1987 Jennifer Warnes – Famous Blue Raincoat

Famous Blue Raincoat: The Songs of Leonard Cohen is the sixth studio album recorded by the American singer Jennifer Warnes. It debuted on the Billboard 200 on February 14, 1987 and peaked at No. 72 in the US Billboard chart and No.33 in the UK albums chart. Originally released by Cypress Records (RCA Records in the UK), it was reissued by Private Music after Cypress went out of business. It is the only Jennifer Warnes album to make the UK albums chart (up to September 2014).

Released in January 1987, Famous Blue Raincoat is a tribute to Leonard Cohen, with whom Warnes had toured as a backup singer in the 1970s. The album’s songs span much of Cohen’s career, from his 1969 album Songs from a Room to his 1984 album Various Positions (on which Warnes sang), and even two songs (“First We Take Manhattan” and “Ain’t No Cure for Love”) from Cohen’s then-unreleased album I’m Your Man.

The idea for the album originated when Cohen assisted Warnes with the lyrics of “Song of Bernadette” while on tour in 1979. Warnes had suggested the album at Arista Records and later MCA Records with no luck. The album’s producer, C. Roscoe Beck said, “Leonard seemed to be A&R poison.”

Guest contributors include guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Lindley and Robben Ford, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, keyboardist Russell Ferrante, arranger Van Dyke Parks and Cohen himself duetting on “Joan of Arc”.

The album is the first record produced by Roscoe Beck. The liner notes include a cartoon by Cohen of a torch being passed with the caption, “Jenny Sings Lenny.”

In August 2007, a remastered and expanded 20th anniversary edition was released by Private Music with four bonus tracks.

Tracks

1First We Take Manhattan (Leonard Cohen)3:47
2Bird On A Wire (Leonard Cohen)4:43
3Famous Blue Raincoat (Leonard Cohen)5:33
4Joan Of Arc (Leonard Cohen)8:01
5Ain’t No Cure For Love (Leonard Cohen)3:20
6Coming Back To You (Leonard Cohen)3:44
7Song Of Bernadette (Leonard Cohen, Jennifer Warnes, Bill Elliott)3:55
8A Singer Must Die (Leonard Cohen)4:51
9Came So Far For Beauty (Leonard Cohen, John Lissauer)3:37

Media

Musicians

1 First We Take Manhattan

BassRoscoe Beck
DrumsVinnie Colaiuta
GuitarRobben Ford
GuitarStevie Ray Vaughan
PercussionLenny Castro
SynthesizerRussell Ferrante
SynthesizerGary Chang
VocalsJennifer Warnes


2 Bird On A Wire

BassJorge Calderon
DrumsVinnie Colaiuta
GuitarRobben Ford
SynthesizerBill Ginn
SynthesizerWilliam Smith
SaxDave Boruff
PercussionLenny Castro
PercussionLarry Brown
Background VocalsKal David
Background VocalsWillie Greene
VocalsJennifer Warnes


3 Famous Blue Raincoat

BassRoscoe Beck
PianoBill Ginn
SaxPaul Ostermayer
CelloLarry Corbett
CelloSuzie Katayama
ViolaNovi Novog
ViolinSid Page
ViolinBarbra Porter


4 Joan Of Arc

BassRoscoe Beck
DrumsVinnie Colaiuta
PianoBill Ginn
SynthesizerRussell Ferrante
SynthesizerRoscoe Beck
SynthesizerBill Ginn
PercussionLarry Brown
Background VocalsGreg Prestopino
VocalsLeonard Cohen
VocalsJennifer Warnes


5 Ain’t No Cure For Love

DrumsVinnie Colaiuta
GuitarMike Landau
SynthesizerBill Payne
PercussionSteve Forman


6 Coming Back To You

BassJorge Calderon
DrumsVinnie Colaiuta
GuitarFred Tackett
Steel GuitarDavid Lindley
OrganWilliam Smith
PianoBill Ginn
SynthesizerRussell Ferrante
Background VocalsBobby King
Background VocalsTerry Evans
Background VocalsWillie Greene
VocalsJennifer Warnes


7 Song Of Bernadette

BassRichard Feves
Double BassRoscoe Beck
PianoBill Ginn
CelloLarry Corbett
ViolaNovi Novog
ViolinBarbra Porter
ViolinSid Page
Background VocalsJennifer Warnes


8 A Singer Must Die

Background VocalsArnold McCuller
Background VocalsDavid Lasley
Background VocalsGeorge Ball
Background VocalsGreg Prestopino
Background VocalsJosef Powell
Background VocalsKal David
Background VocalsSharon Robinson
Background VocalsTim Stone
Background VocalsWillie Greene
VocalsJennifer Warnes


9 Came So Far For Beauty

BassRoscoe Beck
PianoBill Ginn
SynthesizerVan Dyke Parks
SynthesizerGary Chang
AccordionVan Dyke Parks

Liner Notes

Producer – Jennifer Warnes, Roscoe Beck
Arranged By (Strings) – Bill Ginn (Track 3)
Conductor (Strings) – Bill Ginn (Track 3)
Engineer (Assistant) – Clive Taylor, Dan Reed, Duane Seykora, Garth Richardson, Jeff Park, Joel Stoner, Ken Fowler, Nyya Lark, Russell Bracher, Sharon Rice, Steve Ford, Terry Dunavan
Engineer (Chief Recording Engineer) – Billy Youdelman
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Mixed By – Larry Brown (Track 4)
Mixed By – Henry Lewy (Track 7)
Programmed By – Chuck Barth, Todd Yyega
Recorded By – Csaba Petocz, Frank Wolf (Track 5)
Recorded By – Billy Youdelman, Paul Brown, Steven Strassman (Track 7)
Recorded By (Additional Recording) – Larry Brown, Tim Boyle (Track 7)
Recorded By (Additional Recording), Mixed By – Frank Wolf (Track 7)

Art Direction, Design – Leslie Wintner
Art Direction – Jennifer Warnes
Photography By (Back Cover) – Betsy Annas

Manufactured By – Attic Records Limited
Distributed By – Attic Records Limited
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Cypress Records
Copyright (c) – Cypress Records
Recorded At – The Complex
Recorded At – Amigo Studios
Recorded At – Hollywood Sound Recorders
Recorded At – The Enterprise
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Recorded At – Salty Dog Recording
Recorded At – Record Plant
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering