From wiki:-

I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen is a tribute album to Leonard Cohen, released in 1991, produced by the French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles.  The album features Cohen’s songs interpreted by some of the most respected rock acts of the time. Its name is a play on the title of Cohen’s album I’m Your Man.

For the album’s American release on Atlantic Records, R.E.M.’s rendition of “First We Take Manhattan” and House of Love’s “Who by Fire” (the lead tracks on each side of the vinyl and cassette versions) were swapped so that R.E.M., one of the most popular American rock bands of the era, led the album. In all other countries where the album was released, however, the R.E.M. track appears on Side Two. In the United Kingdom, the album was distributed by record label EastWest Records, in France by Sony Music.

The album includes two different covers of “Tower of Song”, one by Robert Forster and another by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The latter version is a radical deconstruction of the song, edited from an hour-long jam session held by the band.


“Who by Fire” – The House of Love
“Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” – Ian McCulloch
“I Can’t Forget” – Pixies
“Stories of the Street” – That Petrol Emotion
“Bird on the Wire” – The Lilac Time
“Suzanne” – Geoffrey Oryema
“So Long, Marianne” – James
“Avalanche IV” – Jean-Louis Murat
“Don’t Go Home with Your Hard-On” – David McComb & Adam Peters
“Who by Fire” – The House of Love
“First We Take Manhattan” – R.E.M.
“Chelsea Hotel” – Lloyd Cole
“Tower of Song” – Robert Forster
“Take This Longing” – Peter Astor
“True Love Leaves No Traces” – Dead Famous People
“I’m Your Man” – Bill Pritchard
“A Singer Must Die” – The Fatima Mansions
“Tower of Song” – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
“Hallelujah” – John Cale

JC says…….

Like most albums of this nature, the cover version can be a hit and miss although in this instance there’s far more of the former than the latter.  In many cases, the singer or band actually make it sound as if the song is one of their own, perhaps as much because it is nigh on impossible to mimic Leonard Cohen without sounding faintly ridiculous.

In the spirit of recent postings from Dave Glickman, I’ve decided to offer up a taster 5-track EP from the album for you.

Side A

  1. James – So Long Marianne
  2. David McComb & Adam Peters – Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On

Track 1 is mid-era stadium rock James demonstrating that they still had the ability to surprise folk.  The simple guitar ballad is given a big production treatment, led in particular by some sprightly trumpet playing from Andy Diagram while the bass of Jim Glennie and drums of David Paynton-Power make for a great listen..

Track 2 is courtesy of a collaboration between the late frontman/guitarist of The Triffids and an arranger who worked with, among others, Echo & The Bunnymen being responsible for much of the sound on Ocean Rain.  Leonard Cohen is known to have said that he loves this version and considers it a big improvement on his own recording which can be found on the Phil Spector-produced Death Of A Ladies’ Man.  Incidentally, the guitarist on this recording is none other than Will Sergeant….while Martin P Casey of The Bad Seeds and Grinderman contributes on bass

Side B

  1. The House Of Love – Who By Fire?
  2. Lloyd Cole – Chelsea Hotel #2
  3. John Cale – Hallelujah

Track 1 is rather lovely and shows a lesser known ballad-side to The House Of Love with Guy Chadwick in fine voice.

Track 2 is kind of Lloyd Cole by numbers but quite frankly that’s good enough for me on most occasions.

Track 3 is a rendition of a song which is now very well-known thanks to it being taken on for rendition by some non-entity or other in TV ‘talent’ shows but back in 1991 it was still a bit of a secret.  John Cale delivers a fragile but outstanding take with just himself on vocals and piano.  It’s as live…


10 thoughts on “HERE I AM, I’M YOUR FAN

  1. A very strong compilation. David McComb was a particular fan of the usually unloved ‘Death Of A Ladies’ Man’ LP, also covering ‘Memories’ with his ‘other’ band The Blackeyed Susans.

  2. It is a great comp, one of the best I own in fact. I’m a huge fan of the R.E.M. version of ‘First We Take Manhattan’, and the Pixies’ take on ‘I Can’t Forget’, but those are obvious choices for me. Also agree with James and House of Love, but I also love the Ian McCulloch track (and his cover of ‘Lover Lover Lover’ that he released as a singe around the same time).

    The Nick Cave track is ridiculous. The full version is about 20 minutes long and is even more bizarre than the cropped version here.

  3. As Swede and Robster said – a great compilation. I thought by myself to write about this comp in the next way. But you were faster. Love John Cale’s Version a lot.

  4. Personally, I think the Cale Hallelujah is the definitive one – if he hadn’t reinvented it on this compilation, it wouldn’t have the presence it has now, and Buckley’s version owes everything to Cale. I also think the Cale version is the best…. 🙂

  5. For reasons best known to myself I bought this as a cassette album back in the day. Thankfully it’s one of my cassettes that has survived better than most and I’ve been able to convert it to MP3. Very much in agreement with Robster re favourite tracks.

  6. I always like to hear Chelsea Hotel, no matter who sings it, because I used to live down the block from the old pile on 23rd street. I bought my first guitar amp from Chelsea Music, which was next to its famous lobby. But on this comp, the jewel is the Ian McCulloch tune. He’s an underrated singer (just ask him) and it was cool to hear him make a non-Bunnymen song his own.

  7. …and echoing Jacques, there’s a great ICA or article waiting to happen about residents of the Chelsea.

  8. Brilliant compilation! The McCulloch, Cale and House of Love tracks are my favorites, but I can listen to this one start to finish without hitting the FF button.

  9. I bought this for the Cale and Lilac Time tracks way back about a decade ago. I need to give it a spin to hear it again. I used to hear Cale’s version of “Hallelujah” on college radio at the time, but had forgotten it many years later when we saw Cale perform the track in a [stunning] concert and it seemed really familiar but it took me a while to remember that it was on this album.

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