-- Humans (1980) & (2003) --
Click song titles to see lyrics, other albums the song appears on, and known comments by Bruce Cockburn on the song. Track lengths are not guaranteed as they occasionally change with format (i.e. CD/vinyl) and release version.
* Denotes bonus tracks on the remastered CD version released by Rounder Records in 2003.
 Grim Travellers (4:51)
 Rumors of Glory (3:38)
 More Not More (3:50)
 You Get Bigger As You Go (4:35)
 What About the Bond (4:55)
 How I Spent My Fall Vacation (5:10)
 Guerilla Betrayed (3:56)
 Tokyo (3:25)
 Fascist Architecture (2:37)
 The Rose Above the Sky (6:23)
 Grim Travellers * (live version 2003 release)
You can order the 'Humans' (1980) album or the new remastered version of Humans (2003) from Amazon.com now.
Check out other albums in the Project's Online Store
Words and music by Bruce Cockburn
© Golden Mountain Music (SOCAN)
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission
Produced by Eugene Martynec for True North Productions
The Musicians Are:
Bruce Cockburn: Guitar and Vocals
Dennis Pendrith: Bass
Jon Goldsmith: Keyboards
Hugh Marsh: Violin
Patricia Cullen: Synthesizer
Pat LaBarbera: Reeds
Bob DiSalle: Drums
Kathy Moses, Beverly Glen-Copeland, Rachel Paiement*: Background Vocals
The Musicians on "Rumours of Glory" Are:
Bruce Cockburn: Guitar and Vocals
Tony Hibbery: Bass
Bernie Pitters: Keyboards
Ben Bow: Drums
Brian Leonard: Percussion
Leroy Sibbles, Mickey Edwards, Murray McLauchian: Background Vocals
*Rachel Paiemont appears courtesy of A & M Records.
Engineered by Gary Gray
Assisted by Dave Taylor
Mastered by George Marino, Sterling Sound, NY
Remastered by Vlado Meller, Sony Music Studio Operations, NY
Recorded at Manta Sound, Toronto July-August 1980
Art Direction: Bart Schoales
Photography: Roberto Masotti, Milano
Invaluable Assistance and General Bad Influence: Stuart Raven-Hill
Known comments by Bruce Cockburn about this album, by date:
Circa 1981 - Commenting on the background of the songs on Humans:
"It's been a heavy year personally. I was on tour in Italy and Japan and
Canada, and travelling like that is always very intense. On top of that, my
wife and I separated. Two of the songs, How I Spent My Fall Vacation and
Tokyo, are basically impressions of my travels. Three songs - You Get Bigger
as You Go, What About the Bond and Fascist Architecture - deal specifically
with the separation. But I think enough people go through stuff like that, so
the songs have a fairly universal application. The whole album deals with a
lot of pain and death - a lot of the ugliness that I've encountered around
me. But I hope it comes across that even in the face of it, there's still
ground for hope. Songs like Rumours of Glory and The Rose Above the Sky are
about moving from downness into something that opens up, although what that
something is is not really spelled out."
[....he continues, later in the interview....]
"A lot of the songs on Humans came out of my realization that I needed other
people," he says, smiling. "I've always been a loner and kept a distance
between myself and even those I've regarded as friends. But all of a sudden
when I was getting kicked around and battered, all these people were right
there - they came through in a way I never would have expected."
-- from "Bruce Cockburn's Quiet Optimism", High Fidelity, 1981, by Stephen Holden.
"More travel- Italy, Japan again, more in U.S.A....major change of
circumstance in my life, shaking up a lot of assumptions, as well as the
beginnings of an appreciation of what life is like for most people in the
world. Moved to Toronto."
-- from the World Of Wonders Tour Program, circa 1986. Submitted by Rob Caldwell.
James Jensen: In the 80's with "Humans" you really seemed to be hungry for a change of sound.
BC: I had been listening to Reggae and Punk music and I'd started to
travel outside North America in the later 70's and that effected the
content of the lyrics and a lot of other stuff that was happening in
my life effected that as well. Like I said before the music in my
songs is in support of the lyrics so the nature of the lyrics has
alot to do with what the music ends up sounding like.
Some kinds of thoughts don't suit the acoustic style that I'd been
using and I wanted to learn to play electric guitar. I wanted to
have bands that sort of kicked-ass a little more than I had been
doing and it's an inevitable escalation once you have a band because
you want drums and once you have drums you want electric bass and
once you've got that going you better be playing electric guitar or
you won't hear anything that your doing. We've licked that problem a
lot in the last few years but in the late 70's and early 80's there
were no guitar pickups that were any good for acoustic guitar, at
least none that sounded anything like an acoustic guitar, so that was
part of it too. I really wanted to play Reggae music and Rock 'n
Roll and I wanted to make people get up and dance.
-- from an Interview by James Jensen at Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, circa
"I started losing some of my hardcore fundamentalist fans around the Humans album, which had a couple of cuss-words on it. I got some angry and disappointed letters asking, 'How can a Christian say that?' I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. There's no response to that."
-- from "Faith in Practice: Holding on to the Mystery of Love" by Bruce Cockburn (as told to Cole Morton), Third Way, September 1994. Submitted by Nigel Parry.
Steve Lawson: Was there a parallel between the music and lyrics in that development?
BC: The earliest album that has a real noticeable amount of electric guitar on
it is Night Vision, which is also a dark kind of record and I hadn't thought about it but I guess that's true, it does contribute to it, though
unconsciously - I must contribute to what I was doing. The choice wasn't
unconscious the connection was...
BC: The tone of the albums really changes with Humans, which also coincides with
my divorce, and the end of a decade and a point in my life that was partly
triggered by the divorce and partly not where I spent a lot of time looking
at how my inner being related to the big picture, the cosmic picture, and it
was time to include other people in that search for an understanding of
relationship. To put it in simple terms, as a christian if you're gonna love
your fellow mankind you gotta know who they are, you can't love them in the
abstract. So it was time to kind of be among humans. It started with the
album Humans and the songs there come from those first travels in Japan, and
Italy - the first ventures outside of North America, and the greater
understanding of human interaction on mass which translates into politics,
and that carried through into Inner City Front, and all through the 80s.
-- from Bruce Cockburn Interview, Guitarist Magazine, November, 1999, by Steve
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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.