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Bruce Cockburn

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Album Review

Bruce Cockburn's self-titled debut's blend of diversity, enthusiasm, and innocence never quite resurfaced again in his work, especially in his more clinical, politically inclined tracts of later decades. The opening number, "Going to the Country," still evokes that hippie-esque, back-to-the-earth movement as well as any song ever recorded, complete with a sly wink that keeps it fresh to this day. And since this was 1970, the album also comes equipped with some of those quaint excesses of the period; try the nasal tone poem gracing "The Bicycle Trip." "Musical Friends" remains a lively, happy-go-lucky classic with piano signature lifted from Paul McCartney's playbook; it's difficult to picture the dour Cockburn of more recent years ever having this much fun. In contrast, "Thoughts on a Rainy Afternoon" offers a trance-like, introspective atmosphere reminiscent of British folkie legend Nick Drake.

Customer Reviews

Refreshing 'Back To The Country' Feel...

You got the feeling that this Canadian was a newly discovered treasure when 'Dancing In The Dragon's Jaws' was released; but discovering his previous decade's worth of albums revealed a polished singer growing in his craft and art. This album was just the beginning.

Song, "Going to the Country" is Awesome

One of my favorite songs of all time is "Going to the Country." I can't say I'm much in love with the rest of the album, but "Going to the Country" is almost as good as going to the country for a peaceful retreat! La la la la la! Wind in my hair, sunshine smile on me!

Interesting beginning

There's no comparison between this debut album and peak Bruce, but most of it is interesting. Only for obsessive fans like myself, I would say. "Thoughts on a Rainy Afternoon" is a really good song, the only one here, and it portends stuff to come, like High Winds White Sky and Salt, Sun, and Time.


Born: May 27, 1945 in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Immensely popular in his native Canada, singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn has found only cult success south of the border, in spite of a rich, varied body of work and considerable critical nods. He has won numerous Juno Awards and has kept the quality control on most of his albums at a high level. Cockburn's first decade of work (1970-1979) is largely literate, singer/songwriter folk-rock, often with a strong Christian tone and mystical, devotional lyrics. In 1979, Cockburn had his only major U.S....
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Bruce Cockburn, Bruce Cockburn
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