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Gordon Lightfoot Band

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by cshadows2887, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. cshadows2887 Mar 14, 2016
    (Last edited: May 1, 2016)

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr. CC, OOnt (born November 17, 1938) is a Canadian singer-songwriter who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music, and has been credited for helping define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s. He has been referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter and internationally as a folk-rock legend.



    Gordon Lightfoot

    He began his career as a widely-covered, moderately- acclaimed folkie and 8 years and 10 albums later ended up as a platinum-selling star. The amazing part: he never really stopped just making his kind of music, before or after stardom. His writing stayed simple, his subjects stayed the same and his froggy croon never really altered. He may not carry too much hype anymore, but no less than Robbie Robertson called him “a national treasure” and Bob Dylan once said “I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like. Every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever” among other compliments ( Influenced By Gordon Lightfoot ).

    Recommended Listen:

    Crash Course:
    1. Sundown
    2. Shadows
    3. Summertime Dream

    Compilation Replacement:
    Gord’s Gold

    Signature Songs:
    1. “If You Could Read My Mind”
    2. “Canadian Railroad Trilogy”
    3. “Sundown”
    4. “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”
    5. “Shadows”

    Personal Note:
    Full confession: I picked him this week because I just saw him in concert for the first time last week, but he was in my plans already. Kind of hoping the name-drop from Pianos Become the Teeth might mean people were curious. In the name of objectivity, I didn’t pick my favorite Lightfoot album (Shadows) as the recommended listen, because there just seems to be too clear a consensus in favor of Sundown. I also left out favorites like “In My Fashion”, or “I’m Not Supposed to Care” in the songs, but there’s a lot of gold to find as you keep listening. He was exceptionally consistent in releasing albums that were rarely wall-to-wall knockouts, but were always high-quality and had a fistful of songs you could class among his best.
  2. cshadows2887 Mar 14, 2016
    (Last edited: Apr 24, 2020)

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

  3. Nathan

    Always do the right thing. Supporter

    My mom looooooooooooooves Gordon Lightfoot. I inherited her Springsteen adoration but haven't delved into Lightfoot's discography like I did Bruce's. "I'm Not Supposed to Care" sounds gorgeous.

    I generally like to consume new artists through albums, @cshadows2887 is there one or two you'd recommend to start off?
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  4. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I'm not an expert yet. I'm one or two listens into a bunch of his albums. But so far I'd say Sundown and Shadows are the two top ones.

    I haven't heard a bad one yet though. Every record I've heard has at least a couple outstanding songs and nothing that's less than solid
    Nathan likes this.
  5. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I'm looking forward to going backwards in his catalog a bit. I don't really know his pre-Don Quixote stuff at all.
  6. Ben

    Trusted Prestigious

    Subbin'. Will get listening tomorrow night when I have some time!
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  7. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I forgot how good "Tattoo" is. The fact that it's on an album people class as a "sell-out" only makes it better
  8. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Listened to Don Quixote while I made dinner. Not quite a top tier album (his lyrics hadn't quite reached their peak, for one) but better than I remembered. Still mostly acoustic and folky, and the layers of guitars are gorgeous throughout. The title track and "Beautiful" are obviously amazing, but that's hardly a unique pair of favorites for a Lightfoot fan. The revelation for me this time was "Looking at the Rain", which is really wonderful. And though a bit direct (it IS folk music) "The Patriot's Dream" is a quality protest song.
  9. Ben

    Trusted Prestigious

    Listening to Sundown right now. After a pretty intense workout, this is the perfect music to come down to. His storytelling is really fun and his voice is just super super pleasant to listen to.
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  10. Ben

    Trusted Prestigious

    Oh shit I've known the title track on this album since I was a little kid but never knew who it was. I love this song!
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  11. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter


    That was the right album for it, too. It's the one album of his I can think of without something sad or beautiful or otherwise emotional. No heart punches. You wouldn't want "Shadows" or "I'm Not Supposed to Care" popping up for a post-workout chill out. Sweat and tears mixed is just too much salt water at once.
  12. Ferrari333SP

    Trusted Supporter

    Reposting from the Classic Artist thread

    I've heard "Wreck of the Edmund Firtzgerald" a million times, mainly because, growing up in Minnesota and camping up near Lake Superior/Duluth every summer since I was a kid (29 now), my family would listen to that song all the time. The Edmund Fitzgerald ship set sail from Duluth on it's last voyage, sinking near the eastern end of the lake. Every time I hear that song now, it brings up lots of memories from my time up in Duluth with family; such a signature guitar sound in that track

    cshadows2887 likes this.
  13. AelNire

    @RiotGrlErin Prestigious

    I'm not gonna lie..I'm totally bored. I won't go back and listen to this. Don't ask me why because I'm dumb when it comes to articulating my thoughts on music.
  14. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Listened to Sundown. It's lovely, crisp and clear folk music. Production wise it's beautiful, textured enough to give it some lovely depth, but sparse enough to let his voice and guitar playing shine through. There's a lovely timbre to his voice too, it's a lazy comparison to make, but it's Springsteen-esque. He also has that Springsteen knack of storytelling in his music, he has some very evocative and gripping lyrics.

    It reminds me a bit of my reaction to Merle Haggard, there was nothing on here that blew me away and wow'ed me, but it was a consistent and solid album without any obvious low points. Definitely interested enough to listen to another.
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  15. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Onto Old Dan's Records now because it was easy to track down on Youtube! It feels a wee bit more country sounding than Sundown, there's little bits of steel guitar and banjo that I didn't pick up on last time. I think it's much of the same though, clearly a very talented songwriter and lyricist, but nothing that I've heard so far has knocked me for six. Still, there's definitely something to be said for consistency and reliability, which he (so far) is definitely delivering.

    He's an engaging and charismatic singer, but in comparison to some of his contemporaries, I feel he's striking a much minor chord. Maybe I'm being a wee bit unfair, as I have enjoyed both of these records, but I don't see him ever being an artist that I love, but definitely somebody I can appreciate.
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  16. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Listening to Sit Down, Young Stranger now because I think that's a good title for a record! This is a little bit different, some bigger string and orchestral arrangements on a few tracks. Checking it out on Wiki, I see that the orchestration on a few songs was arranged by Randy Newman, which is pretty cool!

    It's pretty good to hear something a bit different from him, albeit only a relatively minor stylistic shift. Again, it shows off his great voice and song-writing skill, but I think after two relatively same-y albums, I enjoyed this one more, just for the little flourishes in the background. As with the others, nothing is jumping out and grabbing me, but it's very pleasant background music, in the nicest way possible.

    I actually knew If You Could Read My Mind, recognised it as soon as it came on! Which was a pleasant surprise, as I didn't think I knew any of his songs before.
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  17. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Listened to Shadows yesterday. Still one of my favorites of his for sure. The very slight incorporation of keyboards is a great bit of added color without taking over the sound. The title track is probably my single favorite song of his, and "In My Fashion" isn't far behind. I love that he can write about relationships without it ever seeming overwrought and dramatic, and yet you really feel it. Something to aspire to as a songwriter.
  18. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    The steel guitar actually stayed a fairly consistent feature of his sound when Pee Wee Charles joined his band immediately after Sundown.
  19. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    First time with Old Dan's Records. I loved this so much more than I was expecting. Lots of banjo and a great meeting of the country touches with the folk with the more assured songwriting that was to come. I've liked the title track forever, but "Can't Depend on Love" really knocked me over and I really liked "Farewell to Annabel" a ton.
  20. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Listened to East of Midnight for the first time. I totally get people who are hardcore folkies finding this as the breaking point. The sax and lead guitar are very 80s, but in a way that really suits the songs. And he doesn't use them on the warmer/folkier numbers either. It very much hits my sweet spot with the 80s and the songwriting is still very consistent.
  21. ChaseTx

    Nuke the site from orbit. The only way to be sure Prestigious

    Diving in to this this morning. Sundown was a good album. Coincidentally I knew the title track from a cover done by a country artist in the 90s... Looking at Wikipedia I guess it was Deryll Dodd

    Listening to Shadows now
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  22. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Got in two more while driving tonight:

    Relisten to Summertime Dream. It's actually more top-to-bottom consistent than I remembered. I knew "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and "I'm Not Supposed to Care" were great, but "Never Too Close" and "Race Among the Ruins" are just as awesome and the title track and "Spanish Moss" are sleepers, too.

    Salute however is pretty uneven, but what I forgot since the last time I listened was the fact that the songs that lean into the early 80s sound fit much more naturally. The exception is "Tattoo" which is still a stand-out despite being more of the folky older sound.
  23. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Found this very enlightening. Pointed out some stuff I'd definitely felt, but maybe not noticed: