- Released: August 31, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Elektra / WEA
Uncut - p.1683 stars out of 5
- "[B]ecause the songs were recorded over a period of almost 40 years, there's plenty of variety..."
Dirty Linen - p.59
"[It brings] out the best in Cohen the writer and in Judy Collins, a masterful song interpreter."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1233 stars out of 5
- "[T]here's no denying the loveliness and Collins' own personalisation of the material."
- 3.A Thousand Kisses Deep
- 4.Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
- 5.Dress Rehearsal Rag
- 7.Night Comes On
- 8.Sisters of Mercy
- 9.Story of Isaac
- 10.Bird on the Wire
- 11.Famous Blue Raincoat
- 12.Joan of Arc
- 13.Take This Longing
- 14.Song of Bernadette
Personnel: Judy Collins (acoustic guitar, piano); Judy Collins (vocals); Buddy Emmons (pedal steel guitar); Billy Slapin (recorder); Gene Taylor (bass instrument, background vocals); Chris Ethridge, Tony Levin (bass instrument); Sue Evans (percussion, background vocals); Susan Evans (percussion); Russell Walden (guitar, keyboards, programming); Jay Berliner (acoustic guitar); Hugh McCracken, James Burton (electric guitar); Michael Sahl (piano, harpsichord, organ); Richard Bell (piano, background vocals); James Gordon, Steve Gadd (drums).
Audio Mixer: Alan Silverman.
Liner Note Author: Judy Collins.
Recording information: Wildflower Studios, New York, NY.
Author: Leonard Cohen.
Photographers: Guy Webster; Shonna Valeska.
Arrangers: Judy Collins; Russell Walden; Robert Sylvester; Robert Dennis; Joshua Rifkin.
As much a charming tribute to a dear friend as it is a best-of compilation, JUDY COLLINS SINGS LEONARD COHEN: DEMOCRACY was released to coincide with Cohen's 70th birthday in September 2004. Collins was among the first performers to discover the Canadian singer/songwriter's 's unique gifts, covering "Suzanne" and "Dress Rehearsal Rag" on her 1966 chamber-folk masterpiece, IN MY LIFE. Those songs, along with eight other previously released Collins renditions of Cohen songs, plus a 1999 live version of "Song for Bernadette" and three brand new recordings ("Democracy," "A Thousand Kisses Deep," and "Night Comes On") are collected here.
Combined with extensive liner-note reminiscences from Collins about the songs and their author, the album is something of a musical valentine, an idea that's a bit ironic considering Cohen's relentlessly sardonic worldview. One of Collins's strengths as an interpreter of Cohen's songs is that unlike some, she never loses sight of the essential warmth and dry humor in even Cohen's most sour songs. As a result, JUDY COLLINS SINGS LEONARD COHEN: DEMOCRACY might be the Leonard Cohen album for people who think they don't like Leonard Cohen.