Release date: April 1969
Songs from a Room is the second album of Canadian musician Leonard Cohen. All songs are written by Leonard Cohen except "The Partisan" by Hy Zaret and Anna Marly. It reached #63 on the Billboard list and #2 at UK charts.
Cohen reportedly said he chose producer Bob Johnston to achieve the spartan sound he considered appropriate for his songs, after the disputes he had with John Simon during the mixing sessions of Songs of Leonard Cohen. The album also features some prominent (if strictly ornamental) Jew's harp. The album's sound is thus closer to the archetype (or stereotype) of an "early" Leonard Cohen record.
Among uncredited sessions musicians it is known that Ron Cornelius played acoustic and electric guitar, Charlie Daniels played bass, fiddle and acoustic guitar, Elkin «Bubba» Fowler participated on banjo, bass and acoustic guitar, while producer Bob Johnston played keyboards. Interestingly, Johnston toured with Cohen in 1970 and 1972 (playing keyboards, harmonica and guitar), leading to termination of his collaboration with Bob Dylan.
In sheet music for the album, a song titled "Priests" was included, and although reportedly recorded, it didn't appear on the actual LP or any other Cohen record. The song was recorded by Judy Collins on her 1967 album Wildflowers, and by Richie Havens on his 1969 album Richard P. Havens, 1983.
Songs from a Room was released on CD in 1990. In 2001, French musician Red released a re-recording of the entire album.
In 2009, the album was included in Hallelujah - The Essential Leonard Cohen Album Collection, an 8-CD box set issued by Sony Music in the Netherlands.