James Murphy wanted Leonard Cohen to appear on American Dream closer

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem said that had he not died, Cohen would have been approached for a spoken word section at the end of Black Screen

In an interview for our cover feature on LCD Soundsystem this month, James Murphy revealed to us that he had initially imagined featuring Lou Reed for a spoken word section during the long instrumental ending of album closer Black Screen. With Reed having died during the six years since their previous record, and some years before the recording of American Dream, Murphy then planned to ask Leonard Cohen, only for him to pass away days after the decision to ask him had been made. The experience was a disconcerting one.

As Murphy told Thomas Frost for Crack Magazine: “I said I wanted a spoken word bit done at the end. I said it would be amazing to have Lou Reed on the end of that song but he’d died. But then I said ‘I feel like I could talk to Leonard Cohen, let’s call Leonard Cohen and maybe he’ll do it’ and then he died like three days later and I’m like… ‘fuck off’. I’m not going to ask anybody else because they’re just going to die.” Black Screen instead ends with several minutes of muted, piano-led drifting.

American Dream is out now via DFA and Columbia. Read the full cover story here.

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