Greatest Hits (1970-2020)

Bruce Cockburn

True North Records, 2021

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Most American music fans of a certain age remember Bruce Cockburn for his gentle folk/pop hit of several decades ago, “Wondering Where The Lions Are.” In his native Canada, he is celebrated for his 34 album releases, 13 Juno Awards (the Canadian Grammys), two Hall of Fame inductions, and as an Officer of The Order of Canada. He has now released a definitive career-spanning, 30-track collection titled my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Greatest Hits (1970-2020).

The 30 tracks are presented in chronological order, so they present not only a nice look at Cockburn’s career, but also of the development of his musical vision.

Cockburn’s music has always had a laid back and gentle feel. His lyrics, however, have constantly evolved as they have adjusted to the times around them.  Always cerebral, his lyrics have told stories as he has presented his views of love, the environment, political issues, indigenous people, and every now and then just simple folk music that makes you smile and wonder.

“Going To The Country” is nearly 50 years old, and it along with “All The Diamonds In The World,” “Mama Just Wants To Barrelhouse All Night Long,” and “Wondering Where The Lions Are” represent his early career, where as a young man, music was simple.

“If I Had A Rocket Launcher,” “Call It Democracy,” “People See Through You,” and “If A Tree Falls” present his developing social consciousness.

Life passes quickly and “Different When It Comes To You,” “Call Me Rose,” and “States I’m In” close the album as a mature human being and musician explores his world.

Greatest Hits (1970-2020) is a wonderful and heartfelt ride through the mind and music of a veteran artist. It is a journey worth hearing.

Rating: A-

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