New skin for the old ceremony

In 1974 it was time to create a new sound for the songs of Leonard Cohen. This was materialised on the album "New Skin For The Old Ceremony". He uses lots of instruments on this album like banjos, jews harp, strings and woodwinds. It's still folk but not as accoustic like the previous albums. Leonard co-produced the album together with John Lissauer who also produced his previous 2 albums.
On the second track "Chelsea Hotel #2" he describes a sexual encounter between him and Janis Joplin as he told later during live performances. "Chelsea Hotel #1" also exists and was only played live. Leonard regrets to have made this song after all these years with respect towards Janis Joplin. "Field Commander Cohen" talks about a surrealistic spy known for parachuting "acid into diplomatic cocktail parties". The song was influenced by his recent stay in Israel. "Who By Fire" (sung as a duet with Janis Ian) is based on the Hebrew melody for the prayer "Unetanneh Tokef" sung at the Mussaf (or noontime service) of the High Holy Days. "Leaving Green Sleeves" is a reworking of a traditional 15th-century folk song titled "Green Sleeves". We also have a typical protest song in the form of “There is a War”.
Another image from the book "Rosarium Philosophorum"
The original cover art for "New Skin for the Old Ceremony" was an image from the alchemical text "Rosarium Philosophorum". The image originally came to public attention in psychiatrist Jung's essay The Psychology of The Transference.

The album reached #18 in the Netherlands and #24 in the UK. The single "Lover Lover Lover" managed to give the album the attention it deserved.
Lover Lover Lover - single cover
Soon after the release of the album Leonard wanted to produce another album together with Lissauer titled "Songs For Rebecca". This album was never released. 5 Songs were written for the album but they were released spread over the the next 2 albums.

Original album cover
New Skin For The Old Ceremony (1974)
Is This What You Wanted / Chelsea Hotel No. 2 / Lover Lover Lover / Field Commander Cohen / Why Don't You Try / There Is a War / A Singer Must Die / I Tried to Leave You / Who by Fire / Take This Longing / Leaving Green Sleeves
Lover Lover Lover
Who By The Fire
Is This What You Wanted

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