Bruce Cockburn FAQ - LP, Tape, and CD Availability

BiographyMusicLPs, Tapes, CDs

Q34: What is that thing on the back cover of Inner City Front?
A: The burner from an electric range. ( Gavin’s Woodpile, issue #5, Oct. 1994)
(Now, does anybody know what the hell the crescent thing on “The Trouble With Normal” album cover is?!)

Q35: What, if any, are the differences between the ESD (East Side Digital, Minneapolis) releases and the Sony Columbia releases of early BC albums?
A: In some sense all analog tapes are digitally mastered for CD. The albums have not been re-mixed for CD. Remixing of pop albums is very rare. (Which is good, because however well intentioned, a later re-mix most often loses something that was important to the feel of the album.) My impression of the ESD issues is that they were fairly well done, but seemed not to have been made from the original master tapes. There's a bit of smearing of transients and such that suggests multi-generation analog copying. The Columbia issues are a bit cleaner IMHO. Only you can decide if the difference is significant. For myself, I'm trying (and failing!) to adopt a policy of not replacing albums I already own unless there's a compelling reason. (You wouldn't believe how many times I've bought certain Beatles albums....)
(Source Steve Graham. Archive: v01.n001)

Q36: I've heard Circles in the Stream is obscurely available in CD format as a Japanese pressing.
A: Circles in the Stream was released in Japan on the Village Green label and distributed by Pony Canyon under the title Water Rings [This version was missing “Cader Idris” and is now out of print. True North has since released the full album on cd].
(Source: Todd ?. Archive: v01.n133.)]

Q36.5:What is the oriental writing in Circles in the Stream?
A: It's actually the Japanese written form called katakana. It says "from Canada, with love." Apparently, Bruce had done some travelling in Japan around that time. I can think of at least four songs from that era that feature Japan: Nanzen Ji, How I Spent My Fall Vacation, Tokyo, and Hoop Dancer.
(Source: Steve Cole. 30 July 1998, Humans list)

Q37: Why is my copy of Night Vision yellow?
A: Night Vision was released on transparent yellow vinyl, on TN-11. Not all copies of TN-11 are yellow, though. I don't believe there was any way to tell other than by looking at the record itself.
(Source: Steve Graham. Archive: v01.n122.)

The yellow version of the album is actually gold vinyl  - a limited edition release to celebrate Bruce's first gold LP. (source: Lorne Anderson)

Q38: The vinyl copy of The Trouble with Normal doesn't sound the same as the CD. What gives?
A: The original 1983 version of the song The Trouble with Normal is about 3: 35 long, and runs at a slower tempo. It's on the Canadian (True North) The Trouble with Normal CD. US release of The Trouble with Normal was delayed for I think about a year, by which time Bruce had decided to re-record the title track in 1985-6 (along with Waiting for a Miracle and the remake of Fascist Architecture). Apparently he was never happy with the original version. So the US album came out with the new version of the title track, which is the same version that appears on the US LP of Waiting for a Miracle . I don't know which version is on the Canadian Waiting for a Miracle. The American The Trouble with Normal CD contains the remade version of the song, about 30 seconds shorter and with completely new tracks. Strangely enough, though, the American CD (at least the earlier, pre-Columbia release) still said "3:35" on the back, and gave no indication that the song was redone.
(Source: Nolan ? and Steve Graham. Archive: v01.n148.)]

Q38.5: What’s the deal with the song “Cala Luna” being left off most versions of The Trouble With Normal?
A: The instrumental “Cala Luna” was included on the German “Plane” record label release of the album, but not on the North American release. However, from Gavin’s Woodpile #26, April 1998: “If you purchase the True North CD release (TNMN 0053) you’ll find a surprise: ‘Cala Luna’ appears as track number five, the same position as it did on the Plane release. The interesting thing here is that the track does not appear on the track listing on the CD liner notes so you wouldn’t realize the song was on the CD untill you heard it, and then you might not know what it was. True North suggests the Plane master was used for this pressing, but not the Plane line notes.
There were other True North releases of The Trouble With Normal: TNK-53, for instance. However, if you want the one with ‘Cala Luna’, be sure and get TNMD 0053.”

Q39: Are there any "bootlegs" or other unofficial recordings available?
A: Despite the “Purely Music” laser disc and a bootleg cd of the Columbia Radio Hour “Christmas With Bruce Cockburn” with Lou Reed and Roseanne Cash, there have been no other boots made (as of 1998, anyway). This is good in some senses, because bootlegging for profit merely rips the artist off. The artist receives no royalties from an unofficial release. However, there has been tape *trading* of Bruce Cockburn material since as far back as the 1970’s. Talk to other Bruce fans that you may meet on the internet or in person. But, try not to ever support bootlegging for profit.

Q??: I thought I heard somewhere long ago that the vinyl release of World of Wonders with the swear words on the back highlighted in yellow is somewhat rare. Is this true?
A: As far as the highlighted words on World of Wonders- I've heard its rare too, but have seen it quite a few times for cheapo dinero.
(Source: Rob Caldwell. Archive: ?)

Last updated: 07 Jun 2005