Label: CBS - CBS 32272,CBS - 32272 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Reissue • Country: Europe • Genre: Rock • Style: Folk Rock
Songs from a Room is the second album by Canadian musician Leonard Cohenreleased in It reached No. Johnston and Cohen had wanted to work together on Cohen's first album, but the studio had assigned Johnston elsewhere. Cohen recorded some demos on the actual farm and otherwise immersed himself in a version of the country Story Of Isaac - Leonard Cohen - Live Songs.
Unlike his augmented debut, Cohen's sophomore effort is austere by comparison, with considerably less drums, and featuring a stripped-down approach that emphasize the words rather than the musical arrangements.
A lot of my friends who were musical purists had castigated me for the lushness and over-production of my first record and I was determined to do a very simple album.
Johnston enlisted a smaller coterie of musicians than had backed Cohen on his debut album, including Ron Cornelius playing acoustic and Story Of Isaac - Leonard Cohen - Live Songs guitar, Charlie Daniels playing bass, fiddle and acoustic guitar, Elkin "Bubba" Fowler contributing banjo, bass and acoustic guitar, while Fra Le Mie Braccia (Vivre Sans Amour) - Various - Parata Di Successi himself played keyboards.
The album also features some prominent if strictly ornamental Jew's harp. As biographer Ira Nadel notes in the Cohen biography Various Positionsalthough Cohen still showed signs of insecurity in the recording studio, producer Johnston created a hospitable atmosphere: "In the studio, Daniels and the other musicians were told to listen to Cohen in order to get into the songs.
It was like mixing colors; you had to be one of the colors for it to work. Johnston later referred to the album as a painting, not a record, and described his role as 'a musical bodyguard,' protecting Cohen and his music from artificial intrusions and falsification of sound. The album contains " Bird on the Wire ," one of Cohen's most famous songs. It's that one verse where I say that I swear by this song, and by all that I have done wrong, I'll make it all up to thee. I think I've made it too many times now, but l like to keep renewing it.
It seems to return me to my duties. It was begun in Greece and finished in a motel in Hollywood around along with everything else. Some lines were changed in Oregon.
I can't seem to get it perfect. Kris Kristofferson informed me that I had stolen part of the melody from another Nashville writer. He also said that he's putting the first couple of lines on his tombstone, and I'll be hurt if he doesn't. She has related how she helped him out of a depression by handing him his guitar, whereupon he began composing "Bird on the Wire" — inspired by a bird sitting on one of Hydra's recently installed phone wires, followed by memories of wet island nights.
Cohen has described "Bird on the Wire" as a simple country song, and the first recording, by Judy Collins, was indeed done in a country setting. It was begun in Greece because there were no wires on the island where I was living to a certain moment. There were no telephone wires. There were no telephones. There was no electricity. So at a certain point they put in these telephone poles, and you wouldn't notice them now, but when they first went up, it was about all I did - stare out the window at these telephone wires and think how civilization had caught up with me and I wasn't going to be able to escape after all.
I wasn't going to be able to live this 11th-century life that I thought Story Of Isaac - Leonard Cohen - Live Songs had found for myself. So that was the beginning. Then, of course, I noticed that birds came to the wires and that Story Of Isaac - Leonard Cohen - Live Songs how that song began.
Where drinkers, me included, would come up the stairs. There was great tolerance among the people for that because it could be in the middle of the night.
You'd see three guys with their arms around each other, stumbling up the stairs and singing these impeccable thirds. So that image came from the island: 'Like a drunk in a midnight choir. InCohen explained to John McKenna of RTE Ireland that "Story of Isaac" was an anti-war protest song but added, "I was careful in that song to try and put it beyond the pure, beyond the simple, anti-war protest, that it also is.
Because Story Of Isaac - Leonard Cohen - Live Songs says at the end there the man of war the man of peace, the peacock spreads his deadly fan. In other words it isn't necessarily for war that we're willing to sacrifice each other. We'll get some idea — some magnificent idea — that we're willing to sacrifice each other for; it doesn't necessarily have to involve an opponent or an ideology, but human beings being what they are we're always going to set up people to die for some absurd situation that Grand Belials Key - Mocking The Philanthropist (File, Album) define as important.
I think that the world throws up certain kinds of figures. Sometime in abundance, sometimes very rarely, and that some of these Story Of Isaac - Leonard Cohen - Live Songs act as archetypes or prototypes for another generation which will manifest these characteristics a lot more easily, maybe a lot more gracefully, but not a lot more heroically. Another twenty years later she would have been just like you know, the hippest girl on the block.
But twenty years before she was - there was no reference to her, so in a certain way she was doomed. In sheet music for the album, a song titled "Priests" was included, and although reportedly recorded, it didn't appear on Fanfares Of Love - Zeno - Runway To The Gods LP or on any subsequent Cohen record.
Havens, The album cover is a simple black and white photo heavily matted as to almost wash out Cohen's face. The back cover features a black and white photo of his Norwegian girl friend Marianne Ihlen sitting in front of table with papers.
The picture was taken on the Greek island of Hydra. Songs From a Room was released in April and hit 63 on the U. A single, "The Old Revolution", was released but did not chart. Like his debut LP, it received mixed reviews from critics, who were put off by his unusual singing voice but intrigued by the songs. In the original Rolling Stone review, Alec Dubro wrote, "Well, it looks like Leonard Cohen's second try won't have them dancing in the streets either.
It doesn't take a great deal of listening to realize that Cohen can't sing, period. And yet, the record grows on you Yet there was a voluptuousness in the album's austerity, a richness of the 'less is more' variety. Many of the songs from Cohen's second album would appear on 's Live Songsa collection of Sonny Rollins - The Cutting Edge from and Songs from a Room was released on CD in A digitally remastered version, including two bonus tracks produced by David Crosbywas released in February All songs written by Leonard Cohen except as noted.
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