Death of a Ladies' Man

Death of a Ladies' Man

by Leonard Cohen


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One of the most controversial partnerships in either man's career was inaugurated the day Leonard Cohen and Phil Spector decided to make an album together. In the course of just three weeks together, the pair had written 15 new songs, described by Spector as "some great f*ckin' music." And though the recording took somewhat longer, Death of a Ladies' Man still emerged as an album that, while it certainly lives up to Spector's billing, can also be viewed as the most challenging record of both Cohen and Spector's careers. Certainly, Cohen fans were absolutely taken aback by the widescreen wash that accompanied their idol's customary tones, and many hastened to complain about the almost unbridled sexuality and brutal voyeurism that replaced Cohen's traditionally lighter touch -- as if the man who once rhymed "unmade bed" with "giving me head" was any stranger whatsoever to explicitness. It is also true that a cursory listen to the album suggests that the whole thing was simply a ragbag of crazy notions thrown into the air to see where they landed. Pay attention, however, and it quickly makes sense. The brawling "Memories" bowls along, an echo-laden vaudeville drinking song that invites everyone who hears it to join in with the so-perfectly timed refrain of "won't you let me see...your naked body." "Iodine," meanwhile, swings on one of Nino Tempo's most seductive rhythm arrangements, while Steve Douglas' sax squalls behind Cohen and co-singer Ronee Blakley's rambunctious duet; and anybody looking for a dance smash to sidle wholly out of left field could turn to "Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On," a number that not only captured an almost irresistible funk edge, but also roped Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg into its rambunctious backing chorus. Cohen himself has never been happy with the record -- Spector's mix, he complained, stripped "the guts out of the record," but when he suggested the producer have another go, his entreaties were ignored. Finally agreeing to write the album off as "an experiment that failed" and trust that his fans would be able to pick out its "real energizing capacities," Cohen allowed it to be released as Spector left it -- and then effectively retired for the next five years. His judgment, and that most commonly passed down by rock history, has not been borne out by time. Alongside Songs of Love and Hate, Death of a Ladies' Man represents the peak of Cohen's first decade or so as a recording artist, both lyrically and stylistically stepping into wholly untapped musical directions -- and certainly setting the stage for the larger scale productions that would mark out his music following his return. It might even be his masterpiece.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/01/2008
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC: 0886972380728
catalogNumber: 723807
Rank: 26346

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Leonard Cohen   Primary Artist,Vocals
Allen Ginsberg   Background Vocals
Bob Dylan   Vocals,Background Vocals
Conte Candoli   Trumpet
Terry Gibbs   Percussion,Vibes
Bill Mays   Keyboards
Don Menza   Flute,Saxophone,Wind
Don Randi   Keyboards
Pete Jolly   Keyboards
Jesse Ed Davis   Guitar
Barry Goldberg   Keyboards
Clydie King   Vocals,Background Vocals
Jim Keltner   Drums
Phil Spector   Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Ronee Blakley   Vocals,Background Vocals
Sneaky Pete Kleinow   Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,Slide Guitar
Hal Blaine   Drums
Bobby Bruce   Fiddle,Violin
Brenda Bryant   Vocals,Background Vocals
Billy Diez   Vocals,Background Vocals
Oma Drake   Vocals,Background Vocals
Gene Estes   Percussion
Venetta Fields   Vocals,Background Vocals
Gerald Garrett   Vocals,Background Vocals
Tom Hensley   Keyboards
David Isaac   Guitar
Dan Kessel   Organ,Synthesizer,Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
David Kessel   Guitar,Background Vocals
Michael Lang   Keyboards
Charles Loper   Trombone
Jay Migliori   Saxophone
Art Munson   Guitar
Ray Neapolitan   Bass,Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Perkins   Pedal Steel Guitar,Slide Guitar
Ray Pohlman   Bass,Guitar
Emil Radocchia   Percussion
Jack Redman   Trombone
Jack Redmond   Trombone
Bob Robitaille   Synthesizer
Devra Robitaille   Synthesizer
Julia Tillman Waters   Vocals,Background Vocals
Bill Thedford   Background Vocals
Oren Waters   Background Vocals
Lorna Willard   Vocals,Background Vocals
Art Blaine   Guitar
Mike Long   Keyboards
Julia Tillman   Background Vocals
Steve Douglas   Flute,Saxophone,Wind
Sherlie Matthews   Background Vocals
Bob Zimmitti   Percussion
Gerry Garrett   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Leonard Cohen   Composer
Don Menza   Horn Arrangements
Nino Tempo   Arranger
Phil Spector   Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements,rhythm arrangement
Larry Levine   Engineer
Devra Robitaille   Producer
Bruce Gold   Engineer
John Cabalka   Art Direction

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