Three years after his death in November 2016, Leonard Cohen’s posthumous album Thanks for the Dance was released on Friday.
As a companion to the album, a new mini-documentary has also been released, “The Story of Thanks for the Dance”.
In the doc, the music icon’s son, Adam Cohen, reveals how the album came to be.
“When my father saw the success of You Want It Darker right before he passed, he asked me, ‘Complete the task. Finish the songs that we started,’” says Adam Cohen.
Prior to his death, Cohen recorded the vocals, which were then enhanced by the posthumous addition of instrumentation and special guests including Beck, Leslie Feist, Damien Rice, Daniel Lanois, members of Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire, and more.
“At the time [Cohen] sang these, he knew we wouldn’t be very alive for very long,” says Feist the doc. “And with all of that lifetime of truth-telling, soothsaying, he presents these new ideas that are very much about living and not about dying.”
Adam Cohen explains the meaning behind the album’s title: “Thanks for the dance of life. Thanks for the highs, the lows, the sweetness, the bitterness, the tragedy, the comedy, the beauty, the sourness, the lightness… it’s what he would have called it. That’s what he referred to it as. ‘This dance.’ How lightly we’re all here.”
Thanks for the Dance dropped on Friday, Nov. 22.