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Famous Blue Raincoat: 20th Anniversary Edition

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Editors’ Notes

When Jennifer Warnes recorded this 1987 collection of songs by Leonard Cohen, Cohen’s career was in undeserved decline and Warnes, who served as one of Cohen’s back-up singers in the early ‘70s, had been experiencing great success with a series of country-pop and romantic movie-themed adult-contemporary hits. “First We Take Manhattan” and “Ain’t No Cure for Love” turned out to be previews for Cohen’s comeback album, 1988’s I’m Your Man, and Warnes’ interpretations forced critics to seriously evaluate her as a talented, often overlooked and underrated singer. The arrangements are less quirky than Cohen’s own attempts at mainstream pop. Unlike Judy Collins whose Cohen covers emphasize his solemnity and stick to the songs’ folk roots, Warnes takes a liberal approach, unafraid to turn “Bird On a Wire” into a dance number, or locate the nite-jazz and cinematic heart lurking within the title track, or use guitarists such as Robben Ford and Stevie Ray Vaughan on “Manhattan” to make a grander musical point. Her duet with Cohen on “Joan of Arc” is riveting and grandiose. A classic, impeccably written, arranged, performed, sung, and produced throughout. This 20th Anniversary Edition adds four tracks, including a live version of “Joan of Arc” and a delicate read of “If It Be Your Will.”


Born: 03 March 1947 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jennifer Warnes has succeeded in a number of nearly unrelated areas of popular music — as a contemporary pop singer, as a country singer, as a singer of movie themes, and as an interpreter of the work of Leonard Cohen. She first came to public notice when she became a regular on the television show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967, under the name Jennifer Warren or simply Jennifer. In 1968, she was part of the original cast of the Los Angeles production of the musical Hair, and she...
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Famous Blue Raincoat: 20th Anniversary Edition, Jennifer Warnes
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