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Stealing Fire [Bonus Tracks]
     

Stealing Fire [Bonus Tracks]

by Bruce Cockburn
 

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Originally released in 1984, Stealing Fire, beautifully remastered with bonus material and re-released by Rounder in 2003, is the cornerstone of Bruce Cockburn's modern sound. While he had used elements of reggae as early as Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws in 1979 and broadened the instrumental palette of his band on Humans in 1980, this recording sought to

Overview

Originally released in 1984, Stealing Fire, beautifully remastered with bonus material and re-released by Rounder in 2003, is the cornerstone of Bruce Cockburn's modern sound. While he had used elements of reggae as early as Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws in 1979 and broadened the instrumental palette of his band on Humans in 1980, this recording sought to fully embrace and employ the influence that various world musics had on the artist as he traveled. The record was also a hit. Cockburn scored mightily with "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" and to a lesser degree with "Lovers in a Dangerous Time," veritable anthems informed by the Reagan era. Other tracks that received attention and airplay included "Making Contact" and "Maybe the Poet." Cockburn's first overtly political album, Stealing Fire was recorded soon after he made his first trip to Chiapas and had taken up the cause of the Sandinistas and El Salvadoran rebels (who were under assault by the U.S.-backed Contras from Honduras), Oxfam, and Guatemalan peasants who were under siege by American-made military helicopters. Amazingly, given how closely Cockburn always wove the personal, spiritual, amorous, and political, these songs sound not only timely over 20 years later, they provide enduring pleasure and warnings that are still to be heeded. While the album's production is of its time with clipped, shifting fretless basslines, heavily reverbed guitars, and droning synths, it nonetheless transcends those trappings compositionally and musically. The infusion of Latin and Caribbean rhythms, the use of exotic instruments, and the prevalence of keyboards and gospel choruses are truly visionary and ahead of their time. Cockburn utilized world music not to be "authentic," but to color, texture, and expand his cultural palette. In other words, no matter how he and the band turned the lens, the aural photo the listener gets is still Cockburn's and his restless quest for the perfect song. The bonus material here, "Yanqui Go Home" and "Call It the Sundance," are from the same sessions. While not as heavily painted, they nonetheless make fitting additions to the material here. Stealing Fire is simply one of Cockburn's classics.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2003
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661321328
catalogNumber:
613213

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bruce Cockburn   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Tim Ryan   Background Vocals
Leroy Sibbles   Background Vocals
Kerry Crawford   Background Vocals
Jon Goldsmith   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Jerry Johnson   Horn
Fergus Marsh   Bass,Stick
Colina Phillips   Background Vocals
Carole Pope   Background Vocals
Michel Pouliot   Drums
Chi Sharp   Percussion
Rick Tait   Horn
Sharon Williams   Background Vocals
Joel Feeney   Background Vocals
Paul Henderson   Background Vocals
Judy Cade   Background Vocals
Mike Malone   Horn
Shawne Jackson   Background Vocals
Vein Dorge   Horn
Sharon Lee Williams   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bruce Cockburn   Composer
Kerry Crawford   Composer,Producer
Jon Goldsmith   Composer,Producer
David Lowery   Composer
Fergus Marsh   Composer
John Naslen   Engineer,Sound Recording
Nicholas Jennings   Liner Notes
Bart Schoales   Art Direction
Blair Dawson   Cover Painting

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