In the late 60s Leonard Cohen had risen to become one of the most unique and distinctive singer-songwriters of the decade. As the 1970s dawned he began to play live, and toured the US, Canada and Europe. He also appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival, which brought his music to a much larger audience.
For his third album he again worked with producer Bob Johnston, recording in Nashville as they had done for Songs From A Room. Released in 1971, Songs Of Love And Hate further refined the signature Leonard Cohen sound, with minimal, purposefully sparse arrangements based around Cohen’s guitar picking and dry vocal delivery. It differed from its two predecessors in mood - if possible, it was even more morose than his first two albums, with a dark and unsettling vibe throughout which at times became positively sinister. His voice also seemed to be changing with the character of his music, as he began to sing in a lower register. The songs themselves included some of his very best work, including the oft-covered “Famous Blue Raincoat”. It ended up being one of his greatest albums, though definitely his bleakest, and probably the one most instrumental in earning him his reputation for downbeat, depressing music.
Songs From A Room (1969) <|> Live Songs (1973)
More from Leonard Cohen