The first time I heard Bruce Cockburn was on KCRW… and the first song I heard of his was “Wondering Where the Lions Are.” This 1979 song from the album Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws was his first hit in the US.
It is one of those songs that has just stayed with me forever, and will periodically and without explanation pop into my head. I have even been known on occasion to start singing it out loud, and this has not been limited to visits to the zoo!
Bruce Cockburn – Anything Anytime Anywhere: Singles 1979-2002
Pronounced Koh-bern, this Canadian singer-songwriter can be added to the list of treasures that have been given to us by the northern most state of the US… I am kidding… or as they say up north… Sore ee. I love Canada and I love making that joke. It just irks the Canucks I know… that is, until they start in on their superior health care system and the fact that the dollar is no longer the deal it was… and oh yeah, Roots… the fabulous sporting goods store I so cherish.
Cockburn was raised agnostic but became a devout Christian… did not know that… and his beliefs have an impact on both his 70s albums and his activism for human rights and the environment. Thanks, Wikipedia…
Some of my favorite artists have covered him like, Barenaked Ladies, Jimmy Buffett, Michael Hedges, Dan Fogelberg, Donavon Frankenreiter, Tom Rush and k.d. lang. In fact, k.d. lang’s cover album, Hymns of the 49th Parallel is some of the most gorgeous music and tunes you will ever hear. I need to add that to my list of listens for sure.
I know this is a compilation… a greatest hits… a collection… but for an artist a lot of you may not really know this is a great place to start… but please, by all means, go deeper. His music is worth exploring and devouring.
Apologies to Eric for not being able to join him on his birthday outing to see BC a few months ago at the El Rey. I regret not going for sure.
Out of these 16 tracks, my favorites are, of course, “Lion” but also “Tokyo,” “Lovers in a Dangerous Time,” (that got a lot of radio play!!!) “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” “Waiting For a Miracle,” “Pacing the Cage” (so beautiful, this one just kills me…) and “Anything Anytime Anywhere.”
Bruce Cockburn was able to do quite a lot through 26 albums, and although he never had a major breakthrough here, this collection reveals a number of hits, styles, poetry and important message songs he gave and still gives the world.
Oh Canada!!! Thanks!