2 January 2002 -- With a proposed release date of 15 January 2002, "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere: Singles 1979-2002" is the first compilation of Bruce Cockburn's material since 1987's "Waiting For A Miracle: Singles 1970-1987". Both share certain similarities: the title song was previously unreleased, and each includes a new song as an additional bonus. The double-disc "Waiting For A Miracle" was a complete singles collection, whereas "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" is more of a judiciously selected "best of" or "greatest hits" release. This doesn't diminish it, and in fact, makes it a concise, succesful summation of the most popular era of his career.
The first release of Cockburn's work by his new U.S. record label, Rounder Records, "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" collects 16 tracks ranging from his first major hit "Wondering Where The Lions Are" (when he was still being promoted as "Canada's best kept secret"), to the recent "Last Night Of The World". Equally divided between world-aware political songs such as "If I Had A Rocket Launcher" and more roots-rock and introspective cuts like "Listen For The Laugh" and "Pacing The Cage", the cd gives a good career overview.
In addition, Cockburn and co-producer Colin Linden have taken the opportunity to digitally remaster each track using 24-bit technology. "The Coldest Night Of The Year" and "Waiting For A Miracle" have been taken a step further and have been totally remixed, making them crisper and more streamlined. "A Dream Like Mine" appears to be remixed as well, being slightly different at the beginning and end, but is unlisted as so.
The two new songs, "My Beat" and "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" bookend the collection and fit in well. "My Beat" is an acoustic guitar and drums driven mid-tempo bike ride travelogue around Cockburn's new home of Montreal, while the title track is actually an older song from the early 90's. Though he has performed it live (and Colin Linden recorded it on his album "Raised By Wolves"), this is the first time he's released it on an album of his own. A relaxed, assured love song, it stands with the best of Cockburn's work.
"Anything, Anytime, Anywhere: Singles 1979-2002" clearly demonstrates that "Canada's best kept secret" hasn't been so much of a secret for quite some time.