Warnes,Jennifer - Famous Blue Raincoat
Famous Blue Raincoat
Notes / Reviews

Famous Blue Raincoat is the sixth album by Jennifer Warnes, and her first with the Private Music label. It debuted on the Billboard 200 on February 14, 1987 and peaked at No. 72.

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 tracks from Cohen's then-unreleased album I'm Your Man.

Guest contributors include guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Lindley and Robben Ford, 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. In August 2007, a remastered and expanded 20th anniversary edition was released.


*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

*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

*Programming – Chuck Barth, Todd Yyega

*Art Direction – Jennifer Warnes, Leslie Wintner

*Reissue design – Patricia Bukur

This text has been derived from Famous Blue Raincoat (album) on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

Artist/Band Information

Jennifer Jean Warnes (born March 3, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer. She is known for her interpretations of compositions written by herself and many others, as well as an extensive playlist as a vocalist on movie soundtracks.

Between 1979 and 1987 Warnes surpassed Frank Sinatra as the vocalist performing the most songs to be nominated for (four) and to win (three) the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Her biggest hits include two of these Billboard chart topping Oscar and Grammy winners - "Up Where We Belong" (duet with Joe Cocker, from the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman) and "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (duet with Bill Medley from the 1987 film Dirty Dancing).


Warnes was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Anaheim, California.

Her desire and ability to sing came early; at age seven she was offered her first recording contract, which her father turned down. She sang in church and local pageants, until age 17 when Warnes was offered an opera scholarship to Immaculate Heart College. She chose to sing folk music as it became popularized by Joan Baez in the mid-1960s. In 1968, after a few years with musical theatre and clubs, she signed with Parrot Records (a London Records subsidiary) and recorded her first LP. That year, she joined the cast of the television show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Early in her career, industry advisers suggested her surname, "Warren," should be changed to avoid confusion with Broadway and film actress Jennifer Warren, so she performed for a short time under the single name "Jennifer," later changing her last name to "Warnes."

In November 1968, Warnes (as "Jennifer Warren") portrayed the female lead in the Los Angeles, California production of the stage musical Hair. She had a related UK single release as 'Jennifer' on London HLU 10278 in June 1969 with 'Let The Sunshine In' c/w 'Easy To Be Hard', licensed from US Parrot label.

In 1971, she met Canadian poet/songwriter Leonard Cohen, who became a lifelong friend. She would eventually tour Europe with Cohen's band first as a back-up singer and then as vocal arranger and guest singer on Cohen's albums Live Songs, Various Positions, I'm Your Man, The Future, Field Commander Cohen and Recent Songs including a duet on a song titled "The Smokey Life".Death of a Ladies' Man (1979) . New York: CBS Records Inc. The liner notes for the album note that Warnes performed all "Harmony" vocals on the album, including the duet. Warnes would later (1987) record a critically acclaimed audiophile album of Cohen songs, Famous Blue Raincoat.

In 1976 Warnes released the album which would contain her breakthrough single, "Right Time of the Night," hitting No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart in April 1977 and No. 6 on the Billboard's Hot 100 in May 1977.

Warnes recorded the song "It Goes Like It Goes" for the 1979 motion picture Norma Rae. The song went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Her 1979 single, "I Know A Heartache When I See One," was a Top 10 Country hit and reached the Top 20 on both the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts.

Warnes recorded the Randy Newman composition "One More Hour" for the 1981 motion picture Ragtime. This became her second performance of a song to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Warnes teamed up with Joe Cocker to record "Up Where We Belong" for the 1982 motion picture An Officer and a Gentleman. Written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Will Jennings and Jack Nitzsche, the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and Golden Globe Award. The song also won Warnes and Cocker the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The million-selling Gold-certified 45 was released as a single and hit No. 1 (for three weeks running) on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and stands as Jennifer's biggest selling disc being certified 'Platinum' for over two million sales in the United States alone. The same year, she recorded a moving performance of James Taylor's Millworker for the American Playhouse PBS production of Working.

Warnes teamed up with Bill Medley to record "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" for the 1987 motion picture Dirty Dancing. This marked the third song performed by Warnes to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song and Golden Globe Award. The song also won Warnes and Medley the Grammy Award for Duo or Group with Vocal, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent four consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

On September 30, 1987 at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, she contributed background vocals for Roy Orbison's star-studded television special Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night.

She recorded a duet with B. J. Thomas, "As Long As We've Got Each Other," the theme for the TV show, Growing Pains. Thomas's later duet performance of the selection with Dusty Springfield, however, became the better-known version.

In August 2007, the Shout Factory Records label re-released the 20th anniversary edition of Famous Blue Raincoat, with a 24-page booklet and four additional songs. The Hunter was re-released in 2009, and The Well was scheduled for re-release in June 2010.

All remasters were high quality 24K Gold discs and high quality vinyls. "Famous Blue Raincoat" was released with 4 bonus tracks. "The Hunter" was released without bonus material. The re-released "The Well," however, was announced to contain a total of 14 tracks; these were to include two recordings from the original session that had never before been heard publicly and one extra bonus selection, to be performed as a duo with Bill Medley.

Warnes has contributed to tribute recordings to Ian Tyson, Warren Zevon and Alejandro Escovedo.In 2009, she conducted a much awaited tour of the west and northwest, and was in top vocal form singing CD favorites and new material. In 2010, Warnes started work on a new solo recording of original and cover songs at Capitol Records. The title of this album had not been revealed as of June 2010, nor had a release date for it been announced by that time.




Compilation albums

* The Best of Jennifer Warnes Arista 1982 US #47

* Just Jennifer unauthorized (England) 1992

* Best: First We Take Manhattan unauthorized (Germany) 2000

* Platinum and Gold Collection with errors in actual tracks, not Jennifer singing, 2004 (recalled)


This text has been derived from Jennifer Warnes on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

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