Famous Blue Raincoat (album)

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Famous Blue Raincoat
Jennifer Warnes - Famous Blue Raincoat.png
Studio album by Jennifer Warnes
Released January 1987
Recorded 1986
The Complex, Amigo Studios, Hollywood Sound, The Enterprise, Mama Jo's, Salty Dog Recording,
The Record Plant
Genre Rock
Length 41:32
Label Private Music
Cypress Records
Producer C. Roscoe Beck, Jennifer Warnes
Jennifer Warnes chronology
Shot Through the Heart
Famous Blue Raincoat
The Hunter
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B–[2]

Famous Blue Raincoat is the sixth studio album recorded by the American singer Jennifer Warnes. It debuted on the Billboard 200 on February 14, 1987 and peaked at No. 72 in the US Billboard chart and No.33 in the UK albums chart. Originally released by Cypress Records (RCA records in the UK), it was reissued by Private Music after Cypress went out of business. It is the only Jennifer Warnes album to make the UK albums chart (up to September 2014).

Released in January 1987, Famous Blue Raincoat is a tribute to Leonard Cohen, with whom Warnes had toured as a backup singer in the 1970s. The album's songs span much of Cohen's career, from his 1969 album Songs from a Room to his 1984 album Various Positions (on which Warnes sang), and even two songs ("First We Take Manhattan" and "Ain't No Cure for Love") from Cohen's then-unreleased album I'm Your Man.

Guest contributors include guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Lindley and Robben Ford, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, keyboardist Russell Ferrante, arranger Van Dyke Parks and Cohen himself duetting on "Joan of Arc."

The liner notes include a cartoon by Cohen of a torch being passed with the caption, "Jenny Sings Lenny."

The album is the first record produced by Roscoe Beck.[3] In August 2007, a remastered and expanded 20th anniversary edition was released.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Leonard Cohen except where noted.

  1. "First We Take Manhattan" – 3:47
  2. "Bird on a Wire" – 4:42
  3. "Famous Blue Raincoat" – 5:33
  4. "Joan of Arc" – 7:57
  5. "Ain't No Cure for Love" – 3:21
  6. "Coming Back to You" – 3:43
  7. "Song of Bernadette" – 3:55 (Jennifer Warnes, Bill Elliott, Cohen)
  8. "A Singer Must Die" – 4:52
  9. "Came So Far for Beauty" – 3:37 (Cohen, John Lissauer)
Additional tracks on 20th anniversary reissue
  1. "Night Comes On"
  2. "Ballad of the Runaway Horse"
  3. "If It Be Your Will"
  4. "Joan of Arc" (Live in Antwerp, Belgium, 1992)


  • Jennifer Warnes – vocals, harmony vocals
  • Leonard Cohen – vocals (on "Joan of Arc"), sketches
  • Roscoe Beck – bass, fretless bass, synthesizer, guitar
  • Larry Brown – tambourine, shakers
  • William D. "Smitty" Smith – synthesizer, Hammond organ
  • Jorge Calderón – bass
  • Lenny Castro – percussion
  • Gary Chang – synthesizer, programming, synthesizer arrangements
  • Vinnie Colaiuta – drums
  • Larry Corbett  – cello
  • Russell Ferrante – piano, synthesizer
  • Richard Feves – bass
  • Robben Ford – guitar
  • Van Dyke Parks – synthesizer, accordion, arranger
  • Michael Landau – guitar
  • David Lindley – lap steel guitar
  • Fred Tackett – guitar
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – guitar
  • Steve Forman – percussion
  • Bill Ginn – synthesizer, piano, percussion, arranger, conductor
  • Kal David – background vocals
  • George Ball – background vocals
  • Terry Evans – background vocals
  • Willie Green, Jr. – background vocals
  • William "Bill" Greene – background vocals
  • Bobby King – background vocals
  • Arnold McCuller – background vocals
  • Joseph Powell – background vocals
  • David Lasley – background vocals
  • Tim Stone – background vocals
  • Greg Prestopino – background vocals
  • Sharon Robinson – background vocals
  • Reverend Dave Boruff – saxophone
  • Paul Ostermayer – tenor saxophone
  • Novi Novog – viola
  • Suzie Katayama – cello
  • Sid Page – violin
  • Barbara Porter – violin

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Engineers – Csaba Petocz, Tim Boyle, Steven Strassman, Paul Brown, Larry Brown, Frank Wolf
  • Assistant engineers – Jeff Park, Nyya Lark, Terry Dunavan, Ken Fowler, Dan Reed, Sharon Rice, Garth Richardson, Duane Seykora, Russ Bracher, Joel Stoner
  • Mixing – George Massenburg, Larry Brown, Frank Wolf, Billy Youdelman
  • Mastering – Bernie Grundman
  • Programming – Chuck Barth, Todd Yyega
  • Art Direction – Jennifer Warnes, Leslie Wintner
  • Reissue design – Patricia Bukur


External links[edit]