Gordon Lightfoot Album Reviews



        Rumors of Gordon Lightfoot's demise after 30 years in the spotlight, circulated for a time by the artist himself, have proven premature.  Waiting For You, Lightfoot's 18th original recording, heralds the return of an artist whose accomplishments encompass platinum and gold records, four Grammy nominations, 16 Juno awards, an Order Of Canada citation and such enduring songs as Early Morning Rain, Ribbon Of Darkness, Canadian Railroad Trilogy, If You Could Read My Mind and The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald, to name a few.
        Waiting For You is Lightfoot's first collection of new material since East Of Midnight, a recording released amid claims it would be his last.  "I felt like I'd said everything I wanted to," Lightfoot said at the time.  "I didn't want to keep writing songs if they didn't have meaning for me."  It was after East Of Midnight in 1986 that Lightfoot reassessed his life, his career and the music.
        With renewed creative energy, he began working on new material, songs written over a two year period which he agrees are the most personal he has ever written.  Waiting For You is dedicated to his wife Elizabeth and his young son Miles.  Nine of the ten songs (he covers Bob Dylan's Ring Them Bells to round out the collection) chronicle an artist who has come to terms with himself and his place in the scheme of things.
        The humour, sense of self-acceptance and new-found contentment are reflected in Lightfoot's comments during a recent telephone conversation from his home in a posh section of Toronto. "Let me put it this way, I had to dig deep," the 54 year old performer observed.  "The older you get, the deeper you have to dig."  The result of Lightfoot's mid-life soul searching is music as buoyant and as optimistic as he has ever produced.
        "I like to feel it has an uplifting quality.  At times my music has not been as uplifting as it should have been and I feel I've been able to aceive that again."  Stylistically, the recording marks the return of a more direct and immediate Lightfoot.  With prominent voice and acoustic guitar tracks and unembellished arrangements with his long-time touring band, Waiting For You shares more in common with Lightfoot's early classics than with the work he released in the late '70's and early '80's.
        Lightfoot is pleased with his approach and wants to refine it for subsequent recordings.  "If I can make another one, which I hope I can, I'd like to try the same formula with just a little more enhancement and more work on the basic tracks," he explained.