Format: CD – double
Label: True North
Rel. Date: 12/03/2021
The consummate collection curated by Bruce Cockburn himself, presents 30 songs over a double album that defines the acclaimed singer-songwriters’ 50 year career. These songs are both the ones that shot to the top of the charts when they were released, and also are the fan favourites most often requested at Bruce’s concerts. With over 125 minutes of music, and notes on each song by the artist.
1. Going to the Country (3:12)
2. Musical Friends* (2:57)
3. One Day I Walk (3:08)
4. Mama Just Wants to Barrelhouse All Night Long (6:26)
5. All the Diamonds (2:41)
6. Silver Wheels (4:42)
7. Wondering Where the Lions Are (3:44)
8. Tokyo (3:29)
9. Rumours of Glory (5:03)
10. The Coldest Night of the Year (4:26)
11. Wanna Go Walking (2:54)
12. The Trouble With Normal (3:37)
13. Lovers in a Dangerous Time (4:06)
14. If I Had a Rocket Launcher (4:59)
15. Call it Democracy (3:52)
16. People See Through You (3:46)
1. Waiting For A Miracle (4:50)
2. Stolen Land (5:42)
3. If A Tree Falls (5:42)
4. A Dream Like Mine (4:55)
5. Listen For The Laugh (4:06)
6. Night Train (6:14)
7. Pacing The Cage (4:38)
8. Last Night of the World (4:52)
9. Anything, Anytime, Anywhere (3:35)
10. Open (4:03)
11. Put It In Your Heart (4:03)
12. Different When It Comes To You (2:57)
13. Call Me Rose (3:16)
14. States I’m In (5:41)
Compilation produced by: Bernie Finkelstein, Bruce Cockburn and Colin Linden
Song Notes by Bruce Cockburn
Mastered by Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound, New Jersey.
All songs written by Bruce Cockburn except “Stolen Land” which is written by Bruce Cockburn and Hugh Marsh.
All songs published by Rotten Kiddies Music LLC (BMI). All Rights Administered by Round Hill Carlin LLC.
Except “Stolen Land” which is published by Rotten Kiddies Music LLC (BMI) All Rights Administered by Round Hill Carlin LLC and Hugh William Marsh
And “Going To The Country”, “Musical Friends” and “States I’m In” which are published by Holy Drone Corp. (SOCAN)
Art Direction, design and layout by A Man Called Wrycraft, Toronto
Cover Photograph by Resa Blobaum
Inner Sleeve Photograph by Graham Nash (shot at Mariposa Folk Festival 1970)
Inside Photography by Daniel Keebler, Kevin Kelly, Bart Schoales & George Pastic
Thanks go out to : Bernie Finkelstein, Geoff Kulawick, Eugene Martynec, Jonathan Goldsmith and Kerry Crawford, Colin Linden and all the humans whose presence fed these songs through inspiration, playing on the recordings and live, and just paying attention to them.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Dept of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.
Direction: The Finkelstein Management Company Ltd.
The Rocking Magpie:
A Mastercraftsman’s Work over 50 Marvellous and Interesting Years.
Living in the UK, as I do I wasn’t aware of Canadian Legend, Bruce Cockburn for 45 or more years of this magnificent retrospective; which is probably why I’ve become besotted with this album over the last week.
While Cockburn’s voice is instantly recognisable; each and every one of these tracks are inherently different and document how the singer and songwriter has not just evolved over that half century but experimented and seamlessly switched genres with ease as the years have gone by too. The package starts with Going to the Country from his 1970 debut album; and beautifully charts a trip from Ottawa to Montreal in a sparkling solo acoustic style; and is followed by Musical Friends where Cockburn takes on the role of a full on band on a song that sounds very ‘New York’ to me. Two very different songs from the same album set the scene for what is to follow, with Cockburn; unlike many of his contempories; resting on his laurels constantly repeating himself.
For me; and I suppose many who receive this Double Album as a Christmas present; there are surprises around every corner; not just with the songs but the accompanying photographs which seem to chart Bruce metamorphizing from his Elton John period via John Lennon until he becomes the handsome theologian we now know him as.
Obviously with thirty songs representing half a century of songwriting; everyone will like different periods; but quite a few songs have really caught my attention; especially the dark Bluesy duet with Kathryn Moses, Mama Just Wants to Barrelhouse All Night Long, the dreamy Wondering Where the Lions Are and the horribly imaginative If I Had a Rocket Launcher which should have been ‘of its time’; but is sadly still relevant about so many conflicts around the world in 2021!
As the first album unrolls and the second disc begins; we find Cockburn dabbling in 80’s and 90’s AOR but doing it in such a way People See Right Through You Waiting For a Miracle and, of course A Dream Like Mine, still sound fresh today.
Obviously not everyone Bruce Cockburn shared a stage or studio with 50 years ago are still on the scene never mind pertinent today, as he himself is …… but latter day songs like Listen For a Laugh, Open and the finale States I’m In could only have been written and performed by someone who has had a life well lived and is comfortable in his own skin.
With so many delights to choose from it’s not been easy selecting a single Favourite Song …… do I go for the prescient Coldest Night of the Year? Any of the wryly observed Political opus’s, Call It Democracy, Stolen Land or If a Tree Falls?
Cockburn can really dig deep to write a love song too; so the melancholic shuffle Anything, Anytime, Anywhere has to be in the running as does All The Diamonds in the World from way back when in 1973; but a song from Cockburn’s Electro-AOR period in 1981 has stood the test of time; and somehow sounds like a soundtrack to the 21st Century …… The Trouble With Normal when played very loud is far and away the biggest surprise here for me; and therefore my Favourite Song.
Even though I have Bruce Cockburn’s last three releases; this retrospective has been illuminating from start to finish and really and truly showcases a Mastercraftsman at work over 50 marvellous and interesting years. ~ The Rocking Magpie
The best of Bruce Cockburn a must pick
It was the late 1970s when I picked up my first Bruce Cockburn album. I’m sure it was at Album Alley and Stanley Young, as he often did, recommended it to me. He knew my taste, intricate music and intelligent lyrics, on the edge not something you’d hear on many radio stations.
There was a single on the album “Wondering Where The Lions Are,” but Bruce was Canadian so airplay was light, at the time, in the states. He’d written it in Ottawa. The album was Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws. In remembering, Bruce said this about the song, “The sun was bright. The sky was blue. Russia and China were not having a nuclear war. The lions in the dream were safely distant and regally beautiful, but they were out there …”
That taste for the intricate and intelligent has stayed with Bruce, so his albums and songs have stayed with me throughout the years.
And now, a good friend of mine, Mark Pucci, of Mark Pucci Media is handling the public relations for the latest Bruce Cockburn Greatest Hits (1970 – 2020) and sent me a copy.
During those years, Bruce has produced over 30 albums, many I’ve owned on album, cassette or CD. He is a very gifted songwriter and guitar player. His song styles range from folk to jazz-influenced rock and his lyrics cover a broad range of topics including human rights, environmental issues, politics, and Christianity.
A few of my favorites are: “The Trouble With Normal” — Bruce said, “Each time we allow ourselves to get used to some new ugliness, we set the stage for something worse. It wasn’t hard, even back then, to see what was coming.”
“If I Had a Rocket Launcher” — Bruce said, “Think RPG. Two jungle camps by the Guatemalan border, eight thousand frightened, starving Mayans, terrible accounts of massacre and atrocity told against the coming and going of throbbing, predatory helicopter engines …”
“If a Tree Falls” — Bruce said, “A radio documentary on some college station about the destruction of Borneo rainforest — a resonance with the temperate rainforests of BC — the Amazon in flames ….”
“Pacing the Cage” — Bruce said, “Triggered by a dramatic sunset, a lament at the sense of being stuck … Not, as one fan suggested a suicide note.” Parrotheads may recognize it. Jimmy Buffett did a cover of it. And finally,
“Last Night of the World.” — Bruce said, “Linda Manzer’s house. Y2K approaching. Sam Phillips’question in response to my wisecrack that my shoulder bag contained “everything I need for the apocalypse.” She said, “What do you need for the apocalypse except champagne and a couple of glasses.”
There are 30 songs in all and by now, you should know if you’re going to become a fan of Bruce Cockburn or not.
Do not miss this one. Seek it out. You’ll be glad you did.