Gordon Lightfoot Album Reviews

by Rex Reed - Stereo Review
Performance: First a poet, always a musician
Recording: A much needed rest from rock
Stereo Quality: Very Good

        Gordon Lightfoot is a Sunday Concert. He's that day of rest once so cherished but now almost forgotten by our "liberated" and guiltily near-godless society.  If you ever lived in a city large enough to have a concert hall, Sunday was most likely the day you went there.  And you dressed up for the occasion. Carlos Montoya, Bidu Sayle, a string quartet, or maybe Burl Ives and his blue tailed fly checked into town for one or two performances.  They left everyone richer and rested, ready to face Monday's labour.
        It's not the good old days I miss.  I happen to think today is great and groovy.  But there seems to be a lack of dignity about a world where Sunday is just another business as usual day.  So I take refuge in the quiet intelligent beauty of Gordon Lightfoot's poetry and music.  He works diligently and carefully and speaks in a plain honest language.  He has a rich baritone cowboy's voice that sounds as if it were trained by singing above the sound of the wind yet not too loud to disturb the horses.
        But his words are not the silly laments of the country-and-western singer.  He is too wise.  Gordon tells a tale filled with memories, images and compassion.  In his "Ballad Of The Yarmouth Castle" he turns a tragic historical happening into a words-with-music epic as fascinating as the re-telling of the Titanic's sinking.  In between the "story" songs, he offers beautiful love ballads. Only five of the songs here have been recorded on previous albums.  These are like old friends, warmly received, "I'm Not Sayin' " and "Ribbon Of Darkness" are among them.
        Lightfoot's songs are those friendly eager faces once seen at Sunday concerts, and the world is richer and more rested after his every visit.  Even the recording is balanced.