Leonard Cohen’s Own Proposal For The “You Want It Darker” Album Cover Art

In an interview with De Standaard,1 Sammy Slabbinck, who designed the cover art for the You Want It Darker album, explained Leonard Cohen’s proposal for eliminating the cigarette in the photo to meet French advertising restrictions:

Everything was ready when the greatest alarm sounded: in France you cannot display cigarettes on posters. Leonard’s proposal was to replace [the cigarette] with a yo-yo. (Laughs) I tried, but it did not work. A pocket watch worked well, but that was then so symbolic … Eventually we Photoshopped it away.2

Well, Leonard’s suggestion may not have worked in the world of cutting edge design, but it is a perfect fit for Cohencentric. Consequently, the image atop this post features the Canadian singer-songwriter casually performing the classic Around The World yo-yo trick. And, with all respect for Mr Slabbinck’s expertise, it works.

Credit Due Department: Francis Mus alerted me to the interview with Sammy Slabbinck

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Oct 24, 2016.


  1. De man die Leonard Cohen surrealistisch maakte (De Standaard: Oct 22, 2016) []
  2. Excerpt via computer translating program []

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