Cohen’s fifth studio album is changing his sound from minimalist to more elaborate and ornate, with producer Phil Spector adding layers of arrangements. It was the only project they did together, as Spector’s continuing erratic behaviour just didn’t work out for Cohen.
In a biography about Phil Spector, Dave Thompson noted an incident featuring Spector shooting a pistol in the studio and John Lennon commenting dryly: Listen Phil, if you’re goin’ to kill me, kill me, but don’t fuck with me ears. I need ’em. Two years later and with Leonard Cohens sales numbers dwindling, the two were put together to produce a record. It was not a success.
The woman on the right of Cohen in the picture is the woman he actually was with in the Seventies. Suzanne Elrod was an artist. The two never married, and broke up in 1979, two years after this album came out.