Bruce Cockburn

Waiting for a Miracle: Singles 1970-1987

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Waiting for a Miracle, with two discs spanning 33 songs, is the third and by far most comprehensive of three Bruce Cockburn retrospectives released in a six-year period. Still, because it's centered around his Canadian singles, it lacks the sort of impact a best-of collection should have from someone such as Cockburn, who could never be mistaken for a "singles" artist. On the other hand, if you're looking for an overview of his career, Waiting for a Miracle, which also has a sprinkling of new songs and alternate takes to lure fans, isn't a bad place to start. The chronological order of the tracks makes it easy to see the progression of his career, from mystic folky, to outspoken, left-wing, worldbeat rocker. It also shows Cockburn's growth as both a writer and performer, although the choices included here from his early records are good ones. Waiting for a Miracle may not be a perfect representation of Cockburn's work, but until something better comes along, it will have to do.

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