains surrounded by flames and gazing towards heaven.