With his song "If You Could Read My Mind," Gordon Lightfoot holds the
distinction of being one of Canada's first songwriters to have a hit
single before the
CRTC introduced the Cancon quotas in 1971. Hence, if the cream
rises to the top, then the Orillia, Ontario native would have to be
one of this country's premiere and most respected musical talents.
Although his music always has fallen into the "soft" category,
programmers who farmatted that music form have previously been
reluctant to play Lightfoot's new material, choosing instead to rely on
his "oldies, goldies." It's
certainly an enigma for the singer/songwriter, who still resides in the
Rosedale district of Toronto - yet it is one he intends to solve with
It is one of the goals he set before embarking on East Of Midnight - to
airplay for his singles and not neccesarily on the A/C or country
His first single from this set, "Anything For Love" a collaboration
David Foster, climbed to NO. 14 position on the A/C charts and to NO.
on the singles chart as of August 20.
"This album is different," Lightfoot explains. "When I started to
this one, there was a question mark about whether it was practical to
another album or not."
"So, I went down to Los Angeles and told the record company people, '
going to do this - then give me the ball and let me run with it.'
wanted to make the album myself and I wanted to do it here in
Canada. So, I didn't have anyone to answer to or anyone to mess
around with. I just
got into it and made sure it was done right."
Admitting the track done with Foster "drew instant attention" to the
project, Lightfoot stresses, "the finish on this album and the quality
of the material is going to make an important album out of this
one. Actually, we have
a bit of a luxury going on here. We seem to be tearing up the A/C
- and that's not a bad place to be." He also hopes one of the
will cross over "into the Top 40" and is quite sure it will eventually.
"A/C is a good base to start with," he offers. "Country is
stuff is simply not country music - even though it is getting played on
stations. It's not meant to be a country album."
"A Lesson In Love" for instance, features the first ever Lightfoot
guitar solo captured on vinyl. "It's a better album than it would
seem," he contends, "because of the other stuff that is out
there. The competition is vast
and the game is good."
Lightfoot took a 3 year respite between recording his previous album,
Salute, and East Of Midnight, spending the majority of time whittling
down approximately 50 "concept" songs to the present number. Yet
it was precisely due to
the competition and the challenge they offered his pride that Lightfoot
to re-enter the studio and record once again. He recognizes also
today's softening formats his music will be listened to by a younger
and in this respect he agrees he is fortunate that stations are
widening their audiences.
"I think they (radio stations) are playing to the baby boomer audience
sure it's a young set, but I'm equally sure that demographically,
they've got a 30 year span. It's nice they're changing," he
concludes, "for many years they wouldn't touch my stuff. They
were always pure rock and roll."