It is difficult to find information of substance about Malcolm Burn. Apparently, he is one of the fortunate souls who has been able to keep his personal life out of the limelight, while working like a madman writing, recording, and producing music. This prolific Canadian-born artist has had his hands in a significant number of projects, and unfortunately, many of his earliest creations are largely unknown in the lower 48.
Burn was born in Cornwall, Ontario. In the 80’s he was part of a short-lived Canadian New Wave band called Boys Brigade, which yielded one album of the same name, produced by Geddy Lee of Rush. The group was made up of Billie (Bucko) Brock (drums, vocals), Malcolm Burn (vocals, keyboards), Tony (Tones) Lester (vocals, guitar, synths), David Porter (percussion, vocals), Wayne Lorenz (bass), and Jeff Packer (percussion, vocals). The Boys Brigade album had three minor hits called “Melody,” “Passion of Love,” and “Into The Flow.”
Burn struck out on his own and recorded an album solo titled Redemption. This album is out of print and difficult to find, but it is worth a place in any 80’s music collection. Ed-FM played “Humans Can Talk” from Redemption this past week, a favorite of mine. Other notable cuts from Redemption are “Walk Don’t Run,” “Indian Summer,” and House of Glass.”
Malcolm Burn clearly found his niche as a producer/ support musician. His musical collaborations, starting in 1988 up until the present, include teaming with such esteemed names as Daniel Lanois, Blue Rodeo, Bob Dylan, The Neville Brothers, Iggy Pop, John Mellencamp, and Midnight Oil. His work with Emmylou Harris has netted him a 2001 Grammy Award and a 2004 nomination for a Juno Award. For a more comprehensive listing of his accomplishments, check out his web page and his MySpace page.
Listen to some of Burn’s music as part of the Boys Brigade and also look into some of his noteworthy collaborations. You just may find a new direction towards which your underrated 80’s musical tastes will gravitate.
“Passion Of Love” via Youtube user kurdtss:
“Melody” via YouTube user kurdtss:
“Into The Flow” via YouTube user FilmSound0001: