Label: CBS - 69087,CBS - CBS 69087 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Reissue • Country: Europe • Genre: Rock • Style: Folk Rock
On this album he began to move away from the minimal instrumentation of his earlier work, with the use of violasmandolinsbanjosguitarspercussion and other instruments producing a more orchestrated but nevertheless spare sound. The album has been certified silver in the UKbut never entered the Billboard Top For his fourth album, Cohen chose to work with John Lissauera recent college graduate and rising producer whose jazz background contrasted sharply with Bob Johnston A Singer Must Die - Leonard Cohen - New Skin For The Old Ceremony , the Nashville -based producer who had been at the helm of Cohen's two previous releases, 's Songs From a Room and 's Songs of Love and Hate.
Reynolds reports that Lissauer had the impression that the whole Nashville experience, including the European tour with "The Army" the touring band that Johnson assembled had been a bit overwhelming for Cohen: "It was like a big wave picking him up, and while he had fun it didn't quite have the artistic sensibility that Leonard needed.
The focus then had been on this Nashville energy thing. Lissauer assembled a new group of musicians to join Cohen in the studio, including double bass player John Milleras well as engineers Rip Lowell and Leanne Ungar. Lissauer brought a European tinge to many of the songs, adding a depth and richness by employing woodwinds, violaand strings. The album is notable for its very dry mix, with reverb and echo used very sparingly. The album features several popular Cohen compositions, most notably "Chelsea Hotel 2" "Chelsea Hotel", the precursor to "Chelsea Hotel 2", was only performed live and co-written by Cohen and his guitarist Ron Cornelius.
For some years, when performing this song live, Cohen would tell a story that made it clear that the person about whom he was singing was Janis Joplin.
Cohen would eventually come to regret his choice to make people aware that the song was about Joplin, and the graphic detail in which the song describes their brief relationship. In a broadcast on the BBCCohen said it was "an indiscretion for which I'm very sorry, and if there is some way of apologising to the ghost, I want to apologise now, for having committed that indiscretion.
Nadel also notes that several songs, such as "Field Commander Cohen"—about a surrealistic spy known for parachuting "acid into diplomatic cocktail parties"—were influenced by his recent stay in a turbulent Israeland Where The Hood At - Various - StreetSweepers presents Checkmate the melody for "Who By Fire" sung as a duet with Janis Ian on the album is based on the Hebrew melody for the prayer " Unetanneh Tokef " sung at the Mussaf or noontime service of the High Holy Days.
It may even be truth of deception, it may even be the truth of the scam, the truth of the hustle in A Singer Must Die - Leonard Cohen - New Skin For The Old Ceremony singer's own presentation, but something is coming across that is true, and if that isn't there the song dies. And the singer deserves to die too, and will, in time, die. The latter is a reworking of the 15th-century folk song " Greensleeves "; Cohen retains the chord progression, but changes the melody and takes the latter verses in a different direction than the original.
The song, and in turn the album, ends with Cohen violently screaming Michael, Andrew And James - Mimi & Richard Fariña* - Celebrations For A Grey Day chorus as the track fades out. Cohen would express satisfaction with the album in an interview with Melody Maker ' s Harvey Kubernik in March Cohen would tour in support of the LP, beginning a thirty-three date European trek his third in the fall of followed by his first North American tour in November.
The original cover art for New Skin for the Old Ceremony was an image from the alchemical text Rosarium philosophorum. The image originally came to public attention in C. Jung 's essay The Psychology of The Transference 2nd ed.
Shortly after this album, co-producers Lissauer and Cohen proceeded to work A Singer Must Die - Leonard Cohen - New Skin For The Old Ceremony its follow-up, Songs For Rebeccawhich was abandoned. Five songs are known from their live performances during the North American tour of November ; these were reworked and recorded a few years later, two of them with Phil Spector for Death of a Ladies' Man inand the other three on Recent Songs in In the book Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable When The Rain Falls - Suede - A New MorningLissauer speculates that his differences with Cohen's manager Marty Marchat may have been the cause for the aborted session:.
In his original review of the album, Paul Nelson of Rolling Stone deemed New Skin For the Old Ceremony "not one of [Cohen's] best", disparaging Lissauer's "generally insensitive, melodramatic, obtrusive arrangements", and observes: "Cohen is concerned with the inevitability of tragedy.
He is awesomely open to mythic heroism, to the mystique of love, but in the end he believes, as did Ernest Hemingwaythat there are no happy endings between men and women, that the only glory is in the attempt. Regina Spektor has also covered the song in live performances, as has Lambchop and the song features on their tour-only album Rainer on my Parade.
It was covered by Brand Newsung by band leader Jesse Lacey. Meshell Ndegeocello covered it during a concert in Paris, France, 30 January and included it on her album Weather album. InWoodpigeon added a cover version of the song to the Devastating EP as a bonus track. The Menzingers released "Sun Hotel 2" which is based heavily on the original track on On The Possible Pasta collection of demos recorded for their album On the Impossible Past which in turn featured a reworking called "Sun Hotel".
The band Phish performed a cover of "Who by Fire" at their concert on April 23, The project was curated by Lorca Cohen and Darin Klein.
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UK Albums Chart. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 September Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Nielsen Business Mosca - The Blue Sunshine (One), Inc.
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