Montreal-based singer-songwriter, John Cody releases his fourth album Hard Won: The Final Recordings (ole red dot / Universal Music Canada) on May 26, 2017. Recorded in 14 studios across three different countries and produced by Dan (Danno) Marnien (Joni Mitchell), GRAMMY Award-winner Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock), Bill Bell (Jason Mraz), Blake Manning, Peter Fusco and Cody himself, Hard Won: The Final Recordings is a soul-baring album reflecting on Cody’s life with stories of love, heartbreak, fame and coping with illness.
“For me, this record was about being able to make my last statement. It’s a chance to say thank you to the incredible artists I’ve worked with over the years, my friends, supporters, and fans,” said Cody. “From recording the first song to the day I completed the album, it reflects the arc of my career.”
“It has been an incredible honour for the ole team to be a part of this project and work with John on this release. This album was something that personally resonated with me,” said Tracey Singer, Senior Director, ole Label Group. “We look forward to sharing his story and music with the world.”
For Cody, recording Hard Won: The Final Recordings was a race against time. In May 2016, he was told his larynx was laced with cancer and would have to be removed within weeks. Rather than resign to bed rest, Cody pushed the operation to finish his final vocals. When ole, founder and CEO Robert Ott heard Cody’s work and story, Ott was moved and offered to finish Hard Won: The Final Recordings through ole’s red dot label. The resulting work is both personal and relatable as Cody poetically chronicles his own truth. Cody says this is his last album as the surgery impaired his voice, for both singing and speaking.
With 13-original songs and three covers, Hard Won: The Final Recordings features a notable list of contributors and guests including JUNO Award-nominee Damnhait Doyle, multiple GRAMMY Award-winner Jennifer Warnes, The Bros. Landreth’s Joey Landreth, Golden Globe Award-winner and Academy Award-nominee Sharon Stone and JUNO Award-winner Tom Cochrane.
A formidable songwriter, arranger, co-author, music director and multi-talented musician playing 13 different instruments on this album alone, Cody has written with Keith Urban, Christopher Ward (“Black Velvet”), and John Capek (“Rhythm of My Heart”), as well as co-writing GRAMMY-winner Bonnie Raitt’s Fundamental and Holly Cole’s Dark, Dear Heart. Cody is also credited as vocal arranger on Tom Cochrane’s Mad Mad World. Working as music director from 1998 to 2004 for the legendary Les Deux Cafés in Los Angeles, Cody performed in the presence of Sting, Robbie Robertson and Prince with artists Joni Mitchell, Grace Jones and Boy George. Previous works of Cody’s include critically-acclaimed, Canadian-releases, Painful Righteous Bliss (2012), In Darkness Visible (1996) and Zelig Belmondo (1993).
Hard Won: The Final Recordings would not have been made possible without the support of olered dot, Slaight Music and the generous contributors through crowdfunding efforts.
Hard Won: The Final Recordings – Track Listing
1. Is It Freedom In A Cage
2. The Devil’s Radio
3. It’s Not Bound To Calm Down
4. The Road Is Long
5. Cheers (Thanks A Lot) feat. Jennifer Warnes
6. You You You feat. Damhnait Doyle
7. Sweet Mercies
8. Little Red Corvette – Written by Prince (Live at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, Ontario)
9. It’s Not That Hard feat. Kamasi Washington
10. When Something Is Wrong With You Something Is Wrong With Me feat. Kate Markowitz
11. Solidarity feat. Greg Leisz
12. Hallelujah feat. Lionel Cole – Written by Leonard Cohen
13. Back To California feat. Hugh Marsh
14. The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar feat. Tom Cochrane, Lisa Stone and Joey Landreth,
and Damhnait Doyle – Written by Bob Dylan
15. I Am An Open Door (dedicated to Eva Batalla-Mann) feat. Perla Batalla
16. Cut To The Bone feat. Perla Batalla, Kate Markowitz, and Greg Leisz