Thursday, September 4, 2008


Anyone following my page here can be forgiven for noticing that I’ve been listening to a lot of Gordon Lightfoot lately.

So here’s a variation of the desert island scenario. You are going to spend your life on a desert island and you can only take one Lightfoot album, so which one do I recommend?

Well, the obvious choice is some collection. Don’t go with Gord’s Gold though; the tracks on record 1 are redone, and the selection on record 2 is kind of flaky. And don’t even think about Gord’s Gold Volume 2. Now the Songbook is a nice collection – a 4 CD box set, but they didn’t get that right either. I’ve written about that elsewhere

So forget about collections. Let’s find the best Lightfoot album.

I like "Walls." I think that’s his most underrated track of ever. That’s on The Way I Feel, which was his second album, and that’s a contender, with "Softly", and "Go-Go Round" (about a go-go dancer), and "Song For A Winter’s Night", with its great bass line and jingle bells. It also has "Canadian Railroad Trilogy", which is better history than anything Al Stewart ever did, but still overrated I think, or at least it doesn’t really touch me anyplace meaningful. The title track is a so-so rethink of the same song that appeared on his first album.

But I remember when I came back from overseas in 1977, and I bought Summertime Dream, which was then his latest album, and it was cool, and moving, and I get a good feeling every time I hear it. So maybe that one.

But speaking of his first album, how about his first album? Very folky, incredible songs, young and inspired. He does "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and he sounds nothing like Roberta Flack, but then I don’t expect he would. Can’t argue. And the track listing: "Early Morning Rain", "For Lovin’ Me", "Ribbon Of Darkness", "I’m Not Saying", classics all.

So okay. Let’s take Lightfoot! to that island.

But then we don’t get "Talking In Your Sleep". So maybe we should take Summer Side Of Life. After all, it comes with "10 Degrees And Colder", and "Go My Way." But then it also has "Nous Vivons Ensemble" Gords’s pean to Canadian unity, and the poor guy can’t speak French de la marde, as they say here. Okay forget that.

Don Quixote! That is one beautiful album, and it even has "Beautiful"on it. I don’t think there is one clinker. Except for that song about the whales. Not too interested in whales, at least not in singing about them. Saw a whale skull in a museum not long ago, that was cool, but no one was singing.

So I don’t know. Who came up with this idea anyway. I don’t think anyone should go to any desert island. I think we should all stay put, and keep as many Lightfoot albums as we want. Display the covers on the wall, cause that’s what walls are for…

1 comment:

Belle said...

DJ - I can't keep up with you! Here a blog there a blog everywhere a blog blog...

Locations of visitors to this page