Beck Covers Leonard Cohen

"There’ always someone affirming the significance of a song by taking a woman into his arms or by getting through the night.... Songs don’t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song."

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

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But no “Hallelujah.”

Beck has revealed the latest muse for his Record Club covers project: Leonard Cohen’s venerated 1968 debut, Songs Of Leonard Cohen. A video for the Club’s take on the first song from the album, “Suzanne,” is available at Beck.com.

Joining Beck in his quest to record a Cohen track a day are MGMT, Devendra Banhart, Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale and Little Joy’s Binki Shapiro. Banhart sings lead on the funky, deconstructed “Suzanne.”

Beck and the record club previously tackled Velvet Underground and Nico.

Beck writes on his website, “For those new to the Record Club, it is an informal meeting of various musicians to record an album in a day. An album is chosen to be reinterpreted and used as a framework. Nothing rehearsed or arranged ahead of time. A track is put up here once a week. As you will hear, some of the songs are rough renditions, often first takes documenting what happened over the course of a day. There is no intention to ‘add to’ the original work or attempt to recreate the power of the original recording. Only to play music and document what happens. And those who aren’t familiar with the albums in question will hopefully look for the songs in their definitive versions. ‘Songs Of Leonard Cohen’ by Leonard Cohen was chosen by Andrew from MGMT. For those interested, our close second choice was Ace Of Base, which we’ll keep on the list for next time.”

Here are the Cohen songs that will be getting the Beck treatment in the coming weeks:

“Winter Lady”
“The Stranger Song”
“Sisters of Mercy”
“So Long, Marianne”
“Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye”
“Stories of the Street”
“Teachers”
“One of Us Cannot Be Wrong”

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