Leonard Cohen’s Halloween Album
Disappointed with the sales of Leonard Cohen’s first two albums, Songs Of Leonard Cohen and Songs From A Room, his record label demanded that he produce a novelty LP tied to Halloween (initially named Songs From A Haunted House) to increase his commercial appeal. His protests that issuing an album in this genre would be incongruent with his style were countered by the corporation’s argument that “no one is buying the poet turned singer-songwriter shtick.”
The result was Songs of Love and Halloween, a collection of tracks which included
- Nightmare On Boogie Street
- A Singer Must Die! Die! Die!
- Bates Motel #2
- Night Of The Living Dead Comes On
- Undeath Of A Ladies’ Man
- Werewolves of Manhattan, Then Berlin.
- Monster Mash Me To The End Of Love
- Tacoma Trailer Park Murders
- Hey, That’s No Way To Say Trick Or Treat
After reviewing the album, however the songs were declared “too gloomy for Halloween” and distribution of the already pressed album was canceled.
Songs of Love and Hate, rather than Songs of Love And Halloween became the third Cohen album, but the songs themselves, refitted with new titles and minor modifications of the lyrics, formed the nucleus of Cohen’s repertoire over the course of his career.
Songs of Love and Halloween – The Afterlife
Leonard Cohen and his record company have consistently denied the existence of Songs of Love and Halloween, but to this day, those passing by a certain Montreal warehouse near the harbor after sunset on October 31st report hearing a low-pitched, gravelly voice singing – or wailing – about the woman who “cut off my head on the unmade bed.”
I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). Most of the content of this entry was originally posted Oct 31, 2008 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com.Thanks to Helen Ketcham for two contributions to the playlist.