-- Humans (1980) & (2003) --

Track Listing:
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.

[1] Grim Travellers (4:51)
[2] Rumors of Glory (3:38)
[3] More Not More (3:50)
[4] You Get Bigger As You Go (4:35)
[5] What About the Bond (4:55)
[6] How I Spent My Fall Vacation (5:10)
[7] Guerilla Betrayed (3:56)
[8] Tokyo (3:25)
[9] Fascist Architecture (2:37)
[10] The Rose Above the Sky (6:23)
[11] Grim Travellers * (live version 2003 release)

You can order the 'Humans' (1980) album or the new remastered version of Humans (2003) from now.
Check out other albums in the Project's Online Store

Album Info:

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.

  • Circa 1986

    "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.

  • Spring 1993

    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 Spring 1993.

  • September 1994

    "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.

  • November 1999

    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 Lawson.

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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.