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Baker's Dozen

Maximum Drama: Lee Ranaldo's 13 Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , November 8th, 2017 10:01

From the peak of CBGB new wave to the group he calls 'the defining band of the 90s', former Sonic Youth man Lee Ranaldo takes Nick Hutchings through the thirteen albums that shaped his life


Leonard Cohen - Songs Of Love And Hate

Leonard Cohen’s records were very well produced and orchestrated; this one is produced by Bob Johnston the same guy that worked with Dylan. I really just love the title of the record because it’s Songs of Love And Hate and that puts it all into perspective and kind of defines Leonard in a way, that the music is about emotion .

‘Avalanches’ is such an amazing song. I always loved that song, but I kind of came back to it after I heard Nick Cave’s version of it, because Cave’s version is so intense and brings out all the intensity of Leonard’s version. Leonard’s version is much more understated but once you hear Nick’s, Leonard’s is equally intense without having the electric guitars and the drums and all that.

Cohen’s another person I just constantly go back to for inspiration, especially these days as I’m writing more songs on my own and playing more acoustic guitar and getting deeper and deeper into the acoustic guitar. A lot of the Leonard songs are done not just on an acoustic guitar but a nylon string acoustic guitar – a real folk guitar. I just love his atmosphere.

Songs of Love And Hate is full of interesting songs that cover a whole range of emotions that folkies were supposed to cover but the idea of covering songs of hate: love and hate are two sides of the very same coin. It’s hard to break his songs down because they’re so enigmatic. That’s the Cohen album I chose this week, but next week it will be a different one.