Dion: Sisters of Mercy (1968)

 |   |  1 min read

Dion: Sisters of Mercy (1968)
Two parallel stories of birth here.

Sisters of Mercy was on Leonard Cohen's debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen and thus was his birth – at 33 – as a recording artist.

For Dion however, who'd had a lengthy career on the pop charts and was something of a teen idol, it was a rebirth when, at almost 30, he looked to songwriters like Dylan, Fred Neil, Joni Mitchell, Hendrix and Cohen on his new direction album which was simply entitled Dion.

Regrettably the album didn't work for him in terms of sales – despite the inclusion of the huge hit Abraham Martin and John – but was much admired by critics and mature fans.

71Iezess1VL._SL1200_Aside from the odd chamber music setting, Dion brings a keen understanding to the lyrics which Cohen later said he wrote in just one sitting, “that never happened to me before. Or since”.

Numerous other artists have covered this song (Beth Orton, Emmylou Harris with Linda Ronstadt, and of course Judy Collins) but this version appears on a fine compilation album Hallelujah; The Songs of Leonard Cohen (Ace, through Border) which features Cohen songs interpreted by Nina Simone, Collins, Joe Cocker, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Marianne Faithfull and . . . yes, Jeff Buckley on the title track.

Lots of interesting Cohen quotes and such in the thick booklet also.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

Patrick - Jul 15, 2019

Terrible. What was all that phoney baroque winkydink? The Dion of Runaround Sue was brilliant.

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Kurtis Blow: The Breaks Part 1 (1980)

Kurtis Blow: The Breaks Part 1 (1980)

It seems a curious thing that in hip-hop -- which often brags about how much it respects its past -- the briefly famous Kurtis Blow should have disappeared from the landscape. But The Breaks... > Read more

Paul McCartney: My Valentine (2012)

Paul McCartney: My Valentine (2012)

For the past few years on this day (February 14), it has been Elsewhere's habit to post the lovely Valentine by Nils Lofgren (with help from Bruce Springsteen) but this time . . . Paul... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SLY DUNBAR INTERVIEWED (2003): Pull up to the drummer, baby

SLY DUNBAR INTERVIEWED (2003): Pull up to the drummer, baby

Silly question maybe, but you have to start by asking drummer Sly Dunbar -- one half of the legendary Sly'n'Robbie rhythm section alongside bassist Robbie Shakespeare -- what he's been up to... > Read more

Various Artists: Native America Calling; Music from Indian Country (Trikont/Yellow Eye)

Various Artists: Native America Calling; Music from Indian Country (Trikont/Yellow Eye)

A few Native Amercans have appeared previously at Elsewhere: the late jazz saxophonist Jim Pepper has an Essential Elsewhere album with Comin' and Goin'; the activist, poet, singer and actor John... > Read more