A long-lost Captain Beefheart album is to finally be released, on what would have been Don Van Vliet's 71st birthday. Bat Chain Puller was recorded in 1976 but shelved later that year, due to a dispute between Frank Zappa and his former manager, Herb Cohen. Bat Chain Puller was originally intended to be the follow-up to 1974's maligned Bluejeans & Moonbeams, after Vliet recruited a new band. Zappa produced the sessions, and tracks like Owed t'Alex and The Floppy Boot Stomp made it all the way to Beefheart's label, Virgin, as well as several journalists. Unfortunately that's as far as things got. When Zappa sued Cohen, Bat Chain Puller was caught in the litigation and the album was shelved. Although many of Bat Chain Puller's songs were re-recorded for subsequent Beefheart releases, the original record has only been available among fans, as a popular bootleg.
Songs of Leonard Cohen is the debut album by Canadian folk singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, released in December 1967 on Columbia Records. Less successful in the US than in Europe, Songs of Leonard Cohen foreshadowed the kind of chart success Cohen would go on to achieve. It reached number 83 on the Billboard 200 and achieving gold status in the US only in 1989, but peaked at number 13 on the UK Albums Chart, and spent nearly a year and a half on it. Songs of Leonard Cohen was released on CD in 1989, while a digipak edition was released in some European countries in 2003. A remastered version, with the bonus tracks "Store Room" and "Blessed is the Memory," was released in the United States on April 24, 2007.
All the high points from the ten-year dominance of Alpert and the Tijuana Brass; includes "A Taste of Honey," "Spanish Flea," and others.
Herb Alpert credited "Bullish", this 1984 album, to "Herb Alpert Tijuana Brass", probably as a tie-in with a tour that Alpert went on around this time which did include four members of the original Tijuana Brass. None of the original Tijuana Brass appear on this album though, & with the glossy mid-'80s sheen of the album, it ain't exactly a return to his '60s sound either. Still, "Bullish" is an impossible-to-resist collection demonstrating that Alpert's ear for irresistible melody was as strong as ever.
In May 2006, Leonard Cohen published his first collection of poetry in 22 years, Book of Longing, having previously used some of the material as songs on his most recent albums, Ten New Songs (2001) and Dear Heather (2004). The book touched on many of the themes he had explored throughout his writing career, including spirituality (he had spent part of his time between books as a postulant at a Buddhist monastery), eroticism, and self-deprecating humor. On June 1, 2007, at the Luminato Festival in Toronto, Ontario, composer Philip Glass premiered his song cycle based on Book of Longing, which is here given a two-CD recording. Cohen is present on the album speaking (not singing) some of his poems, and Glass also has set some of them to music, with singing by a soprano (Dominique Plaisant), a mezzo-soprano (Tara Hugo), a tenor (Will Erat), and a bass-baritone (Daniel Keeling).
A stunningly sophisticated leap into modern musical textures, I'm Your Man re-establishes Leonard Cohen's mastery. Against a backdrop of keyboards and propulsive rhythms, Cohen surveys the global landscape with a precise, unflinching eye: the opening "First We Take Manhattan" is an ominous fantasy of commercial success bundled in crypto-fascist imagery, while the remarkable "Everybody Knows" is a cynical catalog of the land mines littering the surface of love in the age of AIDS.