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Dancing In the Dragon's Jaws (Deluxe Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

After seven years of record making, Bruce Cockburn finally reached American radio listeners with his effervescent 1979 hit “Wondering Where the Lions Are.” Those who connected with that tune’s bemused optimism found similar pleasures on Dancing In the Dragon’s Jaws, one of the singer/songwriter’s most engaging albums. Its music is an idiosyncratic blend of acoustic folk, jazz and Third World elements, built around rippling marimba, rhythmic piano and Cockburn’s always-impeccable guitar work. There’s a quality to tracks like “Creation Dream,” ”After the Rain” and “Hills of Morning” that suggests sunlight streaming down upon rolling plains — not surprising, considering many of the songs were written by Bruce while traveling across his native Canada. His flowing lyric lines — akin at times of Kerouac and the Beats — invoke the presence of God in the open country (“Northern Lights”) and within the human heart (“No Footprints”). Cockburn’s testimonies express a believer’s gratitude and awe. IDancing In the Dragon’s Jaws is a substantial achievement, musically captivating and infused with sincere spirituality.

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Dancing in the Dragon's Jaw

I owned this on vinyl back when it came out. Unlike much of what I listened to in 1979, it doesn't make me cringe now. I think it holds up well as an album, not just a one hit album (does anyone remember Bruce performing it on SNL?). I think it is a great album- maybe I'm just nostalgic because I wore out the hifi needle with it. My one complaint: they seemed to have put two "bonus" instrumental tracks on the end. Why mess with a perfect little album? I had to pay for two more instrumentals? Back then Bruce would have one obligatory French song, and one guitar solo. I could put up with one, but these are monotonous, and track #9 has an annoying bell ringing throughout. I would just like the old album- I want to buy "Humans" next, but no doubt there will be a ridiculous bonus track,

Dancing, indeed

This album is a Canadian "Astral Weeks." I bought this on cassette as a very young man the fall I moved to New York City, and it reminded me of all the great land rolling along outside of the big city. Years later, I was driving along in Northern Michigan one late summer's evening with the light still in the sky, my son sleeping in the backseat, and "Northern Lights" came on and I began to cry because I thought THIS was the reason I had bought this tape so many years earlier. Few works can do that to you. This does.

Biography

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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Dancing In the Dragon's Jaws (Deluxe Edition), Bruce Cockburn
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