Various Positions

Various Positions

Because his longtime label, Columbia Records, decided not to release Various Positions in 1984 or 1985 in the U.S., it gave the impression that Leonard Cohen’s musical career was in danger. It was a shortsighted decision, and one that Columbia corrected in 1990 with a CD release of the album. At the time, the album brought back New Skin from the Old Ceremony producer John Lissauer to the Cohen fold, and together—with Jennifer Warnes billed as a co-vocalist on the tracks—the trio went about assembling a “modern” Leonard Cohen album that embraced the current sounds of synthesizers and stronger backbeats. Of course, none of this would matter if Cohen didn’t hold up his part on the songwriting end. “Dance Me to the End of Love,” “Coming Back to You,” “Heart With No Companion,” “If It Be Your Will,” and “Hallelujah” (yes, that “Hallelujah”!) immediately proved the strength of Cohen’s writing. But deep, repeated listens of the remaining material proved that Cohen had made a modern classic—of the same quality of 1988’s Columbia-released “comeback” album, I’m Your Man


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