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.
Bridget St. John has a small legion of fans willing to do battle for their hero, but to most she sounds like a pleasant, secondary British folk-rock artist of the early 1970s. Those impressions won't be changed by this, her third album, mixing low-key originals with covers of songs by Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly, as well as one of her most popular tracks, an interpretation of the traditional folk tune "Lazarus." Simply put, St. John doesn't come within bow-and-arrow range of Sandy Denny or Maddy Prior. She favors a low, slightly husky delivery that sometimes brings to mind what Marianne Faithfull might have sounded like in the late '70s had Faithfull's voice lowered naturally, instead of being ravaged. Reserve can be effective, but it sounds like St. John would need to be roasted over an open flame before her temperature rose.
[The album was reissued on CD in 1995, with the addition of eight bonus tracks from a live performance in 1972.]
Akin to work by Schneider's countrymen in Mouse on Mars, Moist is another interesting application of abstract, twisted electronics to what is (surprisingly) quite a straight-ahead rhythm section. Though the production isn't nearly as frenetic as the celebrated MoM sound, Dirk Dresselhaus turns that potential curse into a blessing by concentrating on just a few effects for each track and investigating their sonic possibilities.