Famous Blue Raincoat [Bonus Tracks]

Famous Blue Raincoat [Bonus Tracks]

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by Jennifer Warnes

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Jennifer Warnes was familiar with Leonard Cohen from a tour of duty as one of his backup singers in the early '70s, but this collection of Cohen's songs must have shocked her AM radio fans who knew her from her '70s country-pop hits and her movie themes, if they were even able to connect the woman who sang "It's the right time of the night for makin' love" with the


Jennifer Warnes was familiar with Leonard Cohen from a tour of duty as one of his backup singers in the early '70s, but this collection of Cohen's songs must have shocked her AM radio fans who knew her from her '70s country-pop hits and her movie themes, if they were even able to connect the woman who sang "It's the right time of the night for makin' love" with the one who declared "First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin" over stinging guitar work by Stevie Ray Vaughan on the opening track here. As that pairing suggests, Warnes wisely took a tougher, more contemporary approach to the arrangements than such past Cohen interpreters as Judy Collins used to. Where other singers tended to geld Cohen's often disturbingly revealing poetry, Warnes, working with the composer himself and introducing a couple of great new songs ("First We Take Manhattan" and "Song of Bernadette," which she co-wrote), matched his own versions. The high point may have been the Warnes-Cohen duet on "Joan of Arc," but the album was consistently impressive. And it went a long way toward reestablishing Cohen, whose reputation was in a minor eclipse in the mid-'80s. A year later, with the way paved for him, he released his brilliant comeback album I'm Your Man. For Warnes, the album meant her first taste of real critical success: suddenly a singer who had seemed like a second-rate Linda Ronstadt now appeared to be a first-class interpretive artist. [The 2007 Shout reissue features four bonus tracks.]

Product Details

Release Date:
Shout Factory

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jennifer Warnes   Primary Artist,Vocals
Leonard Cohen   Vocals,Guest Appearance
David Lindley   Steel Guitar
Van Dyke Parks   Accordion,Keyboards
Robben Ford   Guitar
David Lasley   Vocals
Mitch Watkins   Guitar,Keyboards
Jorge Calderon   Bass
John Miles   Guitar
Sid Page   Violin
C. Roscoe Beck   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Fretless Bass Guitar,String Bass
Rev. Dave Boruff   Saxophone
Jack Bruno   Drums
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Gary Chang   Synthesizer
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Larry Corbett   Cello
Kal David   Vocals
Deric Dyer   Percussion
Terry Evans   Vocals
Russell Ferrante   Keyboards
Richard Feves   Bass
Steve Forman   Percussion
Bill Ginn   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Electric Piano
William "Bill" Greene   Vocals
Michael Landau   Guitar
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar
Warren McRae   Bass
Paul Ostermayer   Saxophone
Dean Parks   Guitar
Bill Payne   Synthesizer
Barbara Porter   Violin
Joseph Powell   Vocals
Greg Prestopino   Vocals
Jimbo Ross   Viola
Tim Stone   Vocals
Fred Tackett   Guitar
Stevie Ray Vaughan   Guitar
Arnold McCuller   Vocals
Dave Stone   Bass
Smitty Smith   Organ,Keyboards
Novi Novog   Viola
Suzie Katayama   Cello
George Ball   Vocals
Doyle Bramhall   Guitar
Joel Deroin   Violin
Robert Groslot   Conductor
Bobby "Blanco" King   Vocals
Larry Brown   Tambourine,Shaker
Novecento   Performing Ensemble
Het West Brabants Operakoor   Choir, Chorus
DeTweede Adem   Choir, Chorus
Oliver Marland   Piano
Sharon Robinson   Vocals

Technical Credits

Leonard Cohen   Composer,Author,Drawing
Van Dyke Parks   Vocal Arrangements
Jennifer Warnes   Composer,Producer
Jeremy Lubbock   String Arrangements
Mitch Watkins   Producer
Dan Reed   Engineer
Stephen Barber   String Arrangements
C. Roscoe Beck   Producer
Tim Boyle   Engineer
Russ Bracher   Engineer
David Campbell   Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
Paul Dieter   Engineer
Terry Dunavan   Engineer
Bill Ginn   Vocal Arrangements,String Arrangements
John Lissauer   Composer
Walter New   Engineer
Csaba Petocz   Engineer
Sharon Rice   Engineer
Garth Richardson   Engineer
Joe Gruvtek Seta   Engineer
Duane Seykora   Engineer
Joel Stoner   Engineer
Frank Wolf   Engineer
Ken Fowler   Engineer
Steven Strassman   Engineer
David Nottingham   Engineer
Nyya Lark   Engineer
Jeff Park   Engineer
Steve Postell   Engineer,Reissue Production Coordination
Wayne Griffith   Engineer
Rich Tosi   Engineer
Elizabeth Annas   Cover Photo
Charlie Paakari   Engineer
Paul Rayner-Brown   Engineer
Larry Brown   Engineer
Bill Youdleman   Engineer
Luc VanHove   Arranger
Ron Rosato   Accounting
Steven Bradley Ford   Engineer

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Famous Blue Raincoat: The Songs of Leonard Cohen 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My parents both love Leonard Cohen, so naturally it felt right for them to pick up a copy of this CD. I liked it somewhat when I was a kid, and, after December 1995, I never played it again after I hooked out to AC/DC's "Back In Black." I humiliated myself in front of my English 9 class about a speech on Leonard Cohen, so I got rid of all my Leonard Cohen albums, finding out too painful to listen to his works. Then one evening in October 2003, I brought this CD out and listened to it. And am I glad that I did! I feel this album totally rips away from the dark and dreary feel of any of Cohen's own music. Jennifer Warnes has an absolutely lovely voice, and manages to make all the songs sound her own. The playing alone is beautiful, and fits right in with her voice. I feel that this is music that annihiliates both bad music and bad thoughts. (In fact, the main reason I got hooked on it was being a Zappa fan and knowing about VC's contribution.) I enjoy this album immensely, and feel that Jennifer Warnes maybe *the* most underrated vocalist of all time. This easily ranks as one of top my 20 CDs of all time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
cohen is the music/poet of infinite sadness and loss. few if any write better than he does. here his most famous backup singer takes these treasures and makes them her own. while they are sung with a precise beauty that decorates the very air in any room they are played in, it's the track "song of bernadette" that is done with such sheer grace that even steel beams bend down to cry. it is that good.it never was up for any awards i know of, which shows that the awards shows are bogus. this is album is the synonym for beauty and grace. nothing more can be said unless you hear it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though the 80s and 90s filled the air with tribute albums, FAMOUS BLUE RAINCOAT was not only the best of that bunch, but the best of all genres...period. The match of voice to lyricist is the finest in decades. Underrated, Warnes should have a deluge of solo Grammys, including a Pop Female Vocal for this one. She is terrific by any standards.
Emma_Peel More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Warnes never fails to deliver! Singing songs written by Leonard Cohen, Warnes does a wonderful job on this piece. The songs are thoughtful, deep, and a perfect vehicle for her voice. A must for any fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago