Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen: Democracy

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
All songwriters should have such sympathetic interpreters as Judy Collins. In this lovely and inspiring collection of performances drawn from Collins albums of the past four-plus decades, this matchless singer brings warmth, emotional acuity, and luscious vocal tones to some of Leonard Cohen’s finest songs. Collins’s connection to Cohen stretches back to the beginnings of Cohen’s career as a performer. In fact, Collins could be said to have brought him to international attention by recording his poetic compositions for the first time. Her 1966 version of the enduring Cohen song “Suzanne” is among her best-loved tracks, and many other performances here rival it. ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
All songwriters should have such sympathetic interpreters as Judy Collins. In this lovely and inspiring collection of performances drawn from Collins albums of the past four-plus decades, this matchless singer brings warmth, emotional acuity, and luscious vocal tones to some of Leonard Cohen’s finest songs. Collins’s connection to Cohen stretches back to the beginnings of Cohen’s career as a performer. In fact, Collins could be said to have brought him to international attention by recording his poetic compositions for the first time. Her 1966 version of the enduring Cohen song “Suzanne” is among her best-loved tracks, and many other performances here rival it. Classics like “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” “Famous Blue Raincoat,” and “Bird on a Wire” and more recent Cohen fare such as “A Thousand Kisses Deep” are given intimate, heartrending readings by Collins, verifying her respect for the composer and personal affection for the songs themselves.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Singer and songwriter Judy Collins is credited with having "discovered" Leonard Cohen in 1966. She was the first person to record the classic "Suzanne" and "Dress Rehearsal Rag," launching the career of one of popular music's most profoundly talented singer/songwriters and enigmatic figures. Collins was revered at the dawn of the baby boom for her crystalline, breathtaking voice and her ability to emotionally translate even the most elliptical forms of musical poetry. Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen: Democracy collects ten performances of these tunes from the singer's Elektra catalog, one from her fine 2000 album Judy Collins Live at Wolf Trap, one from her 1967 album, Wildflowers, and three new recordings. The sweep in years is covered almost seamlessly. The title tack opens the record with its jarring modernity of programmed drums and keyboards and is immediately followed by the original recording of "Suzanne," only to be book-ended with a stunning reading of "A Thousand Kisses Deep," full of modern production and Collins' emotionally loaded, sensual performance. The set moves to "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" from Wildflowers. This and "Priests" both come from this seminal album where Collins covered not only Cohen, but Joni Mitchell as well, and scored big with "Both Sides Now." The album is given added significance because it was the first to feature her own songs. These songs were inspired, according to Collins' unflinchingly honest, elegant and moving liner notes, by Cohen himself; she states that he exhorted her to write her own material. Given the beauty of these notes, one wishes she would still. There are no weak or substandard selections here; Some of the other standouts are a rollicking country-rock read of "Bird on the Wire," and her acoustic reading of "Famous Blue Raincoat," accompanied only by her acoustic guitar. There is one near-rarity here: Collins' gorgeous reading of "Take This Longing," from her Bread and Roses collection with bassist Tony Levin, is breathtaking. Ultimately, this collection speaks volumes not only to Collins' considerable gifts as an interpretive singer, but more than this, to the fact that her voice, at once instantly recognizable, has lost none of its empathy, its steely conviction, or its aching vulnerability. This album, in past and present tenses, underscores Collins' under-celebrated contribution to excellence and history..
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/31/2004
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 081227651022
  • Catalog Number: 76510

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Democracy
  2. 2 Suzanne
  3. 3 A Thousand Kisses Deep
  4. 4 Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
  5. 5 Dress Rehearsal Rag
  6. 6 Priests
  7. 7 Night Comes On
  8. 8 Sisters of Mercy
  9. 9 Story of Isaac
  10. 10 Bird on the Wire
  11. 11 Famous Blue Raincoat
  12. 12 Joan of Arc
  13. 13 Take This Longing
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Judy Collins Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Buddy Emmons Pedal Steel Guitar
Joshua Rifkin Conductor
Jay Berliner Acoustic Guitar
James Burton Electric Guitar
Sue Evans Percussion, Background Vocals
Richard Bell Piano, Background Vocals
Chris Ethridge Bass
Steve Gadd Drums
James Gordon Drums
Tony Levin Bass
Hugh McCracken Electric Guitar
Michael Sahl Organ, Piano, Harpsichord
Billy Slapin Recorder
Russell Walden Guitar, Keyboards, Musical Direction
Susan Evans Percussion
Gene Taylor Bass, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Leonard Cohen Composer, Author
Judy Collins Arranger, Producer, Liner Notes, Audio Production
Jennifer Warnes Composer
Joshua Rifkin Arranger
Mark Abramson Producer, Audio Production
David Anderle Producer
Hugh Brown Art Direction
Robert Dennis Arranger
Arif Mardin Producer
Alan Silverman Producer, Engineer, Mastering, Audio Production
Russell Walden Arranger, Programming
Robert Sylvester Arranger
George Williamson Sound Design
William Elliot Composer
Saori Soga Art Direction
Sharon Robinson Composer
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