It only took guitarist Chris Poland a full decade to follow up his 1990 solo debut, Return to Metalopolis, with the arrival of 2000's Chasing the Sun. While the album contains quite a few traces of Poland's metal past (after all, he was the guitar player in Megadeth on such classic albums as 1985's Killing Is My Business...and Business Is Good! and 1986's Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?), Chasing the Sun turns out to be a mixed bag of tricks. Picture one of Joe Satriani or Steve Vai's early instrumental solo albums with a focus on jazzier sounds, and you're not far off from Chasing the Sun. Poland's fusion leanings shouldn't come as a surprise, though, as he's been vocal for years about how he was a jazzhead before joining forces with Dave Mustaine and company during the early '80s.
Right from the beginning, you know you're not in for your standard straight-ahead six-string shredfest, as the album-opening title title track takes an abrupt detour into trippy psychedelia. You'll also find funk sounds ("Hip Hop Karma"), fusion ("Robo Stomp"), King Crimson-like weirdness ("Straight Jacket"), and excursions into melodic territory ("Salvador"). Fans of early Megadeth expecting bone-crunching thrash metal may be let down, but for metalheads willing to open their minds a bit stylistically, Chasing the Sun will be a pleasant surprise -- and further proof that Chris Poland is one of hard rock's most underrated guitarists.
One of three Bruce Cockburn "best of" collections released in the 1980s -- including Resume (1981) and Waiting for a Miracle (Singles 1970-1987) (1987) -- Rumours of Glory concentrates primarily on his work of the late '70s and early '80s. There's some definite overlap in the track selections of the three, though one cut, "Yanqui Go Home" (presumably added as an enticement to fans), is only available here. Although it stops short of the excellent Stealing Fire (1984), only including material through 1983's The Trouble With Normal, Rumours of Glory still draws from the bulk of what is easily the best period of Cockburn's career. It also does a nice job of highlighting the various sides of Bruce Cockburn, from political ("Trouble With Normal," "Grim Travellers") to personal ("Wanna Go Walking," "Coldest Night of the Year") to mystical ("Lord of the Starfields," "Rumours of Glory"), as well as showing him equally at home with folk, rock, or world-influenced music. Though hardly comprehensive, Rumours of Glory is a good, single-disc assemblage of 14 tunes from an artist working at the top of his game.