Bruce Cockburn's 30-Year True North Catalogue Finds A Haven at Rounder Records
POSTED: SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2002
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 17, 2002
BRUCE COCKBURN’s 30-YEAR TRUE NORTH ALBUM CATALOG FINDS A HAVEN AT ROUNDER RECORDS
Long-term reissue campaign begins with 24-bit digitally remastered editions of IN THE FALLING DARK (1976), FURTHER ADVENTURES OF (1978), DANCING IN THE DRAGON’S JAWS (1979), INNER CITY FRONT (1981), and THE TROUBLE WITH NORMAL (1983), each with bonus material
Full version of 1990 LIVE concert album now includes "If I Had a Rocket Launcher"
Newly-commissioned liner note essays written by Canadian music authority Nicholas Jennings,
author of Before the Gold Rush
First 6 albums arrive in stores October 29TH; follow-up to Rounder compilation released in January,
Anything Anytime Anywhere (Singles 1979-2002)
The prodigious album catalog of Rounder recording artist Bruce Cockburn, which has earned him music industry as well as cultural and state awards around the world, will be the focus of the most ambitious and extensive reissue campaign ever devoted to one artist in Rounder’s history. Set to arrive in stores October 29TH in deluxe packages are new editions of IN THE FALLING DARK (originally issued in 1976), FURTHER ADVENTURES
OF (1978), DANCING IN THE DRAGON’S JAWS (1979), INNER CITY FRONT (1981), and THE TROUBLE WITH NORMAL (1983).
A sixth album, simply titled LIVE, recorded at Toronto’s Ontario Place in 1989 and issued the following year, completes this initial series of entries in the Bruce Cockburn catalog. The original 14-track double-LP is now restored to include a 15th track, "If I Had a Rocket Launcher."
The six titles follow up last January’s release of Cockburn’s first album for Rounder, the 16-song Anything Anytime Anywhere (Singles 1979-2002). The aptly titled compilation showed that, over the course of the last two decades (plus), Bruce Cockburn has managed to apply his distinctive stamp on progressive radio waves with stunning regularity.
From his very first U.S. breakthrough hit "Wondering Where the Lions Are" (heard on DANCING IN THE DRAGON’S JAWS), through the never-ending string of career-defining songs that won new fans through the ’80s and ’90s – "If I Had a Rocket Launcher," "Lovers In a Dangerous Time," "Call It Democracy," "Last Night of the World," and more – the collection showcased an artist who has stayed committed to the cutting edge. It was bolstered by two brand new tracks, "My Beat" and the title track "Anything Anytime Anywhere."
All six album reissues were digitally remastered at the E Room in Toronto by engineer Peter Moore, utilizing 24-bit technology. The five studio album recordings have all been expanded to conclude with one to four bonus tracks each; the 70-minute Live album is issued in its original sequence, interrupted only by the addition of "If I Had a Rocket Launcher." Each of the six albums feature its own newly-commissioned liner note essay written by Nicholas Jennings, a Cockburn aficionado and author of Before the Gold Rush, a critically acclaimed history of the Yorkville (Toronto) heyday of Canadian music in the 1960s.
This first wave of releases encompass a fascinating period in Bruce Cockburn’s life – as he made the transition from the acoustic folk setting of the mid-’70s to a more jazz-informed approach in the ’80s. The scope of Cockburn’s artistry at this point in his career paved the way for his timely embrace of the (then as-yet unnamed) "world beat." These new rhythms would gradually facilitate the musical expression of his concerns for global crises at home in North America and throughout the third world, concerns that occupy him to this day.
Recipient of the Order Of Canada and Juno awards numbering in the double-digits in his native country, Holland’s prestigious Edison award, countless worldwide gold, platinum, and multi-platinum certifications – Bruce Cockburn is one of our treasured musical resources. Can it really be more than three decades since he earned his first consecutive Juno awards as "Folksinger of the Year" in 1971, ’72, and ’73?
In 1970 Bernie Finkelstein inaugurated the True North label in Toronto with Bruce Cockburn’s self-titled debut album. Finkelstein was, and continues to be, Bruce Cockburn’s manager. Over the decades, Cockburn’s 26 True North albums have been issued on various prominent U.S. labels, (among them Columbia, Epic, and Island), but
now, nearly the entire back catalog will have its home at Rounder. Rounder, of course, will also be releasing
Cockburn’s 27th album, currently in the recording process, and set to arrive in stores next year.
"Over the course of 32 years and nearly as many recordings," Jennings writes, "the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter has always pushed the musical envelope. Never one to rest on his creative laurels, he has constantly tried on new ideas without ever abandoning the fabric of earlier material. The result is a rich body of work – deep, diverse and never disappointing – that stands the test of time and includes some of the most sophisticated and evocative songs in pop music." The initial six albums in the Bruce Cockburn reissue campaign shake down as follows:
IN THE FALLING DARK
Originally released in 1976, In the Falling Dark was the first of a trilogy of recordings that bridged Bruce Cockburn’s acoustic work of the early ’70s with his electric period a decade later. It’s a landmark album, one that announced Cockburn’s arrival as an important songwriter. But it’s also a generative recording, planting the creative seeds that came to fruition fully on the subsequent studio albums Further Adventures Of and Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws. With its compelling songs and majestic sweep, In the Falling Dark is the perfect place to discover the impressive range of Bruce Cockburn’s artistry.
IN THE FALLING DARK by Bruce Cockburn (Rounder 11661-3206-2, originally recorded
1976) Selections: 1. Lord of the Starfields • 2. Vagabondage • 3. In the Falling Dark o 4. Little Seahorse • 5. Water Into Wine • 6. Silver Wheels • 7. Giftbearer • 8. Gavin’s Woodpile • 9. I’m Gonna Fly Some Day • 10. Festival of Friends • Bonus tracks: 11. Red Brother Red Sister • 12. Untitled Guitar • 13. Shepherds • 14. Dweller by a Dark Stream.
FURTHER ADVENTURES OF
With the success and attention that came after the release of his 1976 album In the Falling Dark, Bruce Cockburn’s world grew suddenly when the acclaimed singer-songwriter made his first performance ventures outside of Canada, to Japan and the northeastern United States. Around this same time, Cockburn also encountered the work of a number of freethinking writers whose books became a strong influence. Absorbing brave new ideas and influences from near and far, the aptly titled Further Adventures Of (originally released in 1978) continues the spirited acoustic jazz of Cockburn’s previous recording and finds him in full, exploratory flight.
FURTHER ADVENTURES OF (Rounder 11661-3208-2, originally recorded April-May 1978)
Selections: 1. Rainfall • 2. A Montréal Song • 3. Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand • 4. Prenons La Mer • 5. Red Ships Take Off in the Distance • 6. Laughter • 7. Bright Sky • 8. Feast of Fools • 9. Can I Go With You • 10. Nanzen Ji • Bonus track: 11. Mountain Call.
DANCING IN THE DRAGON’S JAWS
Rounding out the 1970s and completing a trilogy of acoustic jazz-folk albums that included In the Falling Dark and Further Adventures Of, Bruce Cockburn’s Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws stands as both an era-ending album and a cumulative release that neatly built on the strengths of its predecessors. Featuring some of his finest guitar work ever, the album was voted an "essential" recording by Acoustic Guitar magazine, putting Cockburn in the prestigious company of such revered pickers as Django Reinhardt, Andrés Segovia, Bill Frisell and Mississippi John Hurt. It also provided Cockburn with a commercial breakthrough on the strength of his buoyant Top 40 hit "Wondering Where the Lions Are."
DANCING IN THE DRAGON’S JAWS by Bruce Cockburn (Rounder 11661-3209-2, originally recorded May-June 1979) Selections: 1. Creation Dream • 2. Hills of Morning • 3. Badlands Flashback • 4. Northern Lights • 5. After the Rain • 6. Wondering Where the Lions Are • 7. Incandescent Blue • 8. No Footprints • Bonus tracks: 9. Dawn Music • 10. Bye Bye Idi.
INNER CITY FRONT
For Bruce Cockburn, the months leading up to Inner City Front’s 1981 release had been fraught with change: his marriage of 10 years dissolved, leading him to switch from country to city life. Taking an apartment in downtown Toronto, he assembled a band of crack musicians and adopted a more rugged, urban sound. Gone were most traces of the Gentle Folkie of the late 1960s and even the Mystic Christian of the ’70s. In their place was the Bruce Cockburn of the ’80s, highly politicized and sporting an electric guitar.
INNER CITY FRONT by Bruce Cockburn (Rounder 11661-3211-2, originally recorded April-June
1981) Selections: 1. You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance • 2. The Strong One • 3. All’s Quiet on the Inner City Front • 4. Radio Shoes • 5. Wanna Go Walking • 6. And We Dance • 7. Justice • 8. Broken Wheel • 9. Loner • Bonus tracks: 10. The Coldest Night of the Year • 11. The Light Goes On Forever.
THE TROUBLE WITH NORMAL
Bruce Cockburn's political activism is immediately apparent on The Trouble With Normal, an album bristling with anger and outrage. Perhaps the heaviest song on the album is the synth-laden title track. Citing labor strikes, tenant struggles and Third World subjugation, Cockburn laments "the grinding devolution of the democratic dream." Essentially, it’s a rejection of the status quo and a call to action. "The trouble with normal," warns the chorus, "is it always gets worse." When Cockburn performed the song in the summer of 2002, he introduced it this way: "This is an old song that seemed timely when I wrote it and unfortunately it still does." Like Inner City Front and its predecessor, Humans, The Trouble with Normal is a rich testament to Bruce Cockburn’s increasingly sophisticated sound-and worldview.
THE TROUBLE WITH NORMAL by Bruce Cockburn (Rounder 11661-3212-2, originally recorded September 1982 January 1983) Selections: 1. The Trouble with Normal • 2. Candy Man’s Gone • 3. Hoop Dancer • 4. Waiting for the Moon • 5. Tropic Moon • 6. Going Up Against Chaos • 7. Put Our Hearts Together • 8. Civilization and Its Discontent • 9. Planet of the Clowns • Bonus tracks: 10. Cala Luna • 11. I Wanna Dance with You.
Bruce Cockburn’s concerts are always a wonder to behold: expansive, entrancing and full of surprises. Live, recorded in August 1989, has all of those qualities in abundance. With songs dating from 1976’s In the Falling Dark to 1987’s Waiting for a Miracle albums, it features a cross-section of the Canadian artist’s finest material-although some of it has been dramatically reinterpreted. For Cockburn, this is half the fun. As the acclaimed singer-songwriter once told an interviewer: "I don’t feel any obligation to slavishly duplicate what’s on the record." Along with his deeply personal declarations of faith and highly passionate songs of social criticism, the album boasts a carefree quality and even a comical side that never comes across on his studio recordings.
LIVE by Bruce Cockburn (Rounder 11661-3216-2, originally recorded August 14-15, 1989) Selections:
1. Silver Wheels • 2. World of Wonders • 3. Rumours of Glory • 4. See How I Miss You • 5. After the Rain • 6. Call It Democracy • 7. Tibetan Side of Town • 8. Wondering Where the Lions Are • 9. Nicaragua • Bonus track: 10. If I Had a Rocket Launcher 11. Broken Wheel • 12. Stolen Land • 13. To Raise the Morning Star • 14. Maybe the Poet • 15. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Track 10, If I Had a Rocket Launcher, is the bonus track).