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Reviving this old thread, I hope you two are still around. I recently got a whole bunch of Cockburn's albums, some older, some more recent, and I discovered some new gems.
Raithen, "If I had a Rocket Launcher" is often cited as one of his best, but although I like it to a certain extent, I disagree. I think "Call it Democracy" (see signature) is a much more politically forceful and engaging song.
Atlantamoi, one of the albums I got is Nothing but a Burning Light
. It is
good. I'd give it 3/5 overall. "Somebody Touched Me" is my favourite track on the disc, and I also like "Great Big Love", "One of the Best Ones", "A Dream Like Mine", and "Indian Wars".
Of the ones I have, I think his best album overall, preliminarily, is Big Circumstance
(1988), with the top song being "Don't Feel Your Touch", followed by "If a Tree Falls", "The Gift", "Shipwrecked at the Stable Door", "Understanding Nothing", "Gospel of Bondage", and "Radium Rain". 4/5 aggregate.
Second best is probably In the Falling Dark
(1976), a much more folksy (but beautiful) collection. Great tracks such as "I'm Gonna Fly Someday", "Dweller by a Dark Stream", and "Red Brother, Red Sister" (the latter has an especially contagious hook) are buttressed by a slew of decent-->good tracks, comprising virtually the entire album: "Vagabondage", "In the Falling Dark", "Little Seahorse", "Water Into Wine", "Silver Wheels", "Giftbearer", and "Untitled Guitar". 3.5/5 overall.
Next is, I think, Humans
(1980), his most famous album. I've always found "Tokyo" and "Fascist Architecture" to be neck-and-neck as two of his best songs, but the version of F.A. in Humans
is markedly inferior to the longer, more intense reinvention of the song found on the double-disc compilation album Waiting for a Miracle
(1987). Also good on Humans
are "More Not More" (especially), "How I Spent My Fall Vacation", "The Rose Above the Sky", and "Rumours of Glory". 3.5/5 overall.
World of Wonders
(1986) showcases what is still my favourite Cockburn song, "Call it Democracy", as well as the excellent "Down Here Tonight", and other goodies like "Lily of the Midnight Sky", "World of Wonders", "Berlin Tonight", and "See How I Miss You". 3.5/5 altogether.
Other 3/5 albums include Inner City Front
(1981), with standout songs like "The Coldest Night of the Year" and "Wanna Go Walking", among others; Stealing Fire
(1984), which contains the wonderful "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" (later unfortunately redone by Barenaked Ladies), in addition to worthy songs like "Dust and Diesel", "Peggy's Kitchen Wall", and others; Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws
(1979) is just a collection of consistently nice folkers.
I found The Trouble With Normal
(1983) disappointing. Four songs I deem worth repeated listenings, the strongest being "Candy Man's Gone". 2.5/5
The worst Cockburn album I've come across is The Charity of Night
(1999). A couple of above-average tunes; the rest is boring, in my opinion. 1.5/5
I would revise my Cockburn top-10 list to include several of the new pieces I've heard.