Gordon Lightfoot Album Reviews

by Noel Coppage - Stereo Review


        Everyone who's interested must know by now that I consider Gordon Lightfoot one of the most important figures ever to take up with popular music, and much of the evidence to prove I'm right has finally been collected all in one place by Reprise.  Not only that, but Lightfoot went back into the studio and rerecorded one full disc of it - the songs from the top down through Early Morning Rain in the list below, those he'd originally done for United Artists.  Lightfoot had his own reasons for doing this, which included capturing some of the royalties these songs can still earn, but the net effect of it is to give the "greatest hits" concept a degree of class it doesn't usually have.
        He hasn't changed radically as a singer since Early Morning Rain and the others were new (and he still prefers his three-chord, intense way of doing Rain to the four-chord, pretty way that traces back to Ian and Sylvia), but his vocal sound has matured and weathered, and he sings all the old songs a shade better than he used to.
        This is, of course, an ideal album for the interested party who doesn't yet have any Lightfoot albums - and it has something new in it for those who have every Lightfoot album, including an opening in which to second-guess him on song selection.  I was suprised to find Affair On Eighth Avenue in there, as I tend to overlook it, and the way he runs For Lovin' Me into Did She Mention My Name without a pause suprised and delighted me...he lets us hear the third story you get by putting those two stories together.  That's just one of the reasons why Gord's Gold is more golden than other people's gold.