Gordon Lightfoot Album Reviews
MENTION MY NAME
I detect in some of his new songs a kind of melancholy depth and
romantic maturity that I haven't heard in any of his earlier
work. It's as if
the young man who wrote pleasant little ditties about go-go girls had
much older and wiser - maybe a little sadder. Even his
arrangements, the rhythms and chord progressions, have about them a
kind of seasoned quality
that I haven't heard before.
Lightfoot sang Black Day In July on a March 1968 TV special, which helped put the song on the Canadian charts, but 30 major stations in the US refused to play it, as did the Windsor station. Perhaps the subject, the revolt against "Motor City" and the government's subsequent suppression of it, was considered too hot a potato to handle.
Downbeat was one of the first US magazines, outside of trade publications, to review a Lightfoot album. Discussing Did She Mention My Name and Lightfoot, it called him, "one of the most arresting and poetic of the new breed of songwriters, a romantic to be sure, but he is a clear-eyed realist at the same time; the combination results in songs that are lyrical, full of tenderness and compassion, but above all real, honest and totally without artifice." The "burnished arrangements" were praised as a "compliment to Lightfoot's haunting, crystalline images.