Songs For Rebecca – The Lost Leonard Cohen Album
This is the second post in the Songs For Rebecca – The Lost Leonard Cohen Album series.1 A discussion of the name of the project, i.e., Songs For Rebecca, was previously published at Leonard Cohen’s Abandoned Album – Songs For Rebecca: Who’s Rebecca? Update: The third and final post in this series is now online at .
There is considerable confusion about the Songs For Rebecca project. While these posts won’t answer every question, they do clear up certain ambiguities and, if nothing else, they consolidate all the uncertainty in one place. This post focuses on Leonard Cohen’s collaborator on Songs For Rebecca, John Lissauer, the origin of the Songs For Rebecca project, and how the project came to end.
Note: John Lissauer graciously answered my many queries about Songs For Rebecca. Without his help, this and the next post would have been incomplete and inaccurate. I am very grateful.
John Lissauer was a very different sort of producer for Leonard Cohen than his predecessor, Bob Johnston. He was jazz-oriented, more laid back, and more classical in his approach to music. Working with Leonard, he produced New Skin For The Old Ceremony (1974) and Various Positions (1984 ) as well as working on Blue Alert. He was musical director, playing keyboards, saxophone, woodwinds for the 1974 and 1975 tours. Lissauer was also responsible for assembling a new group of musicians to join Cohen, including bass player John Miller, vocalist Erin Dickins (who was Lissauer’s first wife), and vocalist Anjani Thomas as well as sound engineer Leanne Ungar. In addition, John points out that “when we did Various Positions, I used a band called Slow Train… that was Richard Crooks, John Crowder and Ron Getman… along with veteran session guitarist Sid McGuinnes (Letterman Show)… they all toured with LC, as well as recorded.”
Lissauer talks about their relationship in this 2016 interview.
- A more precise title might be “Songs For Rebecca – The Abandoned Leonard Cohen Album” – but “Lost Album” is more dramatic and, as it turns out, accurate as well. But, more about that later. [↩]