Steve Cochrane

Steve Cochrane

BandPopAdult Contemporary

Acoustic guitar driven songs emphasizing melody, harmony and dynamics with intricate progrock flavoured arrangements and meaningful lyrics.


I am a self-taught guitarist/vocalist/songwriter who entered the musical arena with grand artistic ambitions. Throughout the 90s, I released a trilogy of albums bearing a trademark epic style. "A kick in the uplifting end of our soul". "Musically invigorating and compositionally dynamic". "A symphonic prog lover's wet dream". These were typical comments, along with favourable reviews and considerable airplay throughout Europe, various pockets in the US and in Quebec.

Fast-forward to the current century and a new album called With Or Without, which takes a leaner song-based approach with emphasis on acoustic guitar and vocals. Still, the prog/art rock influences shine through in the intricate arrangements, fluid guitar stylings and in the lyrics, which are often surrealistic and philosophical.

It begins with a brief finger-picked acoustic prelude, then 'Key to the Sea' bursts forth with aggressive strumming and a muscular bass line. 'The Greatest Since Rembrandt' offers a tongue-in-cheek look at pretense in the art world before surrendering to memories of youthful serenity in 'Swans'. The final four tracks flow together to create an epic of sorts, including the dramatic 'Abandon Ship' and the uplifting closer 'Rise Like the Sun'. Unlike most of the CDs that are coming out by the thousands these days, With Or Without is an album that is meant to be listened to from beginning to end.... repeatedly.

If you wish to learn more about me and hear tracks from his first three albums, visit


It's You

Written By: Steve Cochrane


Yes, it’s you
I keep on getting closer
And I see
Something wonderful within your eyes
A sweet surprise
To greet this pleasant morning

And I know that it’s you
That keeps me moving forward
It’s these times
That I stop with you to rest awhile
To feel your smile
That make it so rewarding

I love you
I want to feel your love inside me
As if it were meant to be there
Every word you speak
Is music to my ears
To soothe away my fears
You are the magic
I’ve been looking for
I became a new man
When you showed up at my door

And now I know that it’s you
On every path I travel
Deep inside
I feel our spirits moving in silent grace
Towards a place
Where we can be together

And it’s you, it is you
I keep on getting closer
Now I see
Something wonderful within your eyes
A sweet surprise
To greet me on this morning


Written By: Steve Cochrane


I remember
Just twelve years old
My first love was from a spirit world
I’d turn the power on
Tune into her signal
She gave me reasons to live
And the courage to stand alone

And I remember
All that freedom in the air
We sang our own songs without a care
How the flowers grew
And their colours lit the sky
No reason to believe
That it would ever die

But one stormy night
The signals got crossed
Rebels took the airwaves and my love was lost
I cried until dawn
“This can’t be so
Where’s my beloved radio?”

Every favourite song
No forgetting
How they made me strong
I was there
I know what I heard
Every night on the air

I remember
How the morning came to light
I thought I heard her voice, but it wasn’t right
She’d left the spirit world
For riches of the earth
Forsaking all the promises
That gave life it’s worth

I still remember
All those nights I spent alone
Listening for the signal that would take me home
But the sky is dense with clouds now
No room for reasoned voice
And now we all just crawl through life
Thinking we have no choice

Isn’t it time
For a new set of rules?
These critics we’ve been listening to have taken us for fools
I’ll show you a time that’s long since past
When singers could sing and their songs would last

Isn’t it time
For the anger to cease?
Let it die with a whimper
Let it rest in peace
I have a better place where we can go
Just turn off that tired old radio

Every favourite song
No forgetting
How they made me strong

World premeires for excited ears
Tuned to the night sky, such was I
The stars will shine, the sun will show
The tides will turn, the wind will blow
With or without the radio

The Greatest Since Rembrandt

Written By: Steve Cochrane


I am the greatest since Rembrandt
I paint deep into the profound existence of Man
A dab here, a stroke there
And the money just flows into my hand

I dwell on the plains of higher intellect
On walls of wealth and taste, I’m on display
For those without some cultural substance
I’m afraid I just don’t know what to say

It’s a symphony of shapes
If you can’t see them, you’re blind
It’s a harmony of colours
I used all the ones I could find

I fan the flames of finer feeling
Pure emotion from pure human heart
Don’t think, don’t reason with it
That’s such a primitive way to view art

It’s a masterpiece of mayhem
Freed from structure and form
It’s defiance of all logic
This is how genius is born

I am a master of the psyche
Manipulating human souls, it’s easy stuff
A blob, a smear, a play on fear
And no one dares to call my bluff

It’s a work of art
Uninhibited, uncontrived
It’s a gift from the gods on high
The greatest since Rembrandt has arrived

Abandon Ship

Written By: Steve Cochrane


The kingdom will fall in the ocean
Swallowed by the tide
The people will raise a question - “Where is our king?”
And money will flow to the desert
Followed by the poor
Looking for an oasis from a shackled life
“Mirage”, they shout to the wealthy
Swimming in the sand
“This is not the promise you laid into our hands”

“Abandon ship”, they cried as they dove into the sea
And many started drowning in the waters of reality
“Stop this nonsense”, said the captain,
“We will sail this ship to the coveted land of the free”
And as he turned the wheel , the rich men talked of mutiny

The vessel will sail unguided
Lifeless on the breeze
Struggling for survival on the seas
Till finally it is capsized
Taken by the times
Marooned in desert currents, wrecked by evil minds
“Illusion”, they cry to the powerful
“Is this our promise land?
This is not the kingdom we learned to understand”

“Captain or king, whoever you are - You have betrayed us”

“Abandon ship”, he cried as he dove into the sea
And then he started drowning as the wealthy came by to see
“Stop this nonsense”, said the poor man
“We will turn this desert to a land of prosperity”
And when they lifted shovels, they started living sensibly

Key to the Sea

Written By: Steve Cochrane


Yesterday was like raindrops, falling upon the earth
Forming a strange pattern, to signal some future rebirth
And I was a river, once proud and mighty
From mountain to shining sea
But now the land has taken me

Yesterday brought back memories of times so long ago
When nothing would ever hold me from a truth I had to know

And I had my own ideas
A rebel, they called me
When I dealt with the world, it was clay
Left my mark in every valley
All the cities held onto me
I was their key to the sea

Yesterday sparked a promise, deep in a river’s heart
Of flowing towards that ocean, given a brand new start
Tomorrow, these rapids will race through the canyon
Built alone with my hands
And I will flood your settled lands

Look at the beauty I’ve left you, as you walk along my shore
A clearer course to knowledge, that no one should dare ignore
This time, I’m stronger, ready for battle
This time, I will not fail
And you will recognize my trail

Now I have the power of voice
And it’s confidence rises
When I speak to the world, I am heard
Every city realizes
That it cannot survive without me
I am their key to the sea

Rise Like the Sun

Written By: Steve Cochrane


It is a cold November day
I seize the morning into my hands
And set it gently into it’s place
The city’s lights have flickered out
As if in surrender to a better way
Will it be a brighter day?

Though winter’s winds blow hard today
The warmth of truth has made it’s play
The cold of November seems far away
For when you finally see the truth
It sends you back to all the joys of youth
A wiser child, a happier man

On a day like this
I can rise to reach my goal
I can burst through clouds
The sun has risen inside my soul
In the evening, I will sing
Of the day I found my wings

Oh, precious morning, you are the truth
You’ve sent me back to all the joys of youth
I won’t forget this day
I see the lies so clearly now
They’ve been exposed since I’ve learned how
To hold the truth like a beacon of light
So, now I’m asking you to stay
Because you are more than just a sunny day
You are the hope within it’s rays

On a day like this, I can rise to reach my goal
I can burst through clouds
The sun has risen inside my soul
In my hand, I hold the key to a new machine
I am my own motive power, pure and clean
And through all the mornings to come
I will rise just like the sun


Written By: Steve Cochrane


I used to go
Down by the lake
To watch the swans
For pleasures sake
It was always peaceful
Always free
The way that life
Could really be
And I could see the ripples form
On the water as they moved
They were just like music
With all the charms to soothe
It gave me a thought
That would always lift my pride
Just think of swans
And their graceful stride

Now childhood
Is all in the past
I wonder how
It went so fast
The darkest fears
The brightest dreams
They seem to meet
Like mountain streams
The water rages
To the ocean, pushing on
Will I arrive full of anger
Or gentle as a swan?
I keep this thought
To lift my pride
I think of swans
And their graceful stride

Show the Kids

Written By: Steve Cochrane


When mindless noise invades the mind
Imagination is hard to find
Strip away these glittering lights
In shadows, it hides
Time to show the kids
There is something better

The wandering spirit of the human heart
Could find no map, so it invented art
To guide us along, but we’ve ignored some signs
And now we are lost
Time to show the kids
We can find our way again

Beneath the pavement, beneath the skin
A violent world is growing within
The streets are bleeding as the hatred spreads
To innocent minds
Time to show the kids
They can do better

Look for something better
Don’t accept this old world the way you found it
Seek the best within you
Only then can you change the world you were born into
Hold your head above the crowd
Make your music strong and proud
Then you will be free to be yourself
And to live for what you know

Romantic dreams, forgotten times
The daring few who changed our minds
They built this world with a noble design
But it’s being destroyed
Time to show the kids
We can build it all again
Time to tell the kids
Look for something better

Where Is It Leading?

Written By: Steve Cochrane


Where is it leading now?
We see mankind wrestling with questions
That it never thought to ask
Where is this light of glory
In which we were to bask?

You throw up your hands
And say “Nothing can be done”
As a wave of terror destroys all you knew
When you were young

Where oh where does it end?
We’re still searching for answers
That stare us in the face
Where is this sunlit heaven
In the realm of time and space?

You lay down your hopes
And say “Such is life”
The new day dawning is but the sharpening
Of that ever-threatening knife

How far will you fall?
While mankind wanders inside you
With eyes that turn away
Where is that bright young boy
With the smile on a cloudy day?

You break the child’s promise
And say “I’m older now”
While the flames turn into ashes
And you try to go on somehow


With Or Without (2007)
The Purest of Designs (1998)
To See It Made Real (1995)
Heroes Awaken (1991)

Set List

Band setlist consists of one hour of original music, almost entirely from my most recent album.

Solo (ie.acoustic guitar/vocal) setlist consists of over an hour of original songs plus a selection of covers that includes the following:

Roundabout (Yes)
Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel)
Give a Little Bit (Supertramp)
Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)
Hello, It's Me (Todd Rundgren)
Roads to Moscow (Al Stewart)
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Genesis)