First We Take Manhattan


Senior Member
Prepping for an upcoming gig. One of the songs is First We Take Manhattan by Jennifer Warnes (lyrics by Leonard Cohen).

I have heard it many times over the years. Appreciated the lyrics, the production, and the tasteful playing. A simple, solid groove with just the right amount of spice.

Once I started digging into the song, assimilating the essentials so I can own/drive it... I started geeking out. Odin's beard there is some tasty playing on this song!!!

Wondering if anyone else on the forum has covered it?

If you are looking for a new 'song study' project. I highly recommend this one.

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Yes, that song has a great groove.
I hope you have a good bass player that you can hook up with for this song.

I think I would be on the hi hat for the verses and the ride for the chorus and bridge.

Groove on.............



Platinum Member


Senior Member
@Hollywood Jim - Yes, a VERY good bass player for this project. Someone I have worked with before. We have a great musical rapport.

@alparrot - I forgot about the REM cover. They definitely made the song their own.


Senior Member
Well yeah - tasty it is! That's Vinnie Colaiuta on drums :)

After I started digging in to the song, and transcribing it, I did a search to find out who played on it. I had to know who it was.

Burst out laughing when I read the personnel list... of course it was Vinnie! :D