Graded on a Curve: Gordon Lightfoot, An Introduction to Gordon Lightfoot

Graded on a Curve: Gordon Lightfoot, An Introduction to Gordon Lightfoot

Remembering Gordon Lightfoot, born on this date in 1938.Ed.

Robbie Robertson has referred to as Canadian people rock singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot “a nationwide treasure,” and so he’s. Canadians don’t simply love their Orillia, Ontario native son, they worship him in temples that may solely be entered by pilgrims clad within the holy sandals Gord wore on the duvet of his 1974 LP Sundown.

And their devotion is comprehensible–Lightfoot has contributed many a timeless music to the world, and none aside from Bob Dylan has gone on report saying that when he hears a Lightfoot music he needs “it will final eternally.”

Lightfoot wrote many an ideal music from 1965 to 1970 with United Artists, together with “Early Morning Rain,” “Ribbon of Darkness,” and “Canadian Railroad Trilogy,” to call just some. But he recorded his finest identified work for Warner/Reprise Records, with whom he signed in 1970. And it’s this work you’ll hear on 2018’s aptly titled compilation An Introduction to Gordon Lightfoot.

There are different Lightfoot compilations on the market, however they both embody music solely your hardcore followers will need to personal (see 1999’s Songbook or 2019’s The Complete Singles 1970–1980). 1975’s Gord’s Gold is arguably the perfect comp on the market, together with because it does materials from each his United Artists and Warner Brothers years, but it surely omits “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (inexcusable!) and (much more inexcusable!) consists of re-recordings of the songs from Lightfoot’s years with United Artists.

All ten of the tracks on An Introduction to Gordon Lightfoot present indeniable proof that Lightfoot is the perfect singer-songwriter to face his floor in Canada (Neil and Joni and Robbie defected and by no means appeared again), and for those who’re inclined to argue this truth with the peace-loving Canucks of the Great White North they could simply crown you with a hockey stick and toss you into Lake Ontario.

Cut in 1970, “If You Could Read My Mind” might be probably the most touching love music ever written; plaintive and bittersweet, it has moved extra folks over time than Canadian Airlines. “Summer Side of Life” is a giddy sunlit pleasure with darkish undertones–with its dizzying melody and speak of “younger women in all places” it’s simple to miss its crying boys who don’t need to go off to conflict.

“Beautiful” is a lush and wonderful ballad: too soppy for my tastes, granted, and I’d have sooner the individuals who put the comp collectively set it apart for the up-tempo “Race Among the Ruins.” Lightfoot’s “Rainy Day People” really feel your ache–for those who’re feeling blue they’ve been there too. Lightfoot takes to the highway on “Carefree Highway,” which isn’t actually all that carefree–he’s working from a relationship gone south and sings “Now the factor that I name dwelling /Is simply being glad/With figuring out I bought nobody left responsible.”

“Sundown” (which together with “If You Could Read My Mind” is the music he’ll be finest remembered for) has a spaghetti western vibe. And the music’s a showdown of types, between Lightfoot and a beguiling woman in purple he doesn’t need creeping up his backstairs. The love music “The Circle Is Small” has a dawn really feel and boasts one of many loveliest choruses I do know.

“Baby Step Back” is a kissing cousin of “Sundown”: Lightfoot desires his child to both step ahead or step again, however when all is claimed and achieved he’d simply as quickly she left him alone. And simply to show he’s large on ultimatums, on the surprisingly slinky “Daylight Katy” he sings, “Daylight Katy come on/If you possibly can’t observe me down/Daylight Katy go dwelling.” Lightfoot is a posh man, and along with his disappointment you’ll usually discover a contact of anger in even his breeziest songs.

On the haunting topical music “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” Lightfoot transforms what within the nice scheme of issues was a minor tragedy into an epic elegy for the twenty males who perished when the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Ontario on November 10, 1975. Its size (the music weighs in at nearly six and one-half minutes) and unrelenting verses (no choruses on this one) seize the lake’s relentless drive, and Lightfoot’s deft dealing with of the story and his eye for the telling element are nothing lower than masterful. Who can neglect the strains:

When suppertime got here, the previous cook dinner got here on deck sayin’
‘Fellas, it’s too tough to feed ya’
At seven PM, a essential hatchway caved in, he mentioned
‘Fellas, it’s been good to know ya’

Or the mournful stanza:

In a musty previous corridor in Detroit they prayed
In the maritime sailors’ cathedral
The church bell chimed ’til it rang twenty-nine instances
For every man on the Edmund Fitzgerald

Gordon Lightfoot’s a dwelling legend, and one of many premiere people rock singer-songwriters of his, or any, time. The American listening public might know him finest by way of a handful of songs, all of which you’ll discover on this compilation, however the tremendous of us of Canada all know and love his whole catalogue, which is as immense as Lake Superior itself. Kinda makes you marvel in the event that they’re protecting Gord to themselves. If they’re I intend head north to ask them why, and may solely hope I don’t find yourself in Lake Ontario.



by way of Vinyl Records https://ift.tt/ldITXJR

November 17, 2023 at 08:25PM

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