Leonard Cohen

New Skin for Old Ceremony - CBS 1974

Tracks: 1. Is This What You Wanted / 2. Chelsea Hotel No. 2 / 3. Lover, Lover, Lover / 4. Field Commander Cohen / 5. Why Don't You Try / 6. There Is a War / 7. A Singer Must Die / 8. I Tried to Leave You / 9. Who by Fire / 10. Take This Longing / 11. Leaving Greensleeves


I had not listened to the album as a whole for some time, having reheard it a couple of time recently, I concluded that it was not quite as good as In remembered it to be, though still a great and very listenable album that really is the one where Cohen begins his journey towards the rock approach that would give us “I’m Your Man” and “The Future”.

Though the basics for “New Skin For Old Ceremony” are still Cohen’s acoustic guitar and his voice, he is here incorporating different styles and uses a broader musical palette.

The album has its stand-out moments with “Chelsea Hotel #2”- which is one of Cohen’s greatest songs ever and one of the most covered, I believe – I think Lloyd Cole’s version is great and really catchy.

“Who By the Fire” is catchy as it is – great and differently arranged showing Cohen going in new and broader directions than on his first albums, which were pretty simply and sparsely arranged. “Take this Longing” is “old” Cohen style, and another of his great songs.

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