10 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Leonard Cohen’s sixth studio album Recent Songs was released in 1979, nearly two years after the Phil Spector produced Death of A Ladies’ Man that had caused much critical confusion. Recent Songs deliberately set out to return Cohen to his minimalist ways, where only female choirs would be given equal prominence in the mix. The result is an extremely sober sounding set that features another fine batch of newish Cohen compositions. Several tunes (“Came So Far For Beauty,” “The Traitor,” “The Smokey Life”) date back to 1975 to an album never completed with New Skin for the Old Ceremony producer John Lissauer. Longtime vocal collaborator Jennifer Warnes is prominently involved in the vocal interplay. Members of the band Passenger, introduced to Cohen by Joni Mitchell who also recommended producer Henry Lewy,  play on four cuts and the Band’s Garth Hudson makes his presence felt. Songs such as “The Guests,” “Humbled In Love,” “The Window,” “Came So Far For Beauty,” “The Smokey Life” and “Ballad of the Absent Mare” rank among Cohen’s finest.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Leonard Cohen’s sixth studio album Recent Songs was released in 1979, nearly two years after the Phil Spector produced Death of A Ladies’ Man that had caused much critical confusion. Recent Songs deliberately set out to return Cohen to his minimalist ways, where only female choirs would be given equal prominence in the mix. The result is an extremely sober sounding set that features another fine batch of newish Cohen compositions. Several tunes (“Came So Far For Beauty,” “The Traitor,” “The Smokey Life”) date back to 1975 to an album never completed with New Skin for the Old Ceremony producer John Lissauer. Longtime vocal collaborator Jennifer Warnes is prominently involved in the vocal interplay. Members of the band Passenger, introduced to Cohen by Joni Mitchell who also recommended producer Henry Lewy,  play on four cuts and the Band’s Garth Hudson makes his presence felt. Songs such as “The Guests,” “Humbled In Love,” “The Window,” “Came So Far For Beauty,” “The Smokey Life” and “Ballad of the Absent Mare” rank among Cohen’s finest.

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