Gordon Lightfoot Album Reviews

by Wayne Francis

        Another rare Lightfoot recording from the 60's is the EP, MOVIN'.  This EP was not widely distributed, but was pressed simply to publicize the film of the same name.  Lightfoot narrated the film and provided three songs for it.  It shouldn't come as any surprise that Lightfoot would become involved in a project of this nature, as he has always had an interest in and written about all forms of transportation - trains in particular.
        The Canadian National Railway film and EP were released in 1967.

        This song has been available in two forms on the Bear Family CD, Sunday Concert Plus, now for several years.  This is a polished recording featuring Lightfoot, Red Shea and John Stockfish, with a percussionist.  It has the sound and feel of his second album, so it seems safe to conclude that this song was recorded later in the process than the other two songs on the EP.  This song, interestingly enough, is more about the rapid advancements in technology and in society in general and how nothing stays the same, than about railroads in particular.  How ironic that railroads themselves would become one of the casualties in Canada of the evolving technologies a few decades later.  A very good song that would not have seemed at all out of place on any of his UA albums.

        This is an alternate take of the song, which sounds like it may have been done at the same session as the version on the UA album.  The most noticable difference is that the lead guitar part is not the same as on the UA release.

        "Come on along, take a trip with me; from the eastern shore to the western sea."  Lightfoot then runs through a list of almost every conceivable product that might be transported by train.  His talking blues style is very musical, much more so than others from that time that I've heard, most notably Dylan.  A very nice song.  Lightfoot sings the choruses and talks the verses.  The arrangement just has guitar, vocal and bass.