Bruce Cockburn – Dancing In The Dragon’s Jaws – 1979

Bruce Cockburn is the greatest songwriter of all time! OK…that may be an exaggeration…but not by much. Along with being intensely prolific, Cockburn is also incredibly intelligent, diverse, creative, original, stark, honest, transparent, intriguing… When I was first hired as a 16 year old at a local Christian Bookstore I was already a “music expert” of sorts. I had begun collecting Christian music much earlier, first as “hand me down” albums from my parents and older brother and sister, and then using my allowance or money from odd jobs to buy my own. Then as I could save money I would ask my parents to drive me to Maranatha Village or other Christian bookstores in town to pick up the most recent releases from Sweet Comfort, Daniel Amos and Darrell Mansfield. My Youth Pastor subscribed to CCM Magazine and I subscribed to Camus Life, both of which had a heavy impact on my growing love and appreciation for the genre. My first few days at my new job was primarily an education in how the store worked, my responsibilities and dealing with customers. But the owner’s daughter was a music fan, especially of more cutting edge and controversial artists. On one of those first few days she took an LP of “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws” and placed on the in-store play system. As a fan of Bob Dylan I was immediately drawn to Cockburn’s nasally, borderline off-key vocals and compelling lyrical content. This birthed my fascination with Bruce Cockburn, an artist I have had the privilege of seeing in concert over 10 times and one of the few artists that I own every album he has released. My favorites remain those released between the mid-70′s and the mid-80′s. Cockburn had become a Christian at just about the time his solo career began despite being born and raised in an agnostic family setting. Cockburn’s Christianity would impact and influence his content from the earliest days. His brand of Christianity also informed his view of environmental and human rights issues. These two subjects, especially the latter, would be an integral part of his work. Like the previously discussed songwriter, Bill Mallonee, Cockburn has drawn criticism from evangelical circles for his subject matter and for his use of provocative language. But also like Mallonee there never appears to be an illicit purpose for the use of language, but rather an understandable inclusion of such language to express or prove a point. The subject matter, though, is quite often more provocative than certain linguistic choices. Leaning toward the political left, Cockburn has rubbed American evangelicalism the wrong way on more than one occasion. It should also be noted that Cockburn is quite the impressive musician. He is easily one of the finest acoustic guitar players around. His early work especially proved this point. One concert I attended was a solo concert in which 20 separate instruments were place behind him on the stage. That night he performed 20 songs using a different instrument for each song. I was later told be a friend that the following evening that the order of the songs remained the same but the placement and instrument choices on stage changed!

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Creation Dream – 4:00
2 – Hills Of Morning – 4:25
3 – Badlands Flashback – 6:12
4 – Northern Lights – 4:06
5 – After The Rain – 3:59
6 – Wondering Where The Lions Are – 3:42
7 – Incandescent Blue – 4:35
8 – No Footprints – 5:38

Art Direction – Bart Schoales
Bass – Robert Boucher
Drums – Bob DiSalle
Engineer – Gary Gray
Engineer [Assisted By] – Frank Kitson
Guitar, Voice, Chimes, Synthesizer, Dulcimer – Bruce Cockburn
Lacquer Cut By – Cub
Management [Direction] – The Finkelstein Fiedler Co.
Painting [Cover] – Norval Morrisseau
Photography By [Inside Photograph] – Christopher Dew
Piano, Marimba – Pat Godfrey
Producer – Eugene Martynec
Translated By [Traduction Par] – Marcel Mousette
Words By, Music By – Bruce Cockburn

Companies, etc.
Produced For – True North Productions
Manufactured By – CBS Records Canada Ltd.
Distributed By – CBS Records Canada Ltd.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – High Romance Music Ltd.
Copyright © – High Romance Music Ltd.
Copyright © – Golden Mountain Music Corp.
Published By – Golden Mountain Music Corp.
Recorded At – Manta Sound
Lacquer Cut At – J.A.M.F.
Mastered At – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Don Mills, ON
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Don Mills, ON

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Author: Ray Mansfield

One of the founding cowboys of Real 80s CCM. Been listening to this stuff since 1978.

One thought on “Bruce Cockburn – Dancing In The Dragon’s Jaws – 1979”

  1. I wasn’t aware of the magazine Camus Life. I’m not sure how a magazine about Philosopher Albert Camus and his belief that life was absurd was and being void of meaning, or man’s inability to know that meaning if it were to exist would help you understand the CCM genre. I would have got a subscription to Campus Life, myself. But who am I to judge?

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