“[‘Always’] by Irving Berlin was originally in ¾ time, and I turned it into a 4/4 song, and I always loved it.” Leonard Cohen On His Transformation Of Always Via “A Drink That I Had Invented Called The Red Needle”

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[‘Always’] by Irving Berlin was originally in ¾ time, and I turned it into a 4/4 song, and I always loved it. It’s very beautifully constructed as a song, and I think the lyric is very touching. So, I went in there with Steve Lindsey, a producer, and some really excellent musicians, and we prepared a drink that I had invented called the ‘Red Needle.’ It’s basically, Tequila, Cranberry juice, and lime, and some other elements. And after I had distributed this drink, and people had sampled it, we produced this track.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Interview With Leonard Cohen by by Chris Doritos. KCRW, Los Angeles: February 18, 1997. Retrieved 09 July 2014 from LeonardCohenFilesOriginally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

More information about Leonard Cohen’s Red Needle cocktail can be found at Leonard Cohen on the preparation of his Red Needle cocktail & its effect on recording sessions.

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Leonard Cohen On His Red Needle Cocktail-Fueled Passion For “Always” As A R&B Song

Leonard Cohen prepares Red Needle on Talkshowet 1992-12-05

I like your cover of “Always” on the new record. You once told me that your ambition was to someday wear a tuxedo, stand over by a grand piano, and sing “As Time Goes By.”

Did I? (laughs) “Always” is in 3/4 tempo, but every time I played it, it turned into this 4/4 R&B song. When we got into the studio, I was dispensing this drink I invented in Needles, California, called the Red Needle, and I felt we should all drink a lot of this before we recorded. It’s composed of tequila and cranberry juice and fresh fruit. It’s very colorful and very potent. The version you hear is the shortest version I could find because usually we played it for the entire length of the tape. We couldn’t stop playing it.

From Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Originally posted Oct 23, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Also see Video: Leonard Cohen, Poet-Singer-Songwriter-Mixologist, Recreates His Red Needle Drink On TV