James Taylor Covers Leonard Cohen’s ‘Coming Back to You’

    Blue Note Records has announced a new Leonard Cohen tribute album that will be released on October 14. Produced by Larry Klein, Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen features covers from Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, Norah Jones, Mavis Staples, Sara McLachlan, James Taylor, David Gray, and Nathaniel Rateliff. Taylor’s cover of ‘Coming Back To You’, which appears on Cohen’s 1984 album Various Positions, is out today. Check it out below, along with the collection’s cover art and tracklist.

    “When Larry Klein invited me to participate in a Leonard Cohen tribute album, I accepted immediately,” Taylor said in a statement. “Both because Larry is a great producer of excellent recordings and a good friend, and because, like almost everyone in my generation, I venerate Leonard Cohen. As soon as I began seeking out my own musical preferences, Cohen’s songs were among my few favorites and had a major influence on my own progression as a songwriter.”

    Taylor continued: “For the project, I was drawn to a relatively obscure piece that was new to me, ‘Coming Back To You’. Larry opted to cut the song in Cohen’s original key, which was certainly at the bottom of my own range. But somehow moving me out of my comfort zone helped me find my own approach to the song. Like so much of Leonard Cohen’s writing, this lyric resonates deeply with his forlorn and hopeless take on the bleak landscape of love and attachment. So, breathe a deep sigh and, drink up…”

    Discussing the album, Klein commented:

    Leonard Cohen had been a friend since 1982 or so, and in the last 15 years of his life, he became a close friend. He was possibly the wisest and funniest friend that I had, and someone that I enjoyed, immensely, in every way. After he passed away, I found myself frequently covering his songs with other artists that I was working with. One reason, of course, is that the songs are so good—in a certain way, Leonard is the best pop songwriter ever—but the other reason was that it helped keep him in the air around me.

    It was an immensely gratifying experience to recontextualize these poems, and shine a different light on them. I hope that this musical language that we developed together, the context that we put these things in, makes the songs connect with people in a new way.

    Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen Cover Artwork:

    Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen Tracklist:

    1. Steer Your Way – Norah Jones
    2. Here It Is – Peter Gabriel
    3. Suzanne – Gregory Porter
    4. Hallelujah – Sarah McLachlan
    5. Avalanche – Immanuel Wilkins
    6. Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye – Luciana Souza
    7. Coming Back to You – James Taylor
    8. You Want It Darker – Iggy Pop
    9. If It Be Your Will – Mavis Staples
    10. Seems So Long Ago, Nancy – David Gray
    11. Famous Blue Raincoat – Nathaniel Rateliff
    12. Bird on The Wire – Bill Frisell

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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