Editors’ Notes When Jennifer Warnes recorded this 1987 collection of songs by Leonard Cohen, Cohen’s career was in undeserved decline and Warnes, who served as one of Cohen’s back-up singers in the early ‘70s, had been experiencing great success with a series of country-pop and romantic movie-themed adult-contemporary hits. “First We Take Manhattan” and “Ain’t No Cure for Love” turned out to be previews for Cohen’s comeback album, 1988’s I’m Your Man, and Warnes’ interpretations forced critics to seriously evaluate her as a talented, often overlooked and underrated singer. The arrangements are less quirky than Cohen’s own attempts at mainstream pop. Unlike Judy Collins whose Cohen covers emphasize his solemnity and stick to the songs’ folk roots, Warnes takes a liberal approach, unafraid to turn “Bird On a Wire” into a dance number, or locate the nite-jazz and cinematic heart lurking within the title track, or use guitarists such as Robben Ford and Stevie Ray Vaughan on “Manhattan” to make a grander musical point. Her duet with Cohen on “Joan of Arc” is riveting and grandiose. A classic, impeccably written, arranged, performed, sung, and produced throughout. This 20th Anniversary Edition adds four tracks, including a live version of “Joan of Arc” and a delicate read of “If It Be Your Will.”

SONG
First We Take Manhattan
1
3:46
 
Bird On a Wire
2
4:42
 
Famous Blue Raincoat
3
5:33
 
Joan of Arc
4
8:00
 
Ain't No Cure for Love
5
3:21
 
Coming Back to You
6
3:43
 
Song of Bernadette
7
3:54
 
A Singer Must Die
8
4:52
 
Came So Far for Beauty
9
3:40
 
Night Comes On
10
4:51
 
Ballad of the Runaway Horse
11
8:22
 
If It Be Your Will (Reprise)
12
3:08
 
Joan of Arc (Live in Belgium)
13
7:53
 

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