Release date: November 1977
Death of a Ladies' Man is the fifth of Leonard Cohen's studio albums. Produced and co-written by the storied Phil Spector, it was a surprise to some fans when the voice of typically minimalist Cohen was surrounded, some critics said submerged, completely by Spector's Wall of Sound, which included mulitple tracks of instrument overdubs. The album was originally released by Warner Bros., but was later picked up by Cohen's longtime label, Columbia Records.
15 songs were written by the two over a course of three weeks, and Spector described it as "some great fuckin' music". Not everyone agreed with this assessment, preferring Cohen's earlier acoustic folk music to the jazz-, rock- and even funk-influenced arrangements. Among the seven unknown outtakes is probably "Do I Have to Dance All Night". A live recording was released in France as a single in 1976. Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg sang backup vocals on the chorus of "Don't Go Home with Your Hard-on".
Death of a Ladies' Man was recorded in Los Angeles, California. Before Cohen had completed his vocals, Spector barred him from the studio (supposedly under armed guard) and mixed the album by himself. For this reason some of the songs only have "guiding vocals" originally meant to be redone later. Interviewed for the 2005 documentary I'm Your Man, Cohen expressed disappointment in the record and felt that the songs "got away" from him; he also noted that it was a favorite among "punksters" as well as his daughter.